Featured Matches
Previous
AEL
Tottenham Hotspur
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Hull City
0
0
LIVE 0'
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Krasnodar
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Lyon
FK Astra Giurgiu
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Shakhter Soligorsk
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
Villarreal
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Borussia Monchengladbach
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Astana 1964
Villarreal
0
3
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Legia Warsaw
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Moscow
Omonia Nicosia
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ruch Chorzow
Metalist Kharkiv
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Rapid Vienna
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
Twente Enschede
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Tottenham Hotspur
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Shakhter Soligorsk
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Karabükspor
St Etienne
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Elfsborg
Rio Ave
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
CD Nacional de Madeira
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Petrolul Ploiesti
Dinamo Zagreb
5:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
BSC Young Boys
Debrecen
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Apollon Limassol
Lokomotiv Moscow
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Feyenoord Rotterdam
1
1
LIVE HT
Leg 1
Game Details
Trabzonspor
Rostov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Panathinaikos
FC Midtjylland
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
PEC Zwolle
Sparta Prague
0
0
LIVE 43'
Leg 1
Game Details
Zimbru Chisinau
PAOK Salonika
6:05 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FC Spartak Trnava
FC Zürich
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Partizan Belgrade
Neftchi Baku PFC
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers Zürich
Club Brugge
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Asteras Tripolis
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Krasnodar
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
RNK Split
Torino
0
0
LIVE 13'
Leg 1
Game Details
Lyon
FK Astra Giurgiu
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
KSC Lokeren
Hull City
0
0
LIVE 0'
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Sarajevo
Borussia Monchengladbach
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Rijeka
Sheriff Tiraspol
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sassuolo
Cittadella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Espana
Municipal
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Belmopan Bandits
Metapan
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Inti Gas Deportes
Caracas F.C.
0
0
LIVE 41'
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Danubio F.C.
8:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Barcelona
Alianza Lima
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Trujillanos
Independiente del Valle
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Millonarios
César Vallejo
12:50 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Universidad Católica
River Plate
12:50 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Goiás EC
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Gremio
ESPN3 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 10 hours ago
Read
Bayern MunichBayern Munich
VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oct 31, 2008

Gunners lacking leadership on the pitch

So the finger pointing can begin. After throwing away a two-goal lead against Tottenham on Wednesday night it has been revealed that the Arsenal players turned the air blue with their post-match bust-up in the dressing room.

Publicly, all Arsene Wenger would say was "we have to look at ourselves and improve'', but behind the scenes it would appear that he had a few choice words to say to his senior players, most notably Willam Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Yet Wenger must take a portion of the blame himself. For all of Arsenal's pace, elegance and exuberance, they lack a leader to take control of a game when it turns sour and Wenger's refusal to sign experienced players has not helped.

The last few minutes were a prime example of immaturity against Tottenham and it is hard to imagine the side capitulating so easily, had Patrick Vieira or Tony Adams been on the pitch.

Adams has now been tasked with pulling Portsmouth up by the bootstraps in his new role as manager, but one of Arsenal's greatest ever captains must have had one eye on the Emirates as the Arsenal defence crumbled. As a fan he will not have liked what he saw but, like every other Premier League manager, he will now be seeking to capitalise on Arsenal's soft centre.

Only four clubs boast a better defensive record than Arsenal this season, but it is notable that both Chelsea and Manchester United have conceded half as many goals. The Gunners' defence is simply not strong enough to mount a serious title charge and the blame can, mainly, be placed with the captain.

Where Chelsea have John Terry, United have one of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville or Ryan Giggs and by comparison, Gallas just doesn't match up.

The Frenchman lacks the authority, determination and respect to hold such a prestigious position at the club. A good defender, Gallas has proven with numerous misdemeanours (including the tantrum at St Andrews' last year and open criticism of Theo Walcott), that he is not the man to lead Arsenal forward.

But Wenger has made mistakes in appointing captains before. Using the role as a means to keep his best players happy in the past, he gave Thierry Henry the position before his summer move to Barcelona despite having said that he prefers his skippers to play at the back.

Overlooking Gilberto Silva for Gallas last season may have hastened the Brazilian's exit from the club but, more importantly, it proved that Wenger places personal reasons above the team dynamic. Gallas and Henry, while massively important players, were never captain material and, years after the event, Patrick Vieira's departure from the club is still being felt.

Gallas has a hamstring injury ahead of a tough trip to Stoke's Britannia Stadium this weekend and, while cynics may question the validity of the injury in the midst of such criticism, it could work in Arsenal's favour. Ultimately it may force a real leader from within the current squad to reveal themselves.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.