Arsenal are currently enduring their worst season in a decade in the Premier League. The fact that the Gunners are in the semi-finals of the Europa League should not distract from the state of the squad.
I said at the end of last season that the Gunners needed a squad overhaul. However, veteran boss Arsene Wenger hung on to his job after winning the FA Cup. With just one year left on his contract, I like many believe he should leave the club this summer.
Boss is responsible for the mentality
Some will say that Wenger is not on the pitch kicking the ball. However, Wenger is responsible for his team’s mentality when they go onto the pitch. He is also responsible for choosing and signing the players.
It seems that the club does not do much work on the prospective player’s mentalities. The fact that the Gunners have struggled away from home in recent seasons says it all about the player’s mental strength.
Top players from top teams dig in and grind out away results. The current set of Arsenal players seem to wilt under any sort of pressure.
Top bosses also instil belief and confidence in their players. It seems Wenger no longer has the ability to instil that said belief in his players, likely because he keeps burying his head in the sand when it comes to his team’s failings.
Few top players at Arsenal
You look at the Arsenal squad and there are very few players who people would describe as top players. January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be omitted from that, as for me, he is a very good player who would probably thrive in most club teams in Europe.
Beyond the Gabon international, there is very little. Mesut Ozil can be fantastic on his day but blows hot and cold. The same would go for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is one of the players you would not count on in a difficult away game.
In midfield, there are the likes of Granit Xhaka, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, who are all players who have talent. However, Xhaka is wildly inconsistent and the other two we are all waiting to sustain another injury to curtail decent runs in the team.
Hector Bellerin’s career seems to have stalled in the last 12 months. He is still relatively young and can improve. However, he has probably caught the mediocrity disease that has infested the Arsenal squad of late.
In short, Arsenal has a lot of work to do to even get back into the top-four, never mind the title race. If Arsene Wenger stays for another year, can anybody really see the team improving next season?