A 3-1 win, Alexis Sanchez’s 24th league goal of the season, Ozil superb but alas no Champions League football next year.
Although at one point it looked as though Arsenal may just break into the top four again, unfortunately, fate was not on Arsenal’s side. For much of the game Arsenal dominated Everton and never looked as though they were going to lose but for all that dominance, Arsenal were not rewarded with any luck from Liverpool or Man City’s matches.
A good performance, a good result but not the outcome we wanted from the final day of the Premier League but let’s have a look at the four things we learned from today’s game.
1) Arsenal have some problems ahead of the FA Cup final
If missing out on the Champions League wasn’t bad enough, to rub salt in the word Arsenal will be without Koscielny, probably Gabriel and maybe even Sanchez. Koscielny will miss next week’s final due to suspension following a poor challenge, while Gabriel looks to have picked up a serious knee injury after an awkward tackle. This now leaves Arsenal with the possibility of having to play Per Mertesacker next week, a player who has barely featured this season. Mertesacker may indeed suit playing three at the back as it gives him cover on either side but it still gives Arsenal the problem of having three players that not have played together this season.
As for Sanchez, let’s just pray he’s fit for next week.
2) Arsenal have to sign Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez
Both have just over a year left on their respective deals, and both need to be signed to new deals. Mesut Ozil has scored 12 goals to go along with 13 assists this year while Sanchez has scored 29 goals and 16 assists, superb stats from Arsenal’s star men.
Neither may have made the Premier League ‘Team of the Year’ but both are world-class players, Sanchez in particular. The Chilean has singlehandedly won Arsenal games at times and could probably play for most teams in the world. Can you imagine where Arsenal would be without either player? Probably worse than fifth.
3) Arsenal should make a push to win the Europa League
A bitter pill to swallow for the fans and the club. After years of qualifying for the top club competition in the world, Arsenal will not join Europe’s elite at the head of the table. So what does this mean? Well, firstly that Arsene Wenger’s record is now tarnished. Secondly, and somewhat more positively, that Arsenal will go into a competition where they will surely be favourites to win.
The Europa League is a competition that is constantly mocked but Arsenal should push to win it next year. The club only has one major European trophy in the cabinet, so why not push for a second.
4) A big summer ahead for the Gunners
Not only do Arsenal have to resolve the contracts of Ozil and Sanchez but also potentially look for a new manager. Wenger confirmed that the decision on his future will be made following the FA Cup, what that will be, no knows but there’s a possibility that he could finally leave the club. Furthermore, Arsenal have multiple structural changes to make in terms of an academy director, possible sporting director, a potential replacement for long-term chief negotiator Dick Law and changes to the backroom staff. All these changes to make and we haven’t got to the potential summer signings. Arsenal need three or four top quality signings to push on next year, so as the point states, a busy summer ahead for the club.
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