After being comprehensively beaten over two legs against Barcelona on Wednesday evening, subsequently being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the round of sixteen stage for the sixth year in a row as a result, knocked out of the FA Cup by Watford prior to that and trailing both Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, the season has begun to look a tad grim as the business end of things approach.
Could this be the season of near misses for the north London side?
Arsenal’s Premier League form since Christmas has been a poor and players like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud have struggled to make the impact that they did in the first half of the season.
In recent months, certain groups of fans have ramped up a serious amount of pressure on Arsene Wenger and called for a change of management after yet another poor European campaign in which they only just scraped through the group after a near miraculous turnaround.
Arsenal’s chance of winning their first Premier League title in 12 years has been hampered by their performances so far this year and no doubt has been made even harder by the incredibly consistent performances of Leicester.
So what is next? Well, for starters, Wenger needs to take a serious look at his current squad and assess where things need to change. Centre half has been a position that has been widely disputed amongst the pundits as an area that the Gunners need to improve in the summer.
Per Mertesacker remains a player who splits opinion, his lack of pace and seemingly uncomfortable appearance on the ball is a worry and something that perhaps needs assessing in the summer, with a few names being floated around the transfer rumour mill as possible replacements for the big German, in particular, a certain Mats Hummels.
Central midfield is another position in which Arsenal seem to lack. Going forward, there is no denying their ability, in defence is where there are often gaps and room for improvement. However, recent January signing Mohamed Elneny seems to look as though he could be what Arsenal need – especially after performances at Spurs away and Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening, where he looked more than capable of performing.
Up front, Olivier Giroud has been suffering recently in front of goal which is an issue, as he contributed with so many in the first half of this season’s campaign. Despite Danny Welbeck’s impressive showings in the last few games since injury, the apparent need for a world-class striker is clear. Karim Benzema, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alvaro Morata, all of whom have been spoken about in connection with Arsenal.
As for this season, the Premier League remains the aim. Now out of all competitions, this, at least, enables them to concentrate their efforts solely on the top English division. Arsenal remain in the title race but are required to win all of their games to be in with a realistic chance, especially considering the fine form of those sides ahead of them.
Another frustrating season for the Gunners but they have the team and the players to win trophies and if they spend well in the summer, a Premier League title this or next season, could finally be on its way to the Emirates.