The Arsenal Abomination


(Photo from skysports.com)

If ever there was a time for me to address something like this, it’s now.

I’m going to preface this by saying I am not an Arsenal fan, nor am I someone who wants to watch the club burn. I respect the club’s achievements, how they’ve transformed themselves over the course of the Premier League’s inception, and the great staff they’ve employed from players to management.

However, now is definitely the time to talk about the club’s current status, and address what’s gone wrong over the last few months.

The Mesut Ozil Uncertainty

(Photo from eurosport.com)

How a player as good as Mesut Ozil is not playing in this Arsenal team is completely beyond my comprehension.

Whether it’s truly because he doesn’t fit Unai Emery’s system or Ozil has had a personal falling out with the manager is anyone’s guess at this point, and that’s the problem.

Emery has been avoiding any questions regarding Ozil like the plague, and his coyness on the topic has led to fan unrest and (what seems like) squad unrest as well. The longer Emery keeps his cards close to his chest, the worse this situation will become.

He has every right not to address this in the media at all, but this is a situation that must be dealt with once and for all, as soon as possible.

Granit Xhaka & the Arsenal Fans

I can’t be the only football fan who was surprised at the announcement that Granit Xhaka was the new Arsenal captain.

He’s never struck me as “captain material” from his performances on the pitch, though since I don’t know him personally, that’s all I can speak to. That said, on-pitch persona and performance goes a long way in revealing a footballer’s true self, and Xhaka’s actions spoke for themselves.

I don’t believe Xhaka is in the wrong in this situation entirely though; Sure, he has to shoulder some of the blame, but the fans really don’t help his cause.

Every club has scapegoats and players that under-perform more often than others, but there are lines that fans can’t cross, and some Arsenal fans have outdone themselves in the worst ways possible.

From constant abuse on the pitch and on social media (including vulgarities that will not be highlighted in this article), fans need to remember that footballers are also human and have their own lives to live outside of football.

Xhaka has not played a game since, and was also stripped of the captaincy in favour of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. So, while this situation has been “solved” for now, Xhaka should be moved on in January to another club, and the fans must reconsider their own actions and keep in mind that there really is more to life than football.

The blame here is 50/50, in my opinion.

Emery Out

(Photo from fourfourtwo.com)

This is the easiest situation to solve out of all three.

Unai Emery has proven over the course of one and a half seasons now, that he is clearly not an Arsenal manager. I believe he still has a lot to offer and is a great manager, but he is a bad fit for Arsenal and should be moved on immediately.

His tactics are extremely predictable, he still doesn’t have a settled starting XI (and in truth, never has), and it looks like he’s lost the dressing room to no return.

I have always believed that a team will perform in a mirror image of their manager, and this team continues to throw away leads in-game, under-perform against inferior opposition, and fold in any “big” game that they have to play other than when they play Spurs. They may get some good results every so often, but they seem to come less and less often, and the performances haven’t been there to back Emery up, or give fans any hope that those good results will ever become the norm again.

Most fans seem to have lost faith, the team looks disjointed and confused, and home games have become tricky to say the least. And I will re-iterate: I still think Unai Emery is a great manager, I just don’t think he’s the right fit for Arsenal.

All three situations have really dragged Arsenal Football Club through the mud in recent months, but they aren't as badly off as some may think. With just a few tweaks to the current landscape, this club can be back competing for titles sooner than some may think.