Arsenal football club has been in the news for all the wrong reasons for more than a couple of seasons.
Among all the top clubs in England, Arsenal are rightly described as underachievers. They failed to make any consistent impact in the title race for over a decade while the perennial issue of transfers compounds the air of disarray. Winning the FA Cup in three of the past four years has been a welcome relief.
A look in the blog archives reveals a number of incidences where players have had to push for their own exit from the team. You rarely get this at Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United where players plead to be retained in the squad.
Cesc Fabregas and Nasri are the highest profile of those players trying to push for an exit until now. The team underperformed and both wanted to win major trophies. Between them, they won 5 league titles after leaving Arsenal, while Fabregas also landed a Club World Cup winners medal.
The domestic cup competitions do not hold the level of prestige. The world-class player wants to win – or believe he can win – the elite competitions. Alexis Sanchez, despite being in his fourth season at the club, doesn’t believe Arsenal can achieve those goals nor is it going to happen anytime soon. For him, Arsenal’s challenge for the Premier League and Champions League is like bets on the phone casino: a game of chance.
Another player whose future is in doubt is Mesut Özil, the biggest and most talented stars at the club at present. According to gossip, upped their games in a bid to attract potential suitors during the coming transfer window.
The Take of Emmanuel Petit On Their Recent Performances
The club hasn’t made an official statement about either, but Arsène Wenger continues to declare his hope that Özil’s stay at the Emirates isn’t over. Sanchez meanwhile isn’t making any comment to the media on any subject and nor is the club. After his sale to Manchester City fell through last summer, there is a resigned acceptance that he is leaving.
Emmanuel Petit believes the upturn in the form of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal is geared toward the transfer window. The beginning of the season saw Arsenal at a very low point; the team missed out on the Champions League spot last season. Relegated to the Europa league, they were expected to start strong to prove their doubters wrong.
This turned out not to be the case. They made a very low start to the campaign, with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil not giving their best performances.
For Emmanuel Petit, the two players are now playing the way they should. But that is the way they should be playing for Wenger. He posited that though it is great news for Arsenal that the two of them are back to their real form, but questioned the motivation behind it. The two players have been linked to a host of clubs including both Manchester United and Manchester City.
“It’s great news for Arsenal that they’ve returned to form, but is that just because the transfer window is around the corner?
‘Who knows if they still want to leave? I really hope they remain at the club but, if they do, they need to show the same commitment to help Arsenal to a Champions League spot.”
Last Chance Saloon for Emmanuel Petit
Petit later spoke about the performance of Arsenal against Manchester United. While the first half was Arsenal at their worst, he believed they took the second half firmly in their hands. For him, it reminded him of the Arsenal of his days. Though he thinks they are out of the title race, he still believes anything is possible.
He referenced the 1998 season where Arsenal trailed 12 points behind the leaders, only to recover to win the title that year. He described City’s games against Man United and Tottenham as the deciding games. With both losing to City, each of the Premier League teams must treat their return match against City as the last spin on the star spin slot.
Fail to do that and talk of the quadruple may not be so far-fetched after all.