Arsenal have been one of the most consistent teams in the history of the Premier League under manager Arsene Wenger. Ever since the Frenchman took over the North London club in 1996, they have finished in top 4 every season barring 2016-17.
Arsene Wenger has been instrumental in revolutionizing the Arsenal team and have been the main mentor for turning many a talents into legends in the Arsenal colours. He is still the only manager till date who has led his team to an undefeated championship victory in the league.
Under Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal squad has seen a lot of ups and downs and many a players play. While The Invincibles’ squad of 2003-04 was undoubtedly the best in the history for The Gunners, there have been debates as to which was the worst squad in Arsenal history.
The Legendary French manager has been facing a lot of criticism in the past decade despite leading them to 3 FA Cup and 3 Community Shield Titles. His recent activity with the inclusion and retaining of top quality players has been terribly criticized by the fans and media alike.
His current squad has been hailed by many a followers of the game as the worst in ages to don the red and white jersey. At the end of last season, it was for the first time since 1995-96 that Arsenal failed to finish within the top 4. As a result they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. This resulted in failing to attract bigger names and their top stars not wanting to sign contract extensions.
Goalkeepers: Cech, Ospina, Martinez.
Defenders: Debuchy, Kolasinac, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Chambers, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding.
Midfielders: Özil, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Elneny, Coquelin, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Willock.
Forwards: Giroud, Sanchez, Welbeck, Iwobi, Lacazette.
Two of the top Arsenal stars in Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil have not signed contract extensions yet; and recent updates confirm that Sanchez is already on his way to rivals Manchester United. Wenger still faces the threat of losing Özil for free in summer.
Arsenal have already lost two of their brightest English talents in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to the two Merseyside clubs Liverpool FC and Everton FC respectively. The former has been a thoroughly improved player under Jurgen Klopp, much to the displeasure of the Arsenal fans.
One of the main reasons why the current squad has been so badly bashed, is that they have time and again put up embarrassing performances against their rivals. Away losses at struggling Stoke and Watford, accompanied by embarrassing away drubbings at Liverpool and Manchester City have been black dots in Arsenal’s campaign. They have also showcased horrible displays in matches against lower oppositions in recent matches as well.
The big money signings Granite Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac have failed to show consistency on the field for the 13-times FA Cup champions. Their two main star players Özil and Sanchez have not been at their best throughout the season. Veteran Petr Cech has lost his shine while inching towards the twilight of his career.
Even though they are in the semi finals of the English League Cup and the round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League they won’t be able to defend their FA Cup crown after being humiliated by Nottingham Forest in the Third Round. It’s not just the results that have been bad, the way Arsenal have played have been so unlike them in so many ways.
Going through the squads by years since 1996, it can be concluded that the current Arsenal team boasts of some of the top names in the world football. There have been Arsenal squads which have had lesser number of quality players on paper. But nevertheless they could always play good quality football as a unit.
Thus, the current squad might not be the worst on paper but surely lacks when it comes to being a team.
Do you agree with our opinion? What according to you is the worst Arsenal squad in recent times?