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    Where Do Arsenal Go From Here?


    The last few weeks have been difficult ones for everyone associated with Arsenal football club, with some poor results and embarrassing performances, and many are now asking how the club can go forward in the coming weeks?

    The last several weeks have seen a toxic atmosphere increasingly surrounding the North London club. Manager Arsene Wenger has received an increasing amount of criticism from fans after some poor performances and defeats in key games. In recent weeks the club have lost 3-1 each to top four rivals Liverpool and more embarrassingly last weekend against mid-table West Brom. The club have also been humiliated in the Champions League round of 16 with a 10-2 defeat at the hands of German champions Bayern Munich.

    With so much unrest amongst the fans and performances looking poor on the pitch, the club are in a very difficult position right now. Manager Wenger is also still in the process of deciding his future with the club offering him a new contract, however he is still non-committal on his future. With a decision not likely in the next few weeks the club are currently in a process of stagnation, with a lot of uncertainty for next season.

    Along with speculation mounting over the future of Wenger, the club has a difficult decision to make over the futures of star players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Both are out of contract next summer and with a stalemate with both players at the present moment, the board and manager need to make an important choice between cashing in on them this summer or attempting to entice them into signing new contracts next year.

    Whilst the headlines surrounding the club are based largely on what is going on off the pitch, more attention needs to be focused on the players performances on the pitch. Last weekend's defeat to West Brom was particularly galling for fans, with the team being undone twice by set piece play from a team renowned for being strong at set pieces.

    The players have not been playing anywhere near their best for the last month or so and the club are now in a precarious position, sitting sixth in the Premier League table, six points behind fourth placed Liverpool, although they do have two games in hand. In their remaining fixtures the team still have to face both Manchester City and Manchester United at home and bitter rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

    With the way the team has been performing recently they will find these crucial games very tough to gain points from, with bad results in these three games likely spelling the end of any hopes of a 22nd consecutive season of Champions League football. It's unclear whether the future of Wenger may affect the teams performances, either positively or negatively.

    The apparent problems can also be attributed upstairs. It's unfair that Wenger is receiving most of the blame, as the board are seemingly happy to accept the status quo as the team remain stagnant and stale. They seem to accept a top four finish every season and a Champions League round of 16 exit, and this lack of ambition or seeming pressure on Wenger to improve on this will likely contribute to their current predicament.

    Last season Arsenal were arguably very lucky to finish second in the league, with a late Tottenham capitulation the biggest factor behind them pipping them for runner up on the final day of the season. This late resurgence helped paper over the cracks of another difficult season in which despite a lot of their major rivals faltering, the club were still not able to capitalise on this to mount a serious title challenge.

    With so much uncertainty surrounding the club it makes an much needed upturn in form that much harder. The outside perception is that the board are not taking any initive with Wenger and are allowing him to make the decision, leaving the club in the balance. Within the Premier League it's hard to imagine another top six club allowing this situation to occur.

    From the managers perspective he has not covered himself in glory in recent years with the club seemingly becoming specialists in being a club that is there or there abouts, without ever seriously challenging for major domestic and European honours. At points some pundits and fans have questioned his current effectiveness, and whether he can still earn major success at Arsenal. Whether this is true or not is unknown although with each passing season of stagnation it becomes more and more likely that the doubters will be proved right.

    The players also have to step up their performances if the club are to improve on sixth, with squad having more than enough quality to finish higher than this by the end of the season. At times this season their capitulations have been tough for fans to swallow, with many players failing to seemingly step up and claim responsibility along with an overall lack of leadership in the team which has severely hampered them this season.

    From the outside it seems obvious what the current issues Arsenal face, yet its hard to see how the club can turn it around in these later stages of the season. The team and manager have been questioned in recent weeks, and their response will be telling as to the future of the club in the coming seasons. A poor finish to the season may spell the end for Wenger and some of the key players, whereas a strong finish could maintain the status quo or even seen an improvement come next season. Anyone wanna predict which way it will go?

    Any thoughts on how Arsenal will fare the rest of this season? Feel free to comment below and thank you for reading!

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    Item Reviewed: Where Do Arsenal Go From Here? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jordan Wilkins
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