Under Roberto Martinez, this season’s Everton team have developed from the David Moyes edition and, with the season drawing towards its climax, have a more than realistic chance of climbing above Arsenal and usurping their Champions League qualification spot.
The Gunners’ now almost traditional spring-time collapse of form has seen them garner a mere five points from fifteen available in March.
It’s a run that has plunged the club from the title race to the fringes of the top four, with Everton now closing in on the north London club rapidly. It’s been a long-time boast of Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger that his team has consistently qualified for top table European football in the Champions League.
There must be real danger now however that such a run could be coming to an end.
Whilst Arsenal have been struggling along, averaging a point per game in the league, Everton have taken all fifteen points available from their allotted games in March. It’s a worrying comparison for all Gooners, especially so with the Toffees having a game in hand and the gap between the clubs now down to four points.
Oh yes, and Arsenal’s next game is at Goodison Park.
Arsene Wenger’s mood will not have been helped by rumours linking Martinez as a possible replacement for Wenger as and when he decides to call it a day as the front line coach at Arsenal.
The Spaniard’s style of play, as well as his success has underscored his credentials as one of the Premier League’s up-and-coming young managers, and his passing and possession ethos would fit nicely with Arsenal’s established pattern of play. It seems an obvious fit.
Wenger’s future however still remains clouded in doubt. Whilst rumours persist that a new contract is all but agreed, and the man himself has declared his intention to pen a new deal, there remains a simmering dissatisfaction among many of the club’s supporters. This season could see a watershed however.
The FA Cup is firmly in the club’s sights, and Arsenal are clear favourites to land the trophy and end the club’s long trophy drought. Success at Wembley may offer Wenger an appropriate curtain call, but the Frenchman would surely be reluctant to leave if the club’s top four position is lost.
Given the success at the club under his charge, going out on a disappointment probably isn’t in his plans.
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