This season really is quite a strange one. It is amazing how in just two games Arsenal have not only lost out on challenging for the Premier League crown, but also find themselves fighting for the fourth spot with Everton, who, having played a game less than Arsenal, are just six points behind (Even Tottenham are just seven behind).
Considering how bad this month has been for Arsenal and the fact that Arsenal are to play Manchester City and Everton, these are worrying times for the Gunners.
It seems the "same old" story for Arsenal has repeated itself yet again. After such a promising start it finally seems like they have blown it yet again.
There were always many questions being asked of Arsenal's credentials from the start of the season but somehow, they managed to hang on. Not any longer though.
Although I had mentioned in my previous articles that Arsenal are realistically only going to win the FA cup this season, the manner in which Arsenal lost out on the title race may impact their FA Cup run as well. The fact that no "big team" remain in the competition apart from Arsenal themselves will be a huge advantage though.
Doubts are creeping into the minds of the Arsenal players, it seems, and this would be the ideal time for any team to play them, especially if it is a less heralded team because they have nothing to lose. Arsenal really have to pull together here, before it gets worse for them.
One can look at many weak links in this Arsenal team, but to me, it has undoubtedly been their "return" to calamitous defending and playing too open a game. We had seen, mainly in the earlier parts of the season at least, an Arsenal side that was very resilient in defending as a team and quite effective in attack as well. Arsenal had conceded the least in the league for quite a while and they had the most clean sheets as well.
But that seems a long time ago now. Arsenal have now conceded 36 goals which is two less than 3rd placed Liverpool (who have scored 27 goals more than Arsenal) and six more than 5th placed Everton.
Some would say Arsenal are still mathematically in it. But, I think having seen how Arsenal have fared and how the other rivals have fared, it is only fair to assess that securing 4th is the more realistic option now. Not to mention, winning the FA Cup. That is the least that the frustrated fans of Arsenal expect now.
And while all of this is going on, Arsene Wenger has kept quiet about signing a contract which ends at the end of this season. He has so far dodged questions regarding the contract situation by claiming he will assess it based on how the season goes.
The fact that Arsenal have been shown yet again how far they have been left behind by their title rivals and the fact that Arsene has not prolonged the signing of his contract during the whole of his reign only points to a hidden "message".
Article by Subesh Bhattarai
Calling all Arsenal fans: Do you think the past few games will convince Wenger to walk away at the end of the season or do you think that he deserves another two seasons with money to spend to regain the Premier League title? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.
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