The annual ‘Arsene Wenger is under pressure’ story is rearing its ugly head once again in north London after poor performances in both the Champions League and the Premier League.
The Gunners are 12 points behind Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the title race and Wenger, whose side are 40/1 to lift the trophy, has already conceded the league crown to the Blues.
But while there is plenty of gloom at the Emirates Stadium at the moment there is still a lot to play for this season for last season’s FA Cup winners and here Oliver Yew points at three things Arsenal, who are 11/2 to finish in the top two, can do to turn their fortunes around.
Shore up leaky defence
Arsenal are desperate for defensive reinforcements with injured duo Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny seemingly long-term absentees and Per Mertesacker woefully out of form.
While the Gunners fans would probably take anybody if it meant make-shift centre-back Nacho Monreal was bumped out of the team, the north London club still need to make the right addition.
Chris Smalling, Ron Vlaar and Virgil van Dijk have all been linked in recent weeks but the reports suggesting German World Cup winner Mats Hummels wants a move to north London will be music to Arsene Wenger’s ears.
The Borussia Dortmund man has all the qualities needed to be one of the top defenders in the world and he would improve any side in world football.
Wenger should break the bank to get his man!
Sign a defensive midfielder powerhouse
An area of the squad Wenger failed to strengthen last summer and Arsenal are paying the price for it now.
With Mathieu Flamini and the ageing Mikel Arteta failing to deliver in this role it’s baffling how the club failed to bring in someone who could protect their frail defence.
William Carvalho is a player who would fit seamlessly into Arsenal’s side but with the Gunners unable to agree a deal with Sporting Lisbon during the summer transfer window it is unlikely a move will take place in January.
But fear not Gunners fans, Arsenal need only to take a leaf out of rivals Tottenham’s scrap book and make a raid on Southampton for their midfield powerhouse.
Morgan Schneiderlin, who has been of interest to Arsenal in the past, is the obvious starting point but Wenger needs to look past his fellow Frenchman and bid for Victor Wanyama.
Alongside Chelsea star Nemanja Matic, the former Celtic man has been one of the standout midfielders in the Premier League so far and has been doing his fair share of the dirty work in Southampton’s rise to prominence.
The Kenyan is the man to add some bite to Arsenal’s midfield and provide a defensive shield for Wenger’s leaky defence.
Sort out the Arsenal injury crisis!
Arguably Arsenal have one of the best squads in the Premier League – but that’s before you take into account the club’s injury curse.
At the moment, Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, David Ospina and Mikel Arteta are all on the sidelines and any club in the world would struggle without a whole host of senior men.
But this is a problem which crops up every year for Arsenal and it’s something, whether it’s the club’s medical staff or training methods, that needs addressing as soon as possible.
First of all they need to get their whole squad back to full fitness and firing on all cylinders but secondly, they need to try keeping everybody fit if they are to even have a slim chance of hauling in runaway league leaders Chelsea.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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