On the Spot

Arsenal in Pain, Kane their bane!



As expected, the spaceship that launched the ‘Arsenal clan’ into the orbit of grandiloquent delirium sequel to the ‘capture’ of prolific forward, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on deadline day, and the subsequent demolition of Everton, was bound to come back to earth sooner than later. And it did in a jiffy! Sadly, it was a crash-land!

A few seasons ago, the clash between Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal was a no brainer. The Lillywhites and their fans were, more often than not, left red-faced with the Gunners painting North London ‘red’. Now things are looking upbeat as that part of London is being ‘cleaned’ up. And things are looking white and clean, no more ‘blood stains’ all over that part of town.

The 195th North London derby wasn’t much of a deviation from the emerging norm – a shift in power. You bet, the locals must prefer the Lillywhites (sounds like lilyflowers) to the ‘Guns’. Hey, who needs the ‘arsenals’ in this season of love.

Arsenal were at their pathetic best! Their stars looked more like starlets. Aubameyang was more of a boomerang all day. The Gabonese had his back to goal for most part of the game, looking for passes that never came. Not even the Hail Mary pass! Mkhitaryan was spineless in the middle of the pack, couldn’t even mimic Spurs’ Mousa Dembele. His performance against Spurs, somewhat gave his EPL debut show for the Gunners the toga of a fluky. Mesut Ozil is, to say the least, a dethroned ‘king’, loosely and stubbornly holding on to the paraphernalia of office – sparingly influencing the big games.

Let’s not be fooled, the dressing up of ‘Auba’ and ‘Micky Mouse’ in the red colors of Arsenal can’t release the handbrakes of the vehicle Arsene Wenger and his troops are currently wobbling in. The team needs a leader – an imposing personality at that. Even after Harry Kane (their nemesis) whipped them again in the 49th minute (as he always does), the Gunners still had no one on the pitch to steady the sinking ship. Arsenal’s response was the introduction of Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi – 2 players whose goal-scoring stats in recent times have been so impressive that even neutrals would swear that it was easier for elephants to fly than either getting on the scoresheet. That Petr Cech was the Gunners’ finest player on the day told the story.

The ‘Guns’ are no longer blazing, in fact, they barely raise these days. A demolition of the West Broms, Bournemouths, Brighton and Hove Albions (no disrespect intended) will follow this shambolic display, and the fans will flip their ‘Wenger Out’ signs, and ‘the beat goes on…’

Arsenal are in the 6th position in the EPL table (a position Manchester United cherished for the better part of last season) at the moment, and they don’t look like abdicating that ‘majestic’ slot anytime soon.

Qualifying for the European Champions’ League has been a priority and a ‘trophy of sort for Arsenal in recent seasons, but as it appears at the moment, the less-fancied Europa League appears a herculean task. What a shame!


By Uche Atuma

About Uche

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