Last Sunday’s loss against Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final is just another blow in Arsenal’s attempt to end a five year drought and period without glory and silverware. Optimists could say, well, one down, three more to go. Meaning, there are still three competitions left and Arsenal is in all of them. Yes, that’s true, however, taking a closer look, they could very well lose all opportunities in a very short period of time. Today, the replay of the 5th round FA-Cup against Leyton-Orient should not be a problem, shouldn’t it? We have seen more unlikely things to happen, everything is possible. Fabregas out, Walcott and van Persie out is not necessarily in support of Arsenal trying to beat the underdog. Those cup competitions have their issues. It is, however, expected that the Gunners make it into the next round. Guess who is waiting? Manchester United at Old Trafford! Two down, two more to go?
The next blow could happen next week in the Champions League in Barcelona. Lionel Messi and his friends are eager for a pay-back for the 1st leg loss at the Emirates. And, realistically, how good are Arsenal’s chances to survive in Camp Nou? Fabregas far from being fit and questionable for that game, so are Theo Walcott and van Persie. In my opinion, these are important players and without those cornerstones it is going to be difficult, to say the least. It can very well be three down, one more to go, right?
In the Barclay’s English Premier League the Gunners rank second. Fighting to catch up with Manchester United for the place on top and winning the championship in the Premier League. While doing so, they also have to deal with the hungry folks from Manchester City and, now again, Chelsea. A crisis, caused by injury or lost moral and confidence, can have fatal consequences for the Gunners up to losing Champions League qualification. Four down, nothing left, except empty hands, again?
Gunners supporters will call this scenario pessimistic, and it might be. From today’s view, all of this can very well happen. Soccer has a few dynamics that just can’t be controlled. Right now is a time when only the old soccer rule “eat or die” must be considered, even for a team like Arsenal. The season, all competitions, are in the last quarter and now you need to be able to bite and overcome obstacles. Arsenal has quite a few to overcome.