Wither Arsenal? by Soni Gold

Wither Arsenal? by Soni Gold
March 08 19:45 2019 Print This Article

It is the business end of the season. A time when all the hard work since August the previous year begin to produce trophies or dissipate into nothingness. For many years, in the Wenger era, February-March, the home stretch of the marathon called the English Premier League have always revealed Arsenal as title pretenders and not contenders. The 2018/19 season, Unai Emery’ first season in charge of Arsenal is threatening to follow the familiar path.

A 1-3 away loss to unfancied Rennes of France in the Europa Cup competition means that Arsenal must win by 2-0 margin at the Emirate Stadium, in the reverse fixture to advance. Anything less than that is unthinkable for the teeming Arsenal fans, yet that is an uncomfortable possibility. Before that, Arsenal on Sunday, 10th March, takes on a Man United team that is riding high, fresh from its miraculous 1-3 away defeat of a better equipped Paris Saint-Germain side.

A loss for Arsenal means that the quest for a fourth place finish- guarantee for Champions League place is fading. In all, Arsenal’s season- quest for trophy and Champions League place could be effectively over in 7days. All that would be left is the resolve to finish in 5th or 6th place that guarantees Europa League place and unending inquest of what went wrong.

Can Arsenal avoid these ugly permutations and achieve their set objectives for the season- win the Europa League Cup and finish fourth in the EPL? Yes they can.

At the moment it is still very much within their grasp but Arsenal are Arsenal as we saw on Saturday when they threw away the opportunity to close the gap on their bitter rivals THFC, throwing away a last minute penalty that would have kept Man United and the chasing packs at bay. Instead they are left to rue what could have been.

The players and their manager must quickly put aside the defeat in France, close ranks and focus on defeating Man United. It will be a difficult and daunting task considering that Man United knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup 1-3 at the Emirate Stadium about a month ago.

The mood in the Red Devils camp is very positive and will require a monumental effort to knock them off their high pedestal. Does Arsenal have the players to prosecute the war on the pitch? Yes, but they also have a few soldiers with clay feet in their ranks – Stefan Lichsteiner & Mustafi vying for the king of blunders title.

Unai Emery must get his selection, approach and motivation right. Hopefully, David DeGea will not be in usual unconquerable mood as we witnessed against Arsenal last season at the Emirate stadium and against THFC at Wembley Stadium this season!

Should Arsenal capitulate and wither, the 22 match unbeaten run earlier in the season, long forgotten would mean nothing and fans would be baying for Unai Emery’s blood. Would the club keep him given that scenario? As they say, failure is an orphan.

Soni Gold is a Football Enthusiast and an Arsenal fan
Follow him on @hoch-zeit1607

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1 Comment

  1. Readme
    March 18, 17:15 #1 Readme

    I believe arsenal can actually make it to top four this season..the team spirit is high

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