You can’t say it hasn’t been coming for Arsenal that their great North London rivals Tottenham will finish ahead of them for the first time in 22 years.
I see them bettering The Gunners for many seasons to come as they are by far a more solid and settled side.
Arsenal really need to look at every single position this summer to change their fortunes. There’s not one particular area they need to fix, they have to strengthen everywhere!
The goalkeeper and defence need help, the jury is still out on Granit Xhaka in midfield, and then you need to ask if they’ve got enough firepower going forward. Who have they got beside Alexis Sánchez to score goals?
Every department at the club needs an overhaul, especially their scouting because it hasn’t been the same since Liam Brady left the club three years ago.
No stone should be left unturned in terms of player recruitment. The whole system needs a review, starting with the manager Arsene Wenger and working its way down.
The Mesut Ozil problem
Mesut Ozil’s performances have been questioned. He’s never been a player to perform over the entire season and when he’s on, Ozil is as good to watch as any top player. However, there’s definitely games where he hasn’t offered enough at all. A player like him should be creating two or three chances a match – even on an off day.
You know what you get with Ozil as a valuable player to Arsenal, but does he do it in the big games often enough? Probably not…
I don’t believe he deserves a reported £300,000-a-week contract extension, in fact, no player in that entire Gunners squad is worth that kind of money. I would offer Ozil a new deal at Arsenal though, but only on the right terms. I’d make the offer performance related because it should act as a motivation tool.
If his contributions see Arsenal finish in the top four next season or even emerge as Premier League champions then no one will have a problem with him earning top dollar.
However, I have my doubts about Alexis Sanchez as well. Since his contract talks broke down a few months ago, I don’t believe he’s been the same player.
He’s more reliable than Ozil, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying Sanchez has outshone him.
I have questions about the Chilean’s attitude because if you look at the way The Gunners have fallen apart in games – especially against Bayern Munich – it’s a collective thing. You can’t just blame one player for it all.
Arsenal’s future plans won’t be helped by not making it into the Champions League places, they’ve never spent massively and without a spot in Europe’s premier competition, that’s another £20 or £30 million in revenue gone.
They’ll be forced to pay way over the odds just to attract the bigger players if they’ve no Champions League football.
Welcoming the Red Devils
Sunday’s game against Manchester United is the last chance saloon for both clubs to get into the Champions League via their Premier League position.
Liverpool had a great result last Monday at Watford capitalising on the chasing pack’s mistakes. So it’s win-or-bust for both.
United have some many games to come and a lot of injuries piling up, so I’m picking Arsenal to win this one.