Arsene Wenger has told his players that they must win every remaining match to keep their top four hopes alive.
The Gunners managed to win their first match away from home for three months at Middlesbrough on Monday night and it was a game from which they simply had to emerge with three points.
The Frenchman opted to move to a system with three at the back and although they claimed the victory, it was far from convincing. The following quotes from Arsene Wenger, post-match, are reported by the Mirror:
“For us, the clarity is there, we have to win every game to have a chance of getting in the top four, starting tonight.
“The team was a bit more serene. We were a bit over cautious in situations tonight. Hopefully that will give us more confidence. Mathematically it is still possible, even if it is difficult, but we will give it a go.”
Despite their win on Monday, they remain outsiders in the race for the top four. They may have games in hand, but points on the board are better at this stage and he is right to say that they will need to win every game to stand a good chance.
Based on this performance, it is unlikely that they will be able to do that. They must show improvement over the coming weeks.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the better Arsenal players against Middlesbrough and he was the man put in front of the cameras for an interview afterwards.
The midfielder was talking about the team’s recent performances and admitted that they haven’t been good enough. The Evening Standard feature the following comments from the 23-year-old:
“We have not been good enough, we need to take responsibility for that and today we had to win.
“We had to get back to basics, it’s a massive honour to play for a team like Arsenal, you have to give 100% and maybe that’s been slipping recently.”
These are more worrying comments coming from the Arsenal dressing room about the lack of fight being shown by the club. The Gunners are supposed to be one of the biggest clubs in England, but their complacency has resulted in stagnation.
It is clear that the players aren’t being pushed by the management and a change is needed. The squad shouldn’t need to be reminded of the size of the club and their responsibilities to it.
The Mirror report that Arsenal could face competition from Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid in their hunt for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman is likely to be on the move this summer as he searches for Champions League football.
He is believed to be a prominent target for the Gunners as plans for a summer rebuild are already under way. However, they won’t be the only club bidding for his services and their chances of signing him may rely on whether they finish in the top four this season.
Like Arsenal, Dortmund and Atletico could both lose their main attacker this summer. The futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Antoine Griezmann are uncertain, which means that Lacazette is on the radar of both clubs.
These are two sides that are currently a more attractive option for the French international as they are expected to be in next season’s Champions League. That looks unlikely for Arsenal at this current stage.
Although the Gunners have been tracking the striker for a long time, they will need to realise that their pull in the market will decrease this summer as they continue to stagnate. They will still be hopeful of doing a deal, but this throws a spanner into the works.
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