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What is Arsenal’s real fate in the near future?


The truth is that Arsenal's start to the season is not surprising at all. The Gunners are in seventh place in the Premier League table after defeating West Brom at home two to nil on Monday. But the result cannot take away the attention to what really matters, and that is the fact that Arsenal is ruled by intransigent front office members and a stubborn coach. Both parties are not willing to understand that the club needs a change from within, a change of course that was supposed to happen months ago, but it didn't, so we have this team and it is never-ending drama.

At the end of the 2015-2016 season we saw the impossible, Leicester City was crowned Premier League champion, and the Foxes defied all the odds in a season that was full of surprises. In fact, we are still on time to make a bold gamble on this year's surprise team, take advantage of the offers in to win big money with this season outcome.

Now, back to matters, Arsenal was supposed to be the biggest challenger to Ranieri's squad. In fact, Arsenal was the leader of the competition for several weeks, but several factors led to the Gunners demise.

The London club did not address their shortcomings in the transfer period, and then there was the excessive amounts of games that hampers big clubs, Arsenal had to play UEFA Champions League, League Cup, and the FA Cup as well. These factors contributed to the downfall of Arsene Wenger's team. This collapse was a costly one because it made the impossible a reality, and the Gunners missed their best chance in more than a decade to return to the elite of English football, such a wasted opportunity.

But this results did not keep the most optimistic Arsenal fans and analysts from predicting a great future for the club. But while they kept daydreaming, the clubs in Manchester were spending big money in transfers and bringing in elite players to compete against each other and the clubs in London not named Arsenal. Tottenham was doing its own thing with Mauricio Pochettino and their young generation of superstars, and Chelsea was putting all its chips in Antonio Conte's tactical genius.

Don't get us wrong, we know that Arsenal did invest, but there was always doubt the quality and the final impact of the signings, the forward spot was never addressed properly and Granit Xhaka never adapted to Arsenal. We all know the end result, Arsenal didn't qualify for the Champions League. This had severe consequences, because the team's superstars wanted out of the club and rightfully so. We are talking about the well-documented petitions of Alexis Sanchez, Hector Bellerin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Pérez to leave the club.

The club responded in an authoritarian manner and none of them were allowed to leave, a decision that will haunt them sooner than later. To bolster the squad Arsenal brought in Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac early in the transfer window. The Frenchman and the Serbian were the only important signings in spite of all of the rumours of big names arriving in London.

In the tactical aspect of the game, Arsene Wenger has kept using the 3-4- 3 formation that he imposed in the last stretch of the 2016-2017, but he doesn't have the players to execute those tactics. With Santi Cazorla gone, the defenders are the ones responsible for bringing the ball up front. The line of three in the back is formed by Laurent Koscielny, Mustafi, and Nacho Monreal, who isn't even a natural defender. The next phase of the game is executed by the central midfielders Xhaka and Ramsey, who are responsible for organizing the attacks and possessions, their mission is to get the ball to Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, who is especially dangerous because of his mobility.

A circumstance that is clearly affecting Arsenal in this start of the season is the poor play of Hector Bellerín, who does not seem to find his place in the new tactical scheme. He will have to get back into the form that caught the eye of the Spanish national team. Also Alexis Sanchez will have to take his game in this season to arrive at the World Cup in top form, well, Chile's national team has to qualify first, but we'll give them a pass on that one. The German superstar Mesut Ozil has been creating goal opportunities for his fellow strikers like always, so at least he has been a bright spot in the mess that is called Arsenal.

At the end of all this, the fact is that Arsenal is very far from to winning the Premier League title and every week that passes confirms the notion. Be it the front office, Arsene Wenger, or the player's desire to play for the Gunners, it is just not just working.

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Alexandre Lacazette, Arsene Wenger, Sead Kolasinac