Arsenal had an excellent start to the season, and by the New Year after winning five games out of six they were right behind Leicester and looking like hot favourites to open up a gap on the chasing pack. Then in January the Gunners collapse began. Liverpool gained a last minute draw, Stoke held us to 0-0 and then Chelsea took all three points (as usual) but Arsenal were still in the title race due to our rivals also dropping points right, left and centre.
I am not trying to absolve Arsene Wenger of all the blame for what looks like being a most frustrating Premier League title challenge for Arsenal this season, as the unfancied Leicester seem to be the ones that will make the most of the poor performances of the usual suspects Man City, Chelsea and Man United, but you have to admit that the Frenchman has had some pretty rotten luck with injury problems once again, while Claudio Ranieri has been able to name his strongest 11 players in almost every match.
Strangely enough, Arsenal finally have a good day for our strikers with both Giroud and Walcott scoring twice each, but despite our clean sheet our defence now has even bigger problems for the crucial Premiership run-in.
Arsenal are on their worst losing run for six years with back to back defeats against Barcelona, Man United and now Swansea, all in the space of eight miserable days. This is supposed to be the time of the season when Wenger gets all his injured players back and everyone is on form, and the team goes on a scintillating run to finish in the top four.
If Arsenal fans were looking for any help as the struggling Gunners aim to get our Premier League title challenge going again, perhaps you will see the fact that Swansea City will be without their manager Francesco Guidolin as a good omen. He is not seriously ill but has been taken in with a chest infection.
Arsene Wenger mentioned the lack of fluency in English of the Arsenal and Brazil international defender Gabriel again this week, reported by the Evening Standard, after the centre back was widely lambasted in the football press for his part in the two goals of the young Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.
The first thing that would need to happen for Arsenal to be able to sign the Watford and Nigeria international star Odion Ighalo in the summer would be for Arsene Wenger to make the attempt, of course, and for the player and his current club to agree to make the deal.
It is very strange to think that Mikel Arteta is the current Arsenal captain, as he has hardly played for us in the last year (and when he has played…..) but the vice-captain Per Mertesacker has been standing in in his absence. Now next season Arteta is unlikely to be in the team because if Arsene Wenger gives him yet another one-year extension he will be pilloried by the fans.