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Arsene Wenger's departure plasters over a dreadful season for Arsenal

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Feature
703   //    15 May 2018, 21:46 IST

wenger's departure is a great thing
Wenger's departure has been the highlight of this season for Arsenal

It was a beautiful day at Huddersfield, as everyone in the stadium rose up as one to applaud Arsene Wenger for his incredible career at Arsenal Football Club.

Wenger could not have hoped for a better farewell, as the great man saw his team pick up their first away points in this calendar year. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal was enough for the Gunners, as Wenger walked away with one last victory.

So how was Arsenal's 2017-18 season overall? In one word, dreadful.

Wenger's departure is probably the biggest positive from what has been the worst season for Arsenal in over two decades. Their horrendous performance away to Liverpool at the beginning of the season was a sign to come, as this group of Arsenal players were an embarrassment to everything that this great club stood for.

The fact that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who incidentally started in the defeat to Liverpool, took a pay cut to move to Anfield just a couple of days after that loss was an indictment of what the players themselves felt at the club.

The contract situation of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil was heading towards a disastrous conclusion before Manchester United saved Arsenal's skin (Yes! That's right) when they decided to buy Sanchez and give the immensely talented Mkhitaryan to Arsene Wenger in return.

Now let's look at the current crop of players that Wenger will leave his successor.

Petr Cech is nowhere close to the great keeper that he was at Chelsea, and it is painstakingly obvious that he should no longer be the first choice goalie for a club of Arsenal's stature.

His latest Achilles injury means that Laurent Koscielny's career is pretty much done, as the Frenchman will most likely leave the club or may even decide to retire in one year's time. Monreal, who has been another great servant to the club, is getting on in age and might be moving on very soon.

Brought in to be the answer to Arsenal's defensive woes, Mustafi's performances have oscillated between magnificent and disgraceful, with the pendulum swinging towards the latter end with alarming frequency.

One could write a full-fledged essay on why Hector Bellerin's regression is one of Wenger's greatest failures, but let's just save everyone's time and accept that Bellerin is nowhere close to being the player that we all hoped he would become.

In midfield, Granit Xhaka is another one who has not become the player that we all hoped, when he was signed a couple of years back. His wonderful long range of passing (his short passes are shockingly poor) almost masks his lack of mobility in midfield, thereby exposing Arsenal to counter attacks from the opposition.

The less said about Alex Iwobi the better.

And then there is Mesut Ozil. There was a little period in the latter half of 2017 wherein Ozil put together a string of world-class performances that made you marvel at the genius of the German playmaker.

And it was not only against inferior opposition, as Ozil was scintillating even against the likes of Chelsea, United and Liverpool, as the German took over from Sanchez to become THE MAN for Arsene Wenger's side.

But that supercharged Ozil vanished in 2018, as the German went back to being the ultimate tease for Arsenal fans.

This may sound harsh, but Wenger's successor is going to inherit a squad that is nowhere as good as what Wenger thought it was.

That being said, Wenger's successor will have some positives to work on next season, as there are a few players that could form the core of his Arsenal team.

Jack Wilshere's return to prominence has been a wonderful story, but his contract situation is worryingly close to a fatal end at Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey has quietly had a season to remember, as his goals and assists this season makes him one of the most effective midfielders in Europe.

The blossoming trio of Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang should be at the forefront of the new manager's plans, as these three, along with Ozil could potentially form one of the deadliest attacks in the world.

While there is no doubt that is potential in this Arsenal squad, there are far too many questions marks over far too many key areas, making the post-Wenger era a seemingly arduous

Only time will tell if this change is for the better or for the worse! one to begin with.

But there is one thing that Gooners all the world can look forward to next year, as a new man in charge will finally bring about a change in what had become an increasingly stagnant environment at the Emirates.

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