There was a sense of déjà vu about Arsenal’s defeat by Tottenham at the weekend. Not in the sense of losing to Spurs as that hasn’t happened too often under Arsene Wenger. But in the sense that it is reminiscent of the situation 12 months ago. It wasn’t the way Wenger would have wanted to mark his 700th Premier League game as Arsenal manager. Losing 2-1 at White Hart Lane, especially after being in front at half-time, has again led to fears that Arsenal are in danger of missing out on qualification for next season’s Champions League. That finishing in the top four is the target when we’re only just into February is clearly a disappointment after at least being involved in the title race for the opening months of last season. A 14-point gap to Chelsea isn’t going to be bridged in the next three months is it? And it is understandable why there is annoyance, even anger, when making the Champions League again is what will be classed as a successful season. The parallels with this time of year last season are drawn with Arsenal losing 5-1 at Liverpool the week before the FA Cup fifth round, which was a similarly demoralising and depressing defeat as Saturday’s was at Spurs. But Arsenal recovered from that setback to subsequently knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup before going on to beat Hull City in the final. Wenger also ensured Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for the 17th consecutive year. An FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Middlesbrough offers a great opportunity to reach the quarter-finals and Arsenal could easily end the week back inside the top four. So, come the end of May, there could be a repeat of the 2013/14 season, with Arsenal finishing in fourth place and winners of the FA Cup. But, it is this perpetual feeling of Groundhog Day which is the source of such discontent when it comes to talk about Wenger and Arsenal’s future, and what is the ultimate ambition. Wenger never wavers in his belief that Arsenal will finish in the top four. Meanwhile, the odds have Arsenal as 4/9 to finish in the Premier League’s top four. Yet the fans demand more than that. There is a desire, a desperation even, to see a sustained assault on the title, which hasn’t been won since 2004. That only three clubs have won the league since then, and those are the three with the biggest resources, is of little consequence. It always seems a case of one step forward, and then one step back, over and over again. The promise and potential is there, the footballing talent is unquestionable, but the character and bull-by-the-horns leadership of past greats like Adams and Vieira always seems to be out of reach. Sure, the game has moved on since Adams and Vieira were leading Arsenal’s charge for honours. But there is always the need for players of that ilk. It is hard to see Arsenal’s seemingly pre-determined seasonal destiny changing until that issue is addressed. Still, would finishing fourth at the expense of Spurs make up for failing to challenge for the title?
Arsene Wenger’s swoop for highly-rated Legia Warsaw midfielder Krystian Bielik will be welcomed by the Arsenal fans, who are keen to see the squad bolstered ahead of a tough second half of the season. At just 17-years-old, however, Bielik is one for the future and has made just five starts for his club this season. If he does make the move to the Emirates, he looks unlikely to break straight into the first team and dislodge the likes of Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey just yet. If Arsenal are to progress in the Champions League or to.
Arsene Wenger has been great for Arsenal since being appointed 18 years ago but his time is up. Two wins out of eight and 11 points behind unbeaten Chelsea already is not where the Gunners should be. Saturday’s scrambled 2-2 draw against a modest team like Hull City showed off all the current team’s fallibilities. Yes, there are injuries to key players, but the root of the problem is Wenger himself and he should walk away now for the good of the club. Transfer policy It hasn’t been right for several years but this summer’s policy was pr
Arsenal fought hard to get Hector Bellerin out of Barcelona – with Arsene Wenger a huge fan of his ability. Bellerin was a winger who sometimes played up front when Arsenal grabbed him, but now he is a right back; and a great one at that. Speed, technique and excellent crossing ability – Bellerin has all those qualities but has now added some defensive steel to that. He’s bulked up and improved so much, now he just needs the chance to show it. He got a chance against Hull City and now he needs more. Bellerin is a super talent and will onl
Class: Mesut Ozil
Three reasons why Arsenal can cope without Mesut Ozil Mesut Ozil has been ruled out of action until probably the new year and, while the news is a blow to boss Arsene Wenger, there is no need for Arsenal fans to panic. Here we look at three good reasons why losing the German star for a while might not be such a bad thing. 1. It means others will step up Ozil’s absence means there is a regular starting role at the Emirates up for grabs – and there are no shortage of players ready to step into the void. Ozil has started six games so far this
Although all eyes have been on a wonderful 2014 World Cup packed with high quality, end-to-end football, every Premier League are working hard behind the scenes to prepare themselves for the upcoming 2014/2015 season. It could be an important summer for Arsenal who came so close to winning the title last season, but ultimately lacked the quality and durability to sustain their dominance at the summit. Arsene Wenger has often came under criticism for failing to be active in the transfer market and address Arsenal’s problems, with injuries and
The 2014 World Cup will provide many of Arsenal’s stars with the opportunity to represent their country with pride and hopefully return to the Emirates with a winner’s medal around their neck. Playing at the most prestigious tournament in world football is an honour for any footballer, and is the pinnacle of their career to wear the national shirt and perform on the biggest stage. Winning the FA Cup not only ended an agonising 9-year wait for silverware, but will also provide a massive confidence boost for the players who have been called u
Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata in recent weeks, with the forward apparently a long-term target for Arsene Wenger. Madrid think Morata is a big player for the future, despite all the odds, he has not been a regular player for their first-team - and a transfer away in the coming months looks all but certain. But with Arsenal believed to be his number one choice when he leaves the La Liga club - should Wenger bring him to the Emirates Stadium?
On-loan Arsenal youngster Joel Campbell has admitted he is desperate to make his mark with the Premier League club despite his goal-scoring heroics for Olympiakos against Manchester United. The Costa Rican youngster scored a sensational second goal for the Greek side in their Champions League last-16 first leg against Manchester United to shock the Betfair odds, but the young forward wasted little time in admitting he is hoping his form for Olympiakos is enough to catch Wenger’s eye. The Costa Rica international is playing in his third loan