Our club have struggled to keep tabs on Premier League leaders Leicester City since the turn of the year, and Tottenham secured a cushion between themselves and the chasing pack this weekend also. So why have Arsenal been left behind?
Some of you simply believe there is an easy answer to the question, with many wanting to blame Arsene Wenger for reasons A, B and Z. In some sense, the buck does have to end with the manager, but It would be naive to concentrate on what we cannot change however, and we must look at where we must improve to overtake the leading pair next season.
For me what has stood out for Leicester and Tottenham is their leading man, who have both notched up over 20 league goals each, and this is top of our list ahead of a busy transfer window. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has near-matched the goalscoring of the duo while his side sit in the bottom half of the table, so we cant stop analysing on this one point, although if Giroud and Walcott had continued their form of the early season, I have no doubt we would be topping the table at present.
One point which has rarely been mentioned is the fact that Leicester have not had to juggle European football, whilst exiting the FA Cup at the third round, and a similarly tame attempt at winning the Capitol One Cup, therefore keeping their players much fresher and fitter, and have gone relatively injury-free for the entire campaign because of it. Spurs of course entered the Europa League, but shuffled their squad players around heavily, and tamely gave up their assault on winning it when drawing Borussia Dortmund in the knockout rounds.
Our club on the other hand fought tooth and nail just to get past the group stages, having lost the opening two matches, had to scrap for three wins from the remaining four in order to qualify for the round of 16. This no doubt took a lot out of our players, and a number of injuries started to rack up.
I believe our European exploits did the damage on our overall fitness levels, as well as being mentally tough, and we lost a number of key players including Alexis, Coquelin, Cazorla and Ramsey at crucial points in the season.
Have we simply felt the dues of a tough European campaign? Do you think we are simply a top striker away from greatness?