BAD-Ford underlines Arsenal problems that cannot be solved overnight

By Avenell Dave

I've been trying to make sense of last night's debacle, trying to bring some sanity to the Arsenal world and it's hard to do.

When Arsenal were reigning champions in 1992, we ended up losing to the bottom placed club, Wrexham. With our legendary back four playing.

Years later, albeit when they were a struggling Premier League club, Bradford beat us when we had Bergkamp and Henry in our ranks.

We lost to Swindon and York in cup ties.

Shock results happen. 

Someone who is becoming somewhat frustrated by Arsenal at present said to me this morning that there were plenty of knee-jerk reactions last night and that was indeed the case.

Twitter is an awful place to be when we lose.

But, while I sometimes get the feeling that the glory hunters, the naysayers and the plastic fan spokesmen revel in our demise and the misery defeats create more than they enjoy the good times, last night's result actually wasn't as big a shock as it might have been.

Arsenal are emotionally fragile.

We do not have enough winners, enough leaders, in the team.

We have players who are not good enough. 

You look at the side last night and actually, Gervinho stands out as a player who is simply not worthy of wearing the shirt.

I've given him the benefit of the doubt, just as I have with others in the past - and I still believe that Aaron Ramsey is a fine player even if he is not on top form at present - but Gervinho has been a waste of money.

And that is where Arsene Wenger's problems lie.

In Gervinho, Abou Diaby, Maroune Chamakh, Park, Sebastien Squillaci and Nik Bendtner, not to mention Andrey Arshavin, we have a glut of players who bring nothing to the team or the squad and who have been brought in on big money.

We can argue the rights and wrongs - Chamakh was a free so his wages will be higher, Squillaci came at the end of the transfer window when we were desperate, Diaby could turn into van Per$ie is we let him go.

But we have too many passengers and the management and scouting network all have to take responsibility for the quality of the players we have brought in over the past few years compared to those we let go.

Look at the team we put out last night. It wouldn't look out of place in the Champions League and yet it lost to Bradford and deservedly so.

Other than the obvious absence of a fast and freescoring striker, what we really lack is width - the great Arsenal sides had Marwood, Limpar, Overmars, Parlous, Reyes, Ljungberg, Pires all capable of scoring goals and making goals.

All of which makes the failure to secure Theo Walcott on a new contract, despite him being hot and cold himself, all the more foolhardy.

Apart from Gervinho, Lukas Podolski also looks disinterested most of the time. Despite his reputation, there's a reason why he failed at Bayern Munich - because he is not cut out for being a medium sized fish in a big pond where you have to take responsibility every single game. He is anonymous more than he is impactful.

So what to do?

We can slate Stan Kroenke for his silence and refusal to back the team or give assurances that he will not take dividends.

We can question whether the team is playing for Wenger anymore, whether the game has moved on or whether he is simply too stubborn or obstinate to objectively manage the club any more.

We can yearn from proper signings to replace some of the passengers in January and then again in the summer. 

But there are criticial problems at Arsenal, despite all the crowing that we're on the cusp of becoming one of EUrope's powerhouses. These issues will not be addressed if we simply rest on our laurels and at times it feels as if 'getting away with it' is good enough for some at the club.

The AST are meeting Ivan Gazidis tonight, and should the CEO turn up, that in itself will be a credit to him and the club. Fans will give him a hard time and rightly so.

We ALL need to stick together. Many of us have experienced this sort of malaise in the 70s and 80s and it's horrible.

There are few reasons to be positive. The overhaul to get us back to a competitive side seems a long way away.

But there will always be an Arsenal.