Time for some big changes if Arsenal are to rule again

By Avenell Dave

Arsenal and frustration are becoming unpleasantly familiar bedfellows, arent they?

It's hard to know where to begin and it's even harder to know when the frustration of watching this Arsenal side will end.

I have no doubt that Arsene Wenger remains the best man for the job and that the current team are capable of winning big trophies.

We can't fall back on the excuse of Project Youth anymore, particularly given that with the exception of Thomas Vermaelen, we had our strongest side out yesterday (an unfit RvP included).

What should be happening is that this side competes with the best and brushes aside the rest, putting us at least in contention for the title.

Ch*vski have been imperious for the most part but even though unbeaten, M*nure have looked less than convincing and past Wenger sides would have had the title in their sights.

What is worrying is that the same old mistakes keep cropping up, costing us wins and making Laurent Koscielny assertion that Emirates should become a fortress nothing more than a pipe dream.

We give sides goals, particularly lesser sides and the days of our defence being more frugal than a Scotsman on budget day have well and truly disappeared.

It's easy to blame Lukasz Fabianski for yesterday's goal and he should certainly have been more assertive. But where was the defender making it difficult for Carroll to get a header in?

Wenger made many mistakes of his own, such as taking off Jack Wilshere, who was having a fair to middling game, when Cesc Fabregas was having yet another stinker.

Whether El Capitano is suffering just because of his hamstring or whether there is more to it, only he knows, but it highlights how much we rely on him for invention and how badly we tick when he's not on his game.

The decision to go effectively 4-2-4 in the latter stages playes into opponents' hands because we're not that great in the air and our delivery into the box rarely causes consistent problems.

Theo Walcott may be an in-form player but he stayed so far up the field that defenders simply sat tight on him and he had no room to speed past them.

But beyond tactical mistakes, basic errors and lamentable errors, Wenger needs to ask himself some tough questions.

The side now has no excuse for being inexperienced and the assertion that we are learning from the complacency and application absences that have cost us so many games in recent years simply does not hold firm.

There are two factors, in my opinion.

Firstly, Wenger's backroom staff has remained the same since he arrived.

Boro Primorac and Pat Rice have been his trusted charges but there comes a time where fresh ideas are needed.

Wenger needs a new coach to mix things up a bit and give the fresh impetus the players and indeed Le Boss are lacking. Things have gone stale.

Look at every other club in the country and they've had changes. Even M*nure have had Carlos Queiroz, Archie Knox and now Mike Phelan. All good managers need new ideas and approaches.

That may well have an impact not only on attitude but also on performances from the first team.

Arsenal are lacking leaders. Where are the men who will put their hearts into every tackle, strain every sinew and scream and drag the other players along when the going gets tough.

The truth is, we have a team of nice boys lacking the cojones to fight for every ball in every game.

We Addicts must still get behind the team every game, but sometimes I wonder just how much losing hurts some of the players.

If it affected them 5% as much as it affects us fans, I doubt they'd take it as easy in games as they appear to be doing.

This season is going exactly the same way as every season has since we moved from Highbury.

Changes are needed.