In just 2 weeks, Arsenal lost their chance to win three different cup competition: League Cup, Champions League, and FA Cup. They are only in one more competition for 2011: Premier League. “The Gunners” lost to Birmingham in League Cup final. In Champions League, after winning the 1st leg 2-1, they lost 3-1 to Barcelona at Nou Camp. Then they lost 2-0 to Manchester United in FA Cup quarter final.
If this happened in another club, it might come from financial problems, coaching problems, or non-standard players. But Arsenal doesn’t seem to have any of these problems. In the last couple years, Arsenal was profitable, and this year it is among the top 5 most profitable club. Arsenal also pays the third biggest total salary for their players among soccer clubs. And most importantly, the players consistently play entertaining, attacking, and creative soccer games. So, how come they cannot win any cups in the last 5 years?
In Wall Street Journal analysis, columnist Gabriele Marcoti gave a general view on this question. Arsenal’s problem is their weak team structure and the stubborness of Wenger in his team vision. There is no room for other alternative for improvisation in his vision. Physically Arsenal players are not as strong as the previous squad. The current squad is even smaller than the 1998 squad who won Wenger’s first trophy with Arsenal. This is direct result from their low cost transfer policy. Other rival clubs are net spender on the transfer market. Wenger must also compete with another top coaches such as Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Maybe these factors will answer what happened to Arsenal.