A lack of flair. Not the sort of accusation usually levelled at Wenger’s men. Yet this season it’s one of many things lacking. No creativity, no invention, no spark.
Today’s FA cup tie against Plymouth however, gave a chance to see something different. With chief pedestrian culprit Denilson out with injury in stepped the rather less regulation Aaron Ramsey.
Ramsey possesses superb quick feet, and admirable range of passing and most importantly some genuine invention. He takes men on, shoots on sight and plays the sort of quick one touch passing that has made Arsenal so irresistible in the past.
Not to suggest of course that he is the current solution. Ramsey just turned 18 on Boxing Day and like many players quite so inexperienced gives the ball away rather a lot; but at least he gives it away trying something rather more regulation than a 5 yard pass backwards.
It’s no surprise that the difference between the two sides today was Robin van Persie, whose ability to make something out of nothing, especially the turn to help provide the second goal was a clear example of the sort of ingenuity needed at the highest level.
Admittedly Arsenal are currently robbed of much of their creativity and spark with Rosicky, Walcott and of course Fabregas absent. Yet with all of these out for a fair while Wenger must either bring in someone with such spark or put the faith in his young guns to avoid facing months of slow paced, tepid performances while the injuries subside.
Arsenal fail when their football hits snails pace and becomes predictable. Inventive, fast passing is what makes their football irresistible and so hard to stop and Wenger’s decision this month must reflect this reality if any silverware is to be chased.