Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Swansea on Tuesday night has become rather familiar now to anybody who has watched the Gunners on a regular basis in the last few years.
They simply never turned up and were simply beaten by a team who were far more committed and wanted the win more. Arsenal headed to south Wales expecting to win the game, but the improving Swans had other ideas.
It took a costly error by Petr Cech to give the home side initiative in the second half. However, it would be hard to say that Arsenal bossed the game at any point of the clash really.
Defensive lapses cost Arsenal again
Arsenal have a tendency to switch off at the back, especially away from home where they do not dominate possession as much as at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners defending was poor for all three Swansea goals.
However, even goalkeeper Petr Cech decided to get in on the act last night, by gifting the Welsh side their second goal. The experienced Czech ‘keeper could not have given the Swans more of a helping hand or foot really.
Arsenal does need to strengthen in defensive areas. However, that will likely have to wait until the summer, as time is running out in the winter transfer window.
Good signings in January
I do not think that Arsenal fans can complain about the signings of playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Both players are quality-attacking players.
Losing Alexis Sanchez’s talent was always going to be difficult. However, the replacements that have arrived could be very useful additions to the Arsenal squad.
Aubameyang is without a doubt a top striker and should add pace and a composure in front of goal. The pair are definitely upgrades on Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, although completely different players.
A tough task to finish in the top-four
Arsene Wenger’s side now see themselves eight points behind Liverpool, who are fourth-place in the table. The Gunners are currently odds of 12/1 to claim a Champions League spot this season.
Even the additions of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan are unlikely to be enough for Arsenal to return to the top-four.
The Gunners have been unconvincing at times this season. Unless there are major changes at the club in the summer, it is hard to see the men from north London returning to the top-four anytime soon. I believed that the recent positive results against Crystal Palace and Chelsea might be the start of a revival for the Gunners. Unfortunately, I was wrong and Tuesday night Arsenal reverted to type.
Can Arsenal still finish in the top-four?