For many Arsenal FC fans, the nightmare is beginning yet again. Despite having had a brilliant season, it typically gets to a certain stage where everything starts to go horribly wrong.
Arsenal drops out of the Champions League (usually with a whimper more so than a bang). They fail to pick up any domestic trophies. Last and not at all least, Arsenal drops crucial Premier League points that threatens their chance at a top four finish.
The team often find a way to hold on, but they accomplish little beyond that.
For a club with Arsenal's promising squad and reputation, this annual implosion is a bizarre problem to have.
How can a club finish in the top 4 annually and yet manage to lack the success of clubs like Manchester City FC and London rivals Chelsea FC?
It's not enough to spend money on talent; that talent must be given a clear "end goal". The end goal for truly ambitious teams is a top place finish and silverware. With none of that happening at Arsenal, there's not much to play for. Pride can only go so far when there's not much in the trophy cabinet to be proud of.
This Arsenal implosion is possibly the best yet
— Conor Quane (@conor_quane) March 22, 2014
Ahh, the spring Arsenal implosion. Is it that time already?
— Beav (@__Beav) March 22, 2014
Quite an impressive arsenal implosion for wengers 1000th game.
— Tony Theaker (@tonytheaker) March 22, 2014
In reality, how much money is or isn't spent at the Emirates, is a big red herring: a lack of ambition and an end goal seems to be the nail in each season's coffin.
Despite leading the league all season long, despite having the talent to go all the way, there is no hunger or drive than to go as far as what is comfortable.
Finish top four and have a walk-on role in the Champion's League is now the established norm at Arsenal. How can fans expect to hope for anything better with this being enough?
This is a pattern that is more mental than anything else, and the only way for Arsenal to overcome it would be to change its club mentality.
Top four cannot be "good enough". Arsenal must be about winning. They must fight to the end of the season for the league and for silverware.
Arsenal implodes over poorly papered cracks, an inability to spend money to cover the right positions, and failure to repair the club's mentality.
And these things must change if the club is to move in a more successful direction.
Image via YouTube