3 Arsenal players who have disappointed this season | Premier League 2019-20
- It has been a disappointing campaign for these three Arsenal players.
As things stand, Arsenal will not be finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season. The Gunners are now 10th in the table standings and 10 points separate them from fourth-placed Chelsea. Unless they win the Europa League trophy, it is hard to foresee the North London team in next season's UEFA Champions League competition.
For the Arsenal faithful, it has been a tough season to watch. The club sacked Unai Emery in late November before appointing Freddie Ljungberg as the interim manager. However, Ljungberg failed to impress the fans or spark any confidence in the team. Ultimately, this forced the North London side to sign Mikel Arteta from Manchester City and make him the new permanent manager.
As much as the team now looks more cohesive and determined to win every game, the results are still going against them. Arsenal have drawn 13 fixtures; the highest among all the Premier League teams. The situation could change following their warm-weather training in Dubai, but let us first look at the three players who have been disappointing this season.
#3 Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette's form this season has been utterly disappointing. With just five goals in 18 Premier League appearances, the Frenchman has not scored since Arsenal's victory over West Ham United in December 2019.
At the moment, the Gunners need their forwards to be at their very best and score more to challenge for the top six. To the disappointment of both the fans and his manager, Lacazette is failing to step up his game.
Despite the lack of goals, Arteta has continued to praise the forward. He said,
"Normally every time he's in front of goal he's so clinical. I'm disappointed that he hasn't been rewarded for all the work he's done in the last three games, he could have scored three or four goals easily."
The fans will be hoping that with the winter break, the 28-year-old will be able to regain his confidence and put on his scoring boots once again. It has been more than a year since the former Lyon striker netted a Premier League goal away from home.
When compared to Gabriel Martinelli, a newcomer in the league, Lacazette has fared poorly this season. The youngster is already the second-highest goalscorer of the club this season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the only player to have a better record.
#2 Nicolas Pepe
Are Arsenal now regretting their decision to invest £72 million on Nicolas Pepe? Probably so. The Ivory Coast forward has been unable to live up to his price tag and pressure is mounting on him to perform.
Under Unai Emery, the winger was almost always named in the starting line-up. However, after finding out that Pepe is struggling to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, the 24-year-old was soon dropped to the bench.
His fate under Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta has not been any better. In the recent goalless draw with Burnley, the Spaniard left Pepe on the bench even when the team needed a player who can score.
Till date, the former Lille player has scored only three Premier League goals in 21 games, each under a different manager. Perhaps, it would have been better if Arsenal invested a little more to sign Wilfried Zaha who is a proven player in England.
#1 Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil clearly did not enjoy a good start to the season. The German midfielder was frequently left out of the matchday squad with Emery insisting that he does not have the physicality to play. In his place, the former Sevilla manager preferred to play Dani Ceballos who is on loan from Real Madrid.
The situation has changed since Arteta took over the reins at the Emirates Stadium. The manager has named Ozil for seven consecutive matches. However, even with more game time under his belt, the 31-year-old is not laying any assists or contributing to any goals for his team. Once regarded as the king of assists, Ozil once reached a league-high of 19 assists in the 2015/16 season. This season, he only has one assist to his name.
For a player of his calibre, there are high expectations from fans that he will perform to his best weekly. Unfortunately, that is not the case and there are even rumours linking him to a move away from North London.Published 14 Feb 2020, 17:52 IST