Arsenal: Grading The Squad For 2017/18
With the Premier League season done and dusted, we look back at the campaign for Arsenal and how they fared in what turned out to be the last season for Arsene Wenger as manager of the North London side.
It's fair to say that Arsenal failed to hit the heights, they so often did previously, under the Frenchman this season. No silverware, either in England or in Europe, drew the curtains on the longest serving manager's career in England.
An unprecedented 6th place finish in the league, a humiliating exit in the 3rd round of the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest, a thumping in the EFL Cup final at the hands of Manchester City and the inability to put away a 10-man Atletico Madrid side at home, even the most ardent of Arsenal supporters cannot shy away from accepting the reality, which reflects Arsenal's dismal campaign this season.
Without further ado, let's look at how the men in the Red and White for Arsenal fared this season:
Shkodran Mustafi: After personally covering most of the Arsenal matches this season, I'm pretty sure I sound like a broken record but how do we not address that inept defensive unit of Arsenal Football Club. Someone should, considering Wenger hasn't. And won't.
The days of Sol Campbell and Tony Adams and Martin Keown have been replaced by the dark nights of Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding.
The German has had one of his worst seasons since moving to the Emirates and is largely culpable for the hideous defensive displays at the back for Arsenal.
He has been indecisive with runners in behind him as well as with crosses whipped into the box and has failed to register even a single error-free display this campaign. Honestly, if there were a grade below D, Mustafi would be getting it.
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Alex Iwobi: The Nigerian has been one of the most promising youngsters to make the move up into the first team for the Gunners. He has steadfastly made a place for himself in the Arsenal squad and the manager has repeatedly put his faith in the teenager and has reaped its rewards.
This season though, Alex Iwobi has been as non-influential as he has ever been, including the time he spent with the junior teams, or in his grandma's back-yard.
Iwobi needed to put some work into his finishing toward the end of the last season and he would've been a big asset for the Gunners.
However, he hasn't just managed to degrade his finishing skills but has also looked far from his composed usual self on the ball for his side. He hasn't been involved in nearly as many goals as he ought to have been and has scored even fewer. A deserved D grade for the forward.
David Ospina: Arsenal have failed to address their goal-keeping woes for some time now. Ever since their invincible season in 2004, when Jens Lehman was the man with the gloves, Arsenal have lacked rigidity at the back and a lot of that is down to the fact that they have never had a reliable goal-keeper behind the back-line.
The Gunners have experimented for way too long now, with Szczesny and Ospina both failing to do the business for them. The Colombian had another forgettable campaign in North London, despite only featuring in cup competitions and has leaked goals against CSKA Moscow in both legs and against a 10-man Atletico side, which resulted in Arsenal exiting the competition at the semi-final stage.