Arsenal suffered what can only be described as a nightmare 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night. The relegation-threatened Eagles were simply too sharp and energetic for the Gunners. They wanted the win more.
Arsenal are now sixth place in the Premier League and seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City.
It is hard to see them coming back to claim a Champions League spot this season, having qualified for Europe’s elite competition for the last two decades.
Arsenal underperforming for the last decade
For Arsenal, it seems like a dire situation at the moment. As one of English football’s biggest clubs, they are vastly underperforming. This season has just been the norm really for the Gunners. Out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage once again and fighting for a top four position.
Even the prospect of winning the FA Cup is unlikely to satisfy the increasingly disgruntled Gunners fans. The notion that Arsenal are not competing with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City because of finance is highly ridiculous.
Leicester won the Premier League title on a small budget, while Tottenham continues to thrive under Mauricio Pochettino. The Gunners north London rivals look to be going places and they have not broken the bank.
The reason behind both teams perceived success has been shrewd signings and good management. Arsenal spent money in the summer, but their buys the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka have just not been great successes.
While at Chelsea, their summer signings N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso have been two of the most consistent players in the top-flight. The Blues pair cost less than the Arsenal duo.
Arsenal’s best players will leave
If I were Alexis Sanchez I would be looking at the situation and thinking the team is going backwards. Arsene Wenger is now hampering the club’s chances of success. Why should I stay here when I could move elsewhere and win trophies?
Could anybody blame the Chilean for leaving the Gunners this summer? No, because the team seems to be in a constant decline. The likes of Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil have not been in great form themselves. However, they will also likely be looking at the clubs situation, knowing they are likely to have options elsewhere.
It would be a major surprise if Sanchez stays at the north London club this summer. He is in the prime of his career and is wasting his time at Arsenal. What is the best he can do at Arsenal, win another FA Cup winners medal?
I doubt that will satisfy the former Barcelona star. The 28-year-old seems to have gone off the boil of late. Maybe his ankle injury is still affecting him, or maybe he has just given up completely because none of his teammates seems to be bothered or good enough to win football games.
Sanchez is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in the morning press. I don’t know if he will be at City next season. However, it would be a crime if he is still at Arsenal.
Won’t make the Champions League
It seems like Arsenal will not achieve their perennial place in the Champions League this season. The Gunners are odds of 13/2 to finish in the top four, so bookies believes it’s unlikely Arsene Wenger side will be playing in Europe’s elite competition next season.
I feel sorry for the Gunners fans in all of this. Yes, the Gunners have consistently qualified for the Champions League, but what about actually winning trophies. It seems everybody at the club apart from the fans has got complacent.
If the club gives Arsene Wenger a new contract it will only lead to more mediocrity. The Frenchman deserves major praise for his first decade at the north London club. Now, though, he is past his best, dining out on his first ten years in charge.
Loyalty is great. However, miss-placed loyalty only ends in tears. The Arsenal hierarchy have kept with Wenger because he has always brought them the pocket-lining Champions League football every season.
This summer was the perfect opportunity for Wenger to leave and retain at least some dignity. However, it seems the stubborn Frenchman is set to stay at the club.
Unfortunately for Arsenal that is likely to lead to the likes of Sanchez leaving the club. The lack of ambition from the Gunners hierarchy is staggering. It will only lead Arsenal falling further behind the teams that were once their rivals and losing any of their quality players.
Will Arsenal lose their star players this summer?
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