Arsenal has a reputation for failing to show up in big games. Saturday’s north London derby 1-0 defeat by Tottenham was a prime example. Yet, the previous week the Gunners smashed Everton 5-1 at home. The two results suggest that Arsene Wenger’s team are just track bullies.
Good enough to a point
For me, until the January transfer window, it felt like the quality of the Arsenal squad was deteriorating. The signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were good signings.
However, the standard of the rest of the Arsenal squad is questionable. They are good enough to see off an Everton team that virtual showed up just to make the numbers up, but when Wenger’s side played a decent Spurs side they folded.
No doubt Arsenal will probably have enough quality to see-off Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League, but once they face an Atletico Madrid or Dortmund they will probably collapse, especially as Aubameyang is ineligible to play in the competition.
My point is that top players shine in the big games and that is why they are classed as top players. There are very few class players in the current Arsenal team. How many Arsenal players could get in the Manchester City team, for example, my answer would be none probably.
Struggle to get into the top-four
In seasons gone by, Arsenal fans expectations were to challenge for the Premier League title. However, those expectations of the fans are lower due to last season’s fifth-place finish and a major improvement in their rival’s results.
The sad truth at the minute is that the current Arsenal team are not one of the best four teams in the English top-flight. They are better than the Leicester’s, Burnley’s and Everton’s, but they are nowhere near the same level as Manchester City for example.
Wenger and Arsenal left behind
Arsene Wenger is a legendary boss and will always be remembered for his first decade in charge. However, football changes and the best bosses in the world change with it. Unfortunately, Wenger has not moved with the times.
The veteran French boss must see that his team lacks quality and just steel. It is fine beating inferior teams. However, if you suffer poor results in the big games that matter, those results against the inferior teams matter little.
For me, Arsenal will continue to pick up big wins at home against poor teams and nothing will change, as they will still be poor against the better opposition at home and abroad.
Are Arsenal now just flat track bullies?