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The good, the bad, the ugly: a season to forget for Arsenal

It’s been a long time since Arsenal have been considered one of the best teams in the Premier League, but it hasn’t stopped fans from demanding and expecting the best from their team. 

When Arsene Wenger left the club in the summer of 2018, fans were excited for a new chapter in the club’s history, with Unai Emery taking charge. However, the Spaniard’s time with the club didn’t last long, as fellow countrymen Mikel Arteta replaced him in December 2019. 

The former club captain quickly won over the Arsenal faithful after winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield. You could forgive many Arsenal fans for being excited for the season ahead, but instead, they’ve been left wondering why they don’t follow another sport. 

Arsenal are on course for their worst Premier League finish since 1995, with Arteta’s time at Arsenal in jeopardy. The Gunners failed to defend their FA Cup trophy with a 4th round exit to Southampton and were battered by eventual winners Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup. 

Most recently, they had to endure the embarrassment of Arteta’s predecessor coming back to haunt the club after losing to Villarreal in the semi-final of the Europa League. Arsenal looked spineless on the day, scared to attack and far from the side that excited fans across the world in the past. 

There’s been much to criticise about Arsenal this season, with the club’s star man, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, sporting more hairstyles than goals scored in the league this season. The sale of Emiliano Martinez left fans gobsmacked at the start of the season, with Bernt Leno making basic mistakes all season. 

The club’s new signings have not faired much better. The highly regarded Thomas Partey has suffered from injuries all season but has failed to impress with bog-standard performances. Young defender Gabriel looks out of his depth in the Premier League, whose early promise has been overshadowed by an inaptitude to defend. In his 21 league games for the club, Arsenal has won seven times, the same amount as when he’s not featured. The less we say about the Willian, the better. 

The only shining light for Arsenal this season has been the young talent which is blossoming week on week. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been a joy to watch at times this season, who portray everything great about Arsenal over the years. Skill and flair, they’ve played like leaders amongst men when in the starting XI. 

Unfortunately, exciting young talent is not enough to appease the appetite of the Arsenal fanbase, who are growing frustrated with the club’s owners and manager. However, there’s still something that may put a smile on Arsenals fans’ faces and maybe even save Mikel Arteta for another year.

St Totteringham’s day, an old North London holiday, may make a return in the next few weeks. A day which many Arsenal fans have missed in recent years, the day they mathematically finish above their North London rivals. The recent win against Chelsea saw Arsenal rise to 8th in the league and only one point behind Tottenham, with fans starting to believe.

Even with Arsenal at their lowest, they may still take the bragging rights for the summer and even a Europa League spot. Sometimes the small wins are the sweetest. 

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