For the first time in 20 odd years, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have failed to finish in the Top 4 of the English Premier League last season, and consequently will miss out on Champions League football. Not that UEFA Champions League action was anything really to look forward if one is a Gunners supporter, as last year one witnessed the seventh successive Arsenal exit in the Last 16 Stage of the competition. Only this time it was marked with the epic home and away losses incurred against Bayern Munich, which tallied up to an aggregate score of a record breaking 2-10 Bayern smashing. All this was happening against a backdrop of ever louder cries from supporters asking Wenger to leave, player injuries and rumors of player discontent; most notably Alexis Sanchez.
Now as the new 2017/2018 Premier League season approaches, the same question is being asked by Arsenal supporters and football commentators; which is, will Arsenal and Wenger finally come good this time.
Arsenal signings so far during the summer transfer window has been relatively quiet when compared to the other top clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. Wenger has made one signing so far, the French international Alexandre Lacazette for a fee of £52 million from Lyon.
Gunner fans will be pleased with this purchase, as no one doubts this player’s ability to score goals, however, anyone reviewing Arsenal’s performance last season will agree that scoring goals was not the issue, with the team netting a total of 77 goals in the Premier League. The obvious problem faced by the team and Wenger has been their inability to defend, as they conceded 44 goals; and many times looked totally lost at the back.
Looking back over the years, Wenger has always been hesitant to sign players, which probably means that Alexandre will most likely be Arsenal’s only major signing this summer. More often than not, one only needs to look at how any of the reputable bookmakers, like Sportingbet, view the situation. Right now Arsenal is 11/1 to win the Premier League; with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all deemed to have a better chance of winning the title compared to the North London club.
This view held by bookmakers and quite a huge number of fans, that Arsenal is simply not good enough to successfully endure a 38 game EPL campaign; has been reinforced by Arsene’s stubbornness of not buying additional experienced players to strengthen the overall squad. It is a no brainer that the club needs at the very least two players, a holding midfield player similar to Vieira, and an accomplished centre half to further strengthen the defensive line.
Furthermore, Wenger’s attitude has not changed, in spite of last season’s disappointing end and the ever-aggressive signings by other teams throughout the EPL, most notably the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
Therefore, regrettably Arsenal fans are probably going to have to endure another season of aiming for a Top 4 finish, inconsistency and more chants of ‘Wexit’ by an ever-growing number of fans.