By Emma Sanders
As the year draws to a close, Football Insider analyses three things we learned from Arsenal in the last 12 months.
Future of these two players is key
Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal are now able to compete with the Premier league big boys like Manchester City. However, contract negotiations are still ongoing over two of their star players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The club is reluctant to meet their astronomical wage demands, but fans are getting frustrated at what they see as the same old Arsenal. If Wenger was to announce that he’d secured both signatures it would be a real coup for the club and a signal of intent. However, the longer it goes without any news, the more Arsenal fans will worry. If they were to lose both players it would signal that Arsenal are still not prepared – maybe through their own choice – to occupy the top of the football marketplace.
Arsene Wenger isn’t invincible
The Gunners’ boss has been at the helm for two decades and oversaw a record-breaking season in 2004 when his Arsenal side became the only Premier League team to finish the season unbeaten. “The Invicibles” set an incredible precedent but Wenger’s years at the club may be drawing to a close after speculation over his future heightened in 2016. He hung onto his job in the summer, despite a vocal #WengerOut campaign from some fans, including Piers Morgan, but his contract runs out at the end of the 2016-17 season and no one knows if he’s staying or leaving. Certain vocal Arsenal fans will be very pleased if he decides to call it a day and think fresh blood is the only way the club will win more significant silverware. One question the hierarchy needs to ask – has Wenger got a job for life or is he still the best man for the job?
Tottenham are still second best
The rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal has always been strong but the north London derby has become even spicier in recent seasons due to Spurs’ rise in the Premier League. Last season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side mounted an impressive title chase but it fell apart in the final month and Arsenal were still able to finish above them in second place. They currently sit above Spurs in fourth place in the Premier League table and have never finished below them while Wenger has been in charge. It’s the one record that Arsenal fans can still be proud of.
In other Arsenal news, fans reacted to the news of Hugo Lloris’ new contract.