Despite having a great first 11 and a very decent squad, here's why Arsenal will NOT be serious contenders again this year for the league
- Injuries - it is well known that Arsenal NEVER EVER have their best 11 available for more than 2 consecutive games. International breaks invariably brings us back crocks. I wish we could insert clauses into all our players' contracts which lets the club decide if we want to release players for International duty.
- The Manager - too rigid with formations, too proud to change tactics on a match-by-match basis depending on the opposition, too blind to non-performers...I could go on and on. I hope we get Simeone next year.
- Champions League - having never won the trophy, Wenger still foolishly clings onto the hope that he will win it once with Arsenal. Barring the horrible Ospina experiment last year, he always rests important players before or after CL games and that kills us in the league. When are we going to accept that we don't stand a chance in Europe and should instead focus on domestic trophies? Getting into the CL in the past was great for TV money, now with the new TV deal in England, finishing 1 place higher instead commands a LOT of money. Why not aim higher than 4th?
- Disciplinary record - we get too many red cards and accumulated yellow cards which cause key players to miss important games. We need to "manage" refs better, however the new rules which prevent players from surrounding and pressurising the ref is a blessing in disguise as it evens things out.
Assumptions for the first eleven choices are
- Everyone is fit and available to play
- Manager's current preference for player/style of play/system (with scant regard for past record) and recent selection history