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Speak to almost any Arsenal fan and likelihood is that they will tell you it has been one of the worst season’s for the club.
Mikel Arteta has faced serious criticism throughout which intensified last week with the elimination at the hand of former Arsenal boss Unai Emery and Villarreal.
However, despite the calls for his departure seemingly growing in number, the Premier League form since Christmas day has been nothing short of excellent in comparison to their rivals.
Whilst points have been dropped, in the context of the other 19 teams, Arsenal sit currently 3rd in the form table from the win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.
Premier League points since Christmas Day
57 Man City
44 Man Utd
37 West Ham
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) May 12, 2021
Considering that the two teams above them are first and second in the table, it is a credit to the side.
However, the team has still dropped big points in games they should have won. Just recently an insipid display against Everton could end up costing them a Europa League place in addition to a drab 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.
Results such as the 3-3 draw with West Ham, the 1-1 draw away at Burnley and the back to back losses to Wolves and Aston Villa could define their season.
However, should the seemingly impossible occur and other sides drop points opening the door for the Gunners, wins over Chelsea (x2), Leicester City, Spurs, Leeds United and away at Brighton will be lauded as vital wins.
What has changed?
The key difference has been the inclusion of a number 10, specifically the rise of Emile Smith-Rowe and the acquisition of Martin Odegaard in January on loan.
Before Boxing Day, Mikel Arteta trialled a number of options in a creative role including Willian, Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka. Even Alexandre Lacazette was given a shot behind the main striker.
Whilst Mesut Ozil was at the club, he was not included in the Premier League squad. Something Mikel Arteta said was done because of ‘football reasons.’
Arsenal lacked creativity and, whilst looking improved defensively, often failed to create anything of note and chances which came were squandered by the experienced Lacazette or Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal were being touted as relegation contenders. Sam Allardyce himself referenced them as one of West Brom’s rivals. The side Arsenal then relegated with a 3-1 win last weekend.
Arsenal have been poor this season, even taking into account the upturn since Christmas. However, there does seem to be a veil of hope and potential which is keeping the club behind the Spanish coach.
The summer is pivotal and what the club do will likely determine which half of Arsenal shows up next season. Quality is needed in a number of areas and the moving on of deadwood must continue as it did in January.
Busy times ahead.
Arsenal betting odds, next game:
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Premier League table
|1||Manchester City FC||35||46||80|
|2||Manchester United FC||35||30||70|
|3||Leicester City FC||36||21||66|
|5||West Ham United FC||35||10||58|
|7||Tottenham Hotspur FC||35||20||56|
|11||Aston Villa FC||34||8||48|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||35||-12||45|
|13||Crystal Palace FC||35||-22||41|
|16||Newcastle United FC||35||-18||39|
|17||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||35||-5||37|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||35||-36||26|
|20||Sheffield United FC||35||-44||17|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||21|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||20|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||17|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||17|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||16|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||15|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||13|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||13|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||12|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||12|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||12|
|Iheanacho, Kelechi||Leicester City FC||11|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||10|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||10|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||10|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||10|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||10|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||9|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||0||11|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||10|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||8|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||7|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||8|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||0||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||7|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||7|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||0||8|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||8|
|McGoldrick, David||Sheffield United FC||0||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||0||7|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||0||7|
|Dunk, Lewis||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||2||5|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||0||7|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||7|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||11|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||9|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||8|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||7|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||7|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||7|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||6|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||6|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||6|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||6|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||6|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||6|