Clouds continue to gather as Arsenal slogs on in 2013.
Arsene Wenger’s club has not won a major title since that FA Cup in 2005 – and how many times have Gunners fans been beaten about the head with that little mallet of malignant data by this point?
Through these recent years of lesser, Wenger’s club has frequently managed to kick up some Champions League fuss, at least; Gunners have advanced beyond group stage for 13 consecutive seasons.
But things seem to be getting worse, rather than better. There is much work ahead for Wenger’s club to catch Chelsea for the last Champions League spot out of England for next season. (For that matter, Liverpool and Everton are hot for Arsenal’s current table holding, fifth spot, which would net a consolation prize place in Europa League.)
All of this is a set-up to say this: A long and sometimes prosperous Champions League run may end for a while for Wenger and his Gunners this week. The mountain climbing looks treacherous against Bayern Munich, the current Bundesliga leaders. Bayern holds a 3-1 lead after one leg with the series now returning to Bavaria.
Now, it’s gotten even worse. Midfielder Jack Wilshire has been ruled out of Wednesday’s return leg. Striker Lukas Podolski looks quite iffy, too.
True enough that Bayern will miss one of its stars, too, as Franck Ribery has been ruled out by injury. Plus, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Jerome Boateng are suspended, and will also miss the match at the Allianz Arena.
Still, Bayern seems all but certain to move into the quarterfinals for a fourth time in five years; meanwhile, nothing seems certain for Arsenal FC anymore these days.