No one can deny that this has been a poor season for Arsenal. Unrest in the squad and fan base has led to inconsistent performances all season, particularly away from home. This inconsistency is likely to see Arsenal falter to yet another season outside the top four.
Arsenal are currently on 45 points, with 27 games played, equalling 1.66 point per game. With this point record, the Gunners are on course to finish with 63 points.
In the last five seasons, 63 points would be enough to finish 7th, 6th, 6th, 8th and 6th. This does not bode well for the run in to the end of the season, although it makes sense considering our form this year.
Many fans thought that last season was the worst it could be, finishing 5th, albeit with a superb FA Cup win. However, last year Arsenal finished with 75 points, 6 points clear of Manchester United in 6th. This demonstrates the gulf between Arsenal last season and this year.
Without wanting to sound like a Liverpool fan, next year must be our year. This season must be considered a write off, in the Premier League at least. There is still a lot of continental football to be played and a League Cup final to look forward to, but unless the team makes top four, it is going to be considered a failure once more.
With new signings, and hopefully more players to be tied down onto longer contracts, the hope will be that Arsenal will enjoy a strong finish to this season, to be fully prepared to make a real effort next year.
Of course, winning the league may be a step too far. Man City this season are on course for 101 points, which would be a record tally by some distance, and unless there is a mass exodus of players in the summer, you have to assume that they will be excellent next season too.
Still Bouncing Back
But, what Arsenal fans want to see is a genuine title challenge. We have the manager, hopefully the players, and more and more backroom staff members to keep the team fit and hopefully consistent next season.
The smallest number of points between Top and Arsenal in a league season was 4 in 2007/08. On the 23rd of this month, it will be ten years to the day since Eduardo Da Silva’s leg was horrifically broken against Birmingham City. It would seem that Arsenal, as a club, never really recovered from that harrowing day.
As it stands, Arsenal are 27 points off the pace. This is not a vote of no confidence for the manager or players, but this is the first season in Arsene Wenger’s reign that Arsenal could be considered an average club. The important thing is to pick ourselves up through the rest of the season and over the summer to ensure that the league does not become a top 5, and Arsenal.