It would be fair to say that it has been a turbulent season at the Emirates Stadium and Monday’s 2-1 win at Middlesbrough did little to lighten the mood, but are Arsenal’s top-four hopes dead?
The simple answer is that they probably are, but there are still enough games left for the Gunners to make a late charge and, for those who like a punt, it is worth checking out Big Free Bet’s spread bets for all the odds and markets available in their battle toward the end of the season.
The worrying thing for the north Londoners is that they do not look like winning against a decent side at present, with five defeats in the past eight Premier League games, and their only successes in recent times have come against Hull City, West Ham, and 19th-placed Middlesbrough.
Arsenal have shown relegation and not title-winning from since end of January and Arsene Wenger looks set to lose his record of always having qualified for the Champions League in what is looking increasingly like it should be his final season in the dug-out.
Uncertainty over the manager’s future has hardly helped matters and the fact that the Frenchman keeps toying with the media about whether he will be staying seems an odd course of action to be taking.
Whether or not the players have downed tools as a result is open to debate but there have been several poor displays of late and the cries of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ were clearly audible around Selhurst Park.
The fans have clearly had enough and even sneaking into the top four might not be enough to appease some sections who are fed up with having to play second fiddle to the two Manchester clubs, plus Chelsea and now bitter rivals Tottenham.
The fact that Spurs are virtually assured of Champions League football next term will be tough for the Gunners’ faithful to swallow but that looks like it is going to happen.
There is still plenty of talent in the Arsenal squad but defensive errors have haunted them this season and, having conceding 40 goals already with seven games still to pay, it is obvious where the problem lies.
The situation surrounding the future of Alexis Sanchez has been symptomatic of the club’s problems as he is without doubt the best player at the Emirates and always gives 100 per cent.
But the ‘will he or won’t he stay’ scenario that has dominated the back pages this season cannot make for a happy player.
If your top man is not at his best then it does not auger well for a club’s prospects and questions will also be asked about many other players who have failed to hit the heights or been stuck on the peripheries.
Mesut Ozil has been struggled for large parts of the campaign and his future is now up in the air while Olivier Giroud’s return of nine goals from 21 outings and a lack of playing time suggests that his future might be elsewhere as well.
It seems as though Arsenal have reached a watershed moment, rather like Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson called time on his career.
The Red Devils have struggled after his departure but, for Arsenal, that seems to have started even before Wenger has gone.