Another home game and another disappointing outcome, that is three home games on the bounce that Arsenal have failed to score and ended any outside chance of spoiling the party for Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester City who have now secured second place in the Premier League
Arsenal had chances and as expected a whole lot of possession but what use is possession when you are camped outside your opponents penalty area for large parts of the game just passing square with no real intent to penetrate their back four. Sunderland limited Arsenal to very few clear cut chances and what Arsenal did create they were met by a more than capable keeper in Costel Pantilimon.
From an Arsenal fan perspective the last three games have been nowhere near good enough for there to be any shred of truth in the following words “title contention”, 64 shots in the last 3 home games and no goals to show for it and that is abysmal. Were it not for a deflected Theo Walcott effort away at Man Utd on Sunday and it could of spelled fourth place again.
Speaking of Walcott I would love to know what is going through Wenger’s head right now, Walcott clearly wants to stay but like any footballer he wants to feel valued so I really don’t understand what he has to do to regain his place. He was integral to the point gained at Old Trafford and improved Arsenal tenfold when he came on last night, one criticism could be that he should have scored again last night.
For huge parts of yesterday evening Arsenal were void of any width and it was impossible to tell what the game plan was or if there even was one, Wilshere and Ramsey both taking turns to try and be a winger was frustrating at times and was verging on the comical. Then Alexis was cutting in from the left too much. You ended up with Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil and Sanchez all around the “No.10” position.
If Wenger thinks his squad is good enough well I would have to disagree wholeheartedly and it showed yesterday, no Coquelin means no defensive minded midfielder which also means gaps, were it not for Sunderland’s woeful finishing they could have won by two or three. Ospina and his back four were left exposed on numerous times which only highlighted this Arsenal squads shortcomings.
Only just one month ago there were shouts of second place and a FA cup win it is sure signs of progression, the way Arsenal have quite frankly limped into third is one of almost embarrassment. Were it not for teams around them failing catastrophically such as Man Utd who are in “transition” , Liverpool who are falling into oblivion and Tottenham well that shadow has never looked so comfortable, Wenger would find himself under a heap of pressure but that is not the case.
There has been no progression and anyone who thinks there is needs to wake up, Arsenal have finished third before and not gone on to build on it, everyone but Wenger can see what needs to be addressed but I would be massively surprised if he goes out in the Summer and does what is needed. Expect a third or fourth place next season at the maximum.
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