After ending last season spectacularly with the FA Cup victory, there were high hopes amongst Arsenal supporters that Mikel Artetacould lead the club to success this time around. However, this season’s performance has been lacking all around the club,with Champion’s League football next season looking increasingly unlikely.
Where are Arsenal currently on the table?
With just eight games left to play this season, Arsenal is currently eleventh in the premier league table. The club is twelve points away from a Champions League place and is closer in points to the bottom of the table Sheffield United than Manchester City at the top.
The club’s performance has been lacking throughout this season. In a worrying start to the campaign, they lost four of their opening nine league games and failed to fight for the top spots ever since.
The lowest point for the club this season was arguably their 4-1 League Cup defeat to Manchester City,which became their 7th consecutive domestic game without a victory.
Who is at fault for Arsenal’s poor performance this season?
Senior Arsenal players are reportedly tired of being blamed for the club’spoor results this season. Manager Mikel Arteta has been making it seem as though the players are responsible for the club’s decline this season, much to the dismay of those in the dressing room.
It has been alleged that Arteta has a habit of giving the impression that individuals are to blame for disappointing results by leaving them off the teamsheet for the next game. An example of this is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being benched for this weeks’ Slavia Prague game.
Arsenal’s domestic performance is so poor this season. Unsurprisingly, there have been many calls for the manager to be sacked – such is the nature of premier league football.
However, Arsenal players have also received criticism from pundits and former players this season. Emmanuel Petit stated this week that some senior Arsenal players act like they are on ‘vacation’.
Another former Arsenal player, Martin Keown, recently commented that the club is“Not proactive in games, they need someone to slap them or punch them in the face before they wake up and start to play”.
Is there any hope left for Arsenal this season?
After being knocked out of both domestic cup tournaments this season, the Europa League is Arsenal’s only remaining hope. Should they win this tournament, they will secure a place in the Champion’s League next season.
However, the club gave a poor performance this week in the quarter-final match against Slavia Prague. The team conceded an away goal in stoppage time to deny them victory. Following the game, manager Arteta’s tactics were criticised, having waited until the 75th minute to make four changes.
Is it time for a new manager?
Despite Arsenal’s poor performance this season, fans have generally been supportive of the manager until now – but patience is running out. With the Europa League keeping a route open to the Champion’s League, all is not yet lost. If the club crashes out of the Europa League, it is unlikely the fans will stay on Arteta’s side for long.
According to football correspondent David Ornstein, those in charge at the club don’t think it’s time for management change just yet. According to Ornstein, Arsenal hopes Arteta’s squad will improve over time.
In a statement to Sky SportsNews, he said: “I think Arsenal have a lot of work to do in the transfer market, they have some expiring contracts, David Luiz this summer and AlexandreLacazette the summer after. They need to get the decisions right; the time and patience are running out”.