WTTGT Writer: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
After years of pundits and fans saying that Arsenal haven’t got enough British players or they haven’t got the mentality, watching the events that featured British sportsmen over the last month, it dawned on me that they actually do!
To me, the British mentality when it comes to sports is that they have all the talk before big tournaments or matches, but can’t produce the goods when it matters, ending with excuses for their failures.
Firstly take the England U21s for example; lots of potential but missing key players at key times, played of the park by Spanish opposition, surrendering leads, and conceding in the dying minutes. Does it sound familiar?
Next, Andy Murray. In his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal, he was one set up and leading by two games to one in the second set. He had the chance to break Nadal but missed an easy shot and it all went downhill from there. I’m sure I don’t have to remind Gooners about the numerous times Arsenal have missed the chance to win and suffered because of it.
David Haye’s performance against Wladimir Klitschko was clear that Haye only had one game plan – to knock him out. When he realised it wasn’t working he never attempted to change it. Now aren’t Arsenal often accused of having one tactic of pretty football and attempting to score the perfect goal? I’m sure the resemblance is there for all to see.
Now take a look at the current squad, minus a few including Jack Wilshere (the only Brit in the starting XI), it is evident that most of the players just can’t handle the pressure when it comes to the big games, just like the England National Football team.
Arsène Wenger has had great squads. Firstly the 97-98 season squad was very good as was the squads from 01-06 sides. They all possessed players with tremendous skill and ability but the most important factors in those squads was the belief, courage and a winning mentality. This seems to have be lost in the current crop of players.
Tony Adams, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown and Patrick Vieira are just a few names who were always willing to fight for the club.
Wenger should attempt to look back on what made his previous squads so good and try to replicate that in order to bring back success to the club.