This season has often been billed as Arsenal’s best chance to end their Premier League drought. Arsenal fans haven’t seen their side finish on top of the table since their invincible season of 2003/04. Meaning failure to secure the title this season will mean it will have been twelve seasons since Arsenal last had their hands on the Premier League trophy all under the management of Arsene Wenger. In the last two seasons Arsenal supporters have at least had the consolation a trip to Wembley and success in the FA Cup. But that isn’t going to happen after yesterdays defeat to Watford in the quarter-finals.
Wednesday sees Arsenal travelling to Barcelona for the second-leg of their Champions League last sixteen tie. Wenger’s side face the impossible task of turning over a two deficit against the reigning Champions League holders after two goals from Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a 2-0 win at The Emirates. Exit from the Champions League seems inevitable for Arsenal and Wenger. Meaning surely only success in the Premier League title race will see Wenger still in the manager’s at Arsenal for the start of the 2016/17 season.
Arsenal currently sit eight points behind leaders Leicester City with both teams having nine games to play. Though before they can think about catching Leicester, Arsenal will have to catch North-London rivals Tottenham who are currently six points ahead of Arsenal having played a game more. Leicester City face Newcastle tonight and win for them will leave the Gunners 11 points behind the Foxes.
Yesterdays 2-1 defeat to Watford in the FA Cup seems to be the final straw for many Arsenal fans where Wenger is concerned. Despite beating Hull City 4-0 in the replay of the fifth round, some Arsenal fans held up a banner thanking Wenger for the memories but telling him it was time to go. Many questioned why they would do this when they were winning the game but if you watch the Arsenal TV fancams on YouTube you can see that many Arsenal fans feel that Wenger should walk away from the club while his reputation is in tact and also feel that he should have done so two or three years ago.
As a keen observer of the Premier League over the last ten years, I have always looked at Arsenal as a team that will be in and around the top four positions but will never be real challengers for the title. This season for has been no different. They always seem to put a run of results together but when it really matters they fall apart at the final few hurdles. It must feel like groundhog day for the supporters of Arsenal football club and you can understand their frustrations. They want their club to be challenging not only for the Premier League title but also fighting it out with Europe’s elite to crowned Champions League winner. Despite being in the competition season after season, Arsenal are never looked on as contenders to even reach a semi-final let alone a final.
In my humble opinion Arsenal will never win the Premier League title while Arsene Wenger is in charge. They play the pretty football and look easy on the eye but when it comes down to it they haven’t got the leaders and fighters that they used to have. The likes of Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Patrick Viera and Emmanuel Petit to name a few. In recent games, Arsenal have suffered defeats against a depleted Manchester United and a Swansea side sitting at the wrong end of the table. You get the impression that the Arsenal players are happy to go out and play pretty football and are not willing to go out and do whatever is necessary to win these crunch games that are the difference between being champions and finishing third or fourth.