Arsenal have experienced another extremely underwhelming season under Arsene Wenger this campaign. This trend has existed for the best part of a decade at Arsenal and shows no signs of letting up unless serious changes are made at the club. Early season hope, combined with the high expectations of the fans allows glimpses of what Arsenal could achieve. But inevitably their season unwinds around February time and are left with little more to play for in May than a Champions League spot. No doubt in Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez Arsenal have a potentially brilliant team but there is too many players who consistently fail to deliver season after season. Here are four I think should be shown the door this summer.
A player who promised so, so much when he arrived as a 16 year old from Southampton in 2006. Ten years on and we are still awaiting him to display his talent that was touted of him as a youngster. Arsenal have been very patient with Theo and have provided him with ample opportunities to establish himself as a key player for the Gunners. But throughout his decade at the club he has only shown his quality in glimpses. This was most evident in the 2012/13 campaign where he was allowed play a more central role and delivered 21 goals, his highest tally for the club. Since then his form has been curtailed by constant injuries and he has cut an isolated figure at the Emirates this season. Arsenal fans have grown extremely frustrated with his lack of end product in the final third of the field as well as his lack of involvement in build up play. It has come to a stage where he no longer warrants a starting position and considering his high wages, it is not beyond reason that his position at the club should be questioned. Should he become available in the summer there would be no shortage of takers and it would free up space in the Arsenal squad to bring in a new acquisition.
Initially solid after his arrival from Nice in 2014 Ospina’s form at Arsenal has dipped since then. The Colombian shot stopper made some high profile errors in his relatively few appearances in the first team this season. Arsenal look a much more assured team with a world class goalkeeper like Petr Cech between the sticks but the role of his deputy should not be belittled. The sub goalkeeper needs to provide solid backup in the instance they are needed as well as providing competition to keep the number one on his toes. Ospina appears incapable of providing such attributes at this level. And considering Petr Cech is approaching his mid-thirties Arsenal need to look at acquiring a young deputy who is capable one day replacing Cech yet still carrys needed to step in if called upon by the manager. It is time for Arsenal to part ways with Ospina as well as Wojciech Szczesny who spent this season on loan at AS Roma.
This is a no brainer. After signing from Newcastle in 2014 Debuchy has had rotten luck with injuries during his time at the Emirates. He was ruled out for six months in a stop start first season through ankle and shoulder problems. By the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign he found himself behind Spanish youngster Hector Bellerin at right back and left on loan for Bordeaux in January of this year. Considering some of the quotes from Debuchy that have appeared in the media, it is clear he is critical of both the club and Arsene Wenger. It looks almost certain that he will leave North London this summer having made very little impact with a move to his native France most likely to occur.
The 31 year old has been an ever present in the side since his arrival from Werder Bremen in 2011. But no matter how good his form is he always seems liable to make a mistake. His distinct lack of pace makes him extremely vulnerable in the heart of the Arsenal defence. This has been exploited by opposition strikers many times over the course of recent seasons and has played a factor in the lack of success at Arsenal. Although he forged a solid partnership with Laurent Koscielny, Per is not getting any younger and it is perhaps the right time to sell him while he still has some sell-on value.
By Peter Muldoon TFN Founder & Editor on 13/03/2016 at 21:41