Arsenal’s Inconsistencies Highlighted

In one way, this campaign appears typical of Arsenal’s seasons under Arsène Wenger over the last ten years – a slow start, leaving them with ground to make up, followed by an upturn in the New Year that sees them stabilise their position.

However, this time around, it feels different. For a start, the gap to the leading clubs is now too big to bridge, and for another, the recovery has started later, which means that there is little chance of cracking the top four. In order to snatch a Champions League qualifying place, the Gunners would need to win all their remaining games, and hope that two teams out of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham go on a very bad run. That’s a combination of events that seems very unlikely.

According to the betting markets, things are unlikely to improve next sesaon. Arsenal are currently sixth favourites to win the Premier League and can generally be backed at around the 26.0 mark; a sad decline for a manager and a club that once challenged regularly for top-flight honours.

Inconsistency appears to be Arsenal’s problem. Whereas other top teams go on long unbeaten runs while losing the occasional game, Arsenal this season have blown hot and cold. Their longest run of what could be described as good form came between 3rd December and 3rd January when they went seven games without defeat, but that run included five draws, including dropped points against West Ham, Southampton and West Brom.

If their only defeats had come against top-five clubs, it would at least be a consistent picture of the level that this team has been at. However, while they have lost twice to Manchester City and once each to Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United, they have also suffered defeats against Watford, Stoke, Bournemouth, Swansea and Brighton.

The only hint of consistency from the Gunners this season has been their terrible away form. It took them until 22nd October to win an away game, and they’ve only won four out of 15 on the road so far. That’s a terrible record, but it’s also a symptom of one of their main causes of inconsistency – an inability to dig deep and battle. Away games at the “lower” clubs can be a physical and psychological test, and while Arsenal have always played good football under Wenger, they regularly fold when games turn into a physical contest.

That particular failing is partly down to Wenger. He could, after all, drill them to be as organised and resilient as Burnley, and he could have brought in one or two tougher players, but he hasn’t. Not only that, but Wenger has also been criticised for not being more demanding of his players. Watching them, you do not get the impression that they are frightened of the consequences of putting in a poor performance. When top players coast through games, they will sometimes be able to win on sheer talent alone, but often they will be outbattled by opponents who are giving their all.

Another way in which Wenger has contributed to their inconsistency is in his continual rotation of the squad and unusual selections, many of which have baffled fans and must be unsettling for players who don’t know where or whether they will be playing from one week to the next.

While their late surge may ease some of the pressure on Wenger, there is no reason to assume that next season will progress in a significantly different manner. If Arsenal are to leave their inconsistency behind next year, a new manager must be the summer priority.

Can Arsenal Finish In The Top 4 This Season?

After the emphatic 5-1 win against Everton, the immediate future anyway looks bright. We’ve got new signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off to flying starts, with the Armenian notching up a hattrick of assists and the new forward scoring a debut goal.

Supported by the mercurial Mesut Özil and in form Aaron Ramsey, things are looking good for Arsenal.

But at the moment we sit 5 points behind 4th placed Chelsea although they have a game in hand. So as it stands it’s not impossible for Arsenal to nick that last Champions League spot – but it’ll be tough.

We of course have another route into the Champions League, via the Europa League – with a first round knockout game against Ostersunds FK from, erm… Sweden apparently.

It’s hard to decide which route Arsenal should focus all of their energies on, either 4th spot in the Premier League or lifting the Europa League trophy.

With the Premier League, we would be competing with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham meaning that there’s only 2 spots available for 4 heavyweight teams. And with the Europa League, we would have to overcome European big hitters such as Borussia Dortmund, Athletico Madrid, Napoli, Lyon, Lazio, AC Milan, Marseille and CSKA Moscow.

So neither route is easy!

If you had to put money on Arsenal reaching the Champions League then your best bet would be via the Premier League. We’re only 5 points behind 4th spot at the moment and there are enough games to claw back that lead. But with the Europa League, there are too many variables and we’re without new signings Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang who are cup tied.

Thus said, Arsenal could cause a headache to those who would like to place a bet on them in future matches. But that’s the situation in online sports betting at this time, so if you need the best odds on betting, there are many sites such as BettingTop10 that give all the information you need plus the current special deals and free bonuses currently on offer.

If you ask me I have faith in Arsenal finishing 4th this season, only just though by the skin of their teeth! I can see some final day drama going on with that final Champions League spot!

Why Arsenal Might Be In Big Trouble After Signing Aubameyang

So yesterday marked the official confirmation of one of the worst kept secrets in transfer history, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arrived at Arsenal to join ex-Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the club.

In terms of outgoings, we sadly saw Olivier Giroud move to Chelsea in a bittersweet move – he was “an Arsenal man” as Arsene put it and it’ll be strange to see him at Chelsea. I’m not convinced he’ll see more playing time their either than he did at Arsenal but we’ll wait and see.

So once the dust has settled the fact is this. We’ve got Alexandre Lacazette who cost in excess of £50 million and brought in similar player in Aubameyang, for slightly more.

So where is Arsene Wenger going to play them?

Added to the fact we have Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, we have an extremely lopsided team. And Arsene won’t change his philosophy and play 2 strikers will he?

If those four players are in the starting lineup then that only leaves 2 midfield spots – one which will go to Granit Xhaka who needs at least a couple of players next to him to carry the defensive burden and he won’t get that as he’ll be next to one of Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey.

Has Arsene Wenger lost the plot?

And added to this, where is our Plan B now?

By getting rid of Olivier Giroud we have no Plan B, no alternative when Plan A doesn’t work. What are we supposed to do now if we can’t break a team down or we’re losing a match?

We can’t bring on our super sub now can we?

Spending money usually excites the fans, and with good reason, but this January window reeks of desperation and I’m not convinced things are going to get better before they get worse…

Thank You For The Memories, Alexis…

So it’s official, Alexis Sanchez has joined Manchester United while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has gone the other way in a straight swap deal.

He joined in the summer of 2014 and was our second biggest “marquee signing” after Mesut Özil the season before.

A lot of Arsenal fans will have negative feelings towards the Chilean forward but for me I can’t help but love him. Over the last few seasons, he is one of the very few players (perhaps the only one) who gave 110% every single time he put on the Arsenal shirt. He was a winner, someone who thought giving everything was the bare minimum and demanded the same from his teammates. And while his winning mentality was a hit with the fans, it didn’t go down so well with his fellow players.

The problem was that Alexis Sanchez was at a team with serious deficiencies and while there were rumours of dressing room unrest, he just displayed how the fans felt. Like him, we were sick of the mediocre performances from certain other players and the fact that we would make the same defensive errors time and time again. While it’s never good to show the world your anger and distain for how things are on the football pitch, there must have been a point where Alexis Sanchez thought enough is enough and just snapped – hence the theatrics at Bayern Munich.

Arsenal are a club where harmony is encouraged and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it encourages a lack of winning mentality or seriousness because no-one wants to rock the boat. But that’s the problem with Arsenal these days and why we’re stuck in a rut.

Do you think Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Sol Campbell would settle for the lack of effort and desire from the players? The problem wasn’t Alexis Sanchez, but the Arsenal team he joined. If he arrived at Arsenal 10 years earlier he would have fit right in – and probably won a hat full of trophies.

On departing, Alexis Sanchez gave the following statement on Instagram:

“Gracias por todo Gunners ! I want to say thanks to the Technical Staff, to the medical team and all teammates with whom I shared many nice things for the club and especially those people who do not see themselves on the covers, but without them nothing would be possible, which are there to prepare food for us and take care of us day by day, those who keep our shoes clean and the grass in the best conditions. Many thanks to you for helping us to improve every day. Thank you very much ????.

“There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage. I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.
I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn.

“Thanks for everything Gunners! All we achieved and the good moments that I gave to the club, I want to dedicate it to the fans, they are the most important. Thanks for every time you sing Alexis Sanchez Baby.”

And can you blame him for leaving? Forget about the fact he turned down Manchester City (or they pulled out of the race) the fact is both Manchester sides have a much better chance of winning anything compared to Arsenal, whatever the massive wages he’s on.

Robert Pires even said today that he thinks that Alexis Sanchez’s move to United wasn’t motivated by money but by the desire to win things. Jose Mourinho is a serial winner and won’t tolerate the kinds of mistakes we seem to make on a regular basis.

For me, Alexis Sanchez was sensational for us and seeing him in a Manchester United shirt hurts more than seeing Robin van Persie in one. Van Persie was a sign of the times when we struggled financially, selling off players like Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in those years, yet this one stings because we don’t have money problems. Financially, we can compete but players want more than that – players want to win trophies and sadly, it’s clear that isn’t happening at Arsenal.

I wish him all the best, even though it will be so sad to see him in the red of Manchester.

Arsenal Won’t Sign Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan or Malcom

The January transfer window is well and truly underway and it looks increasingly likely that Arsenal will lose Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United. But then again who knows as Arsenal have a habit of mucking up transfer deals and will probably just lose Sanchez in the summer instead for nothing.

Theo Walcott looks like he’s moving to Everton, and we’ve already sold Francis Coquelin to Valencia. So what about incoming transfers?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock we’ve been linked with several high profile names, including Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Malcom.

Depending on which “reports” you’ve read and seen, we are apparently “confident” in bringing in Aubameyang and Malcom, while the Mkhitaryan deal is muddying the waters because of his high wages.

Before you waste any more time on worrying or hoping about Arsenal’s transfer dealings, let me save you the trouble:

Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t be joining Arsenal for several reasons. Firstly he’s on mega money at Manchester United. And secondly his agent is Raiola who is notorious in only getting his players the absolute best deals, usually with the richest clubs in the world (PSG, Manchester United, Real Madrid, etc.) and we’re not in that bracket. He would want something stupid like a £5 million ‘agents fee’ to see the deal go through so that’s no happening.

Then we come to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal seem to think somewhere in the region of £55 million would be enough for Borussia Dortmund to sell but they’re not exactly skint after selling Dembele and Mkhitaryan in recent seasons.

And then finally, there’s Malcom:

To me, it’s all just a smoke screen from Arsenal to hide the fact we’ve been playing absolutely shite recently and to appease the fans.

The bottom line is that Arsenal are probably a”making enquiries” but ultimately they’ll be unsuccessful.

Can anyone remember Luis Suarez? Gonzalo Higuain? N’Golo KAnte? Xabi Alonso?

The list goes on and on.


And just to add to the “complications”…