Is our midfield holding Arsenal back this season?

Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge has all but been ended in 2017, thanks to some exceptional form by Chelsea, as well as a lacking mentality and strength within our side to keep pace.

Analysing where we have been so disappointing, the only position where any qualms could be made, is within our central midfield.

Granit Xhaka has proved to be a liability for much of the campaign, and despite showing glimpses of real class, he has burdened us with reckless challenges, which have given away key set pieces as well as unnecessary cards.

Francis Coquelin is another player who has struggled or much of the season, although brang balance to our side when being able to play alongside Santi Cazorla, who has been a huge miss for us this year.

The Spaniard picked up an injury back in October, which was originally only supposed to keep him out for a matter of weeks, and is now set to miss the rest of the campaign, and we have yet to find a partnership worthy of holding down a regular spot in our first-team.

Mohamed Elneny impressed following his arrival last January, but has found himself overlooked for much of the campaign, and I cant for the life of me figure out why he has struggled to pick up many match minutes.

Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have both found themselves playing most of their football in the central midfield this season, and have both brought something different to the side, but all-in-all, are not the type of central player we are to rely on if we are to properly challenge for the league title.

Jack Wilshere has proven his fitness on loan with Bournemouth this term, and may well find himself playing a key role in our starting XI next season.

Whether Arsene Wenger is in charge of us next season or not, whoever is in charge will need to have a hard look at his options in those central roles.

Has our midfield partnership been our biggest weakness all season?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Cazorla Ramsey Wilshere


  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Cazorla has been a huge loss
    Ramsey has been hopeless
    Xhaka has been good for first season (not too concerned about 2 reds as Koscielny had 2 reds in his first season)
    Coquelin has been poor for his standards
    Eleney is average
    Ozil has underperformed this season

    I dream of the day Wenger either signs a Top Defensive Midfielder or leaves and new manager signs one. Was hoping Wenger put in a bid for Kante instead of Vardy. We need one badly.

  2. Vlad says:

    You can argue that everyone has under-performed this season. All the way from our questionable goalkeeping and defense to creativity and finishing up front. So no need to pinpoint our problems to a specific area, because that would be a waste of time.

  3. Jansen says:

    I think our problem is more that we stopped playing like a team than anything else. We don’t fight as a team, we don’t fight for each other. We don’t press as a team like we did in the beginning of the season (often Sanchez now is the only one pressing), we don’t defend like a team (our wingers seem to track back at their own discretion rather than as part of a team philosophy) leaving big gaps to explore for opposing teams. We have no discipline as a team and lose our shape at the drop of one pass.

    We have fielded teams capable of much better results than they got. The team we fielded against Bayern, on paper was not a team that you would expect to get destroyed. Sure, Ox on the wing against Bayern might not be our best winger, having said that Ox has done well in the middle and he could have dropped back as part of a three-man midfield helping Xhaka and Coq out in more of a Cazorla role where he could have been given free reign to move forward when we had the ball. Moving Ozil to the left wing where he plays for Germany sometimes and leaving Theo on the right and Sanchez in the middle. Point being the names on the team sheet against Bayern were good enough for a draw or a modest loss, but is the way they play together or the way they are instructed to play which makes them poor.

    If we would get Allegri or Simeoni next season with the exact same squad as this season I would be happy. Sure every squad can be improved on but we don’t have a bad squad, the players just need more direction and a bit of fear of not performing. I don’t think they fear Wenger any longer. And I am not talking about trembling in your boots type of fear, I am talking about knowing you can not get away with not putting in a shift for 90 minutes and you can not get away with not performing your duties on the pitch. I watched Barca beat Atletico but it did not seem any Atletico player dropped their head or stopped working. Simeoni doesn’t strike me as the type of manager you want to face if you didn’t make an effort. I don’t think you can get away with not doing what Pep asks you to do either he seem like that type of manager who will be on you if you forget what you worked on in training or what you were asked to do. In a similar fashion, I don’t think you want to neglect your task with Mourinho either.

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