Arsenal play exciting, free flowing football that pleases the eye and have done so for years, yet they are without a trophy since their FA cup win in 2005, why is this?
It is no great mystery in truth, Arsenal are lacking a leader in the team, a big presence on and off the field, someone who can galvanise a team. Effectively Arsenal are one player away from winning something, if that player was a born leader of course.
It’s all well and good playing beautiful football but when it comes to the crunch ties against the other challengers a team without a leader is always going to struggle, when things are going against you a player that can rally the troops is needed, something that has eluded Arsenal for years.
Arguably the greatest ever Arsenal team, “The Invincibles” were packed with leaders within the team: Campbell, Toure, Gilberto Silva, Vieira to name but a few. Looking at today’s squad it is hard to pick out a leader, Koscienly maybe, or Flamini some would say, but are any of these players anywhere near the calibre of Vieira or Campbell.
Take a look at Manchester United, they have always had a leader in the team from the likes of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes to Ferdinand and Carrick, these players have been integral parts of victorious Man United teams.
Steven Gerrard is a prime example of what Arsenal are missing, he has a presence on the field that inspires others to do well, just look at the 2005 Champions League Final when Gerrard inspired a come back from 3 goals down.
Every winning team needs 1 or 2 galvanising presences in their starting 11. Jack Wilshere looks as if he could blossom into the leader of the team but due to injuries and his young age we are yet to see him fulfil that role.
Arsene Wenger has to be concerned that his team do not posses that fight and toughness required, all of which could be changed by the acquisition of 1 player.
The signing of Mesut Ozil gave all of Arsenal a lift and propelled them to do well, Ozil is an exceptionally talented player but he is not a leader, he is not the type of player to grab the game by the scruff of the neck when it gets tough.
This current Arsenal side is possibly the best side Arsene Wenger has had since their last trophy victory in 2005, but without a leader they will struggle come the end of the season when the pressure is on.
Trying to find a born leader is not an easy job by any means but until Wenger can do so it looks as if Arsenal will struggle to win any silverware.