As we all now know, Arsenal suffered a 4-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Europa League final on Wednesday night in Baku. After a relatively even first half, Chelsea took control of the game and was difficult to argue with the scoreline in the end.
After the disappointing defeat, Gunners boss Unai Emery is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “Our idea is to continue to carry on and improve with the young players that have arrived,”
“Maybe some players need to leave but it’s not the moment to speak about that.”
Ozil one of the underwhelming performers
As one of my colleagues has already written about, German playmaker Mesut Ozil was one almost invisible for the Gunners against the Blues. The former Real Madrid player is often unfairly singled out.
However, he is a high earning player, who is regarded as a big player for Arsenal. When the Gunners needed him, he failed to produce anything at all. The comparison between Ozil and Chelsea’s main man Eden Hazard reveals one player who played a vital part in the victory and another who played no part in the game.
It was yet more evidence that Mesut Ozil is never likely to become the sort of influential player he once was at Real Madrid. He is certainly nowhere near justifying his massive wage packet.
Has the team made progress this season?
Looking at the season as a whole, it’s difficult to tell if the Gunners have made progress or not. They finished fewer points behind the top-four and got to the Europa League final instead of the semi-final like last year.
However, they also threw away a great position in the race for the Champions League spots. There are just too many players that are simply not good enough for the starting eleven.
A difficult summer ahead
I have to say I do not blame Unai Emery for the Gunners current situation, well not solely. The club hierarchy has failed to back the Spaniard and to a certain extent predecessor Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners have once again missed out on the Champions League for next season, which means another meagre transfer budget for Emery to work with this summer. Arsenal are odds of 11/10 to make the top-four next season, sixth favourites to make Europe’s elite competition.
The club from north London needs to be careful that they do not slip even further down the pecking order in the top-flight, with the likes of Everton and Wolves looking set to strengthen their squads this summer.
Which players should leave Arsenal this summer?