Over the weekend, Arsenal secured a second place finish in the Premier League, which should be a reason for celebration for most teams.
Unfortunately, Arsenal isn’t like most teams and the fans consider the second place finish a disappointment, especially since the team that won the league title was fighting relegation a season ago.
Going into next season, Arsenal will once again be online soccer odds favorites to win the Premier League, and if they don’t, manager Arsene Wenger might be shown the door.
After clinching second place on Sunday, Arsenal fans showed their support for the team as they did the post-match lap of celebration, but it doesn’t mean that they are satisfied with the second place finish.
Although the second place finish was the club’s best since 2005, the team finished with 71 points, which was their lowest total since 2012. The 65 goals the Gunners scored this season were also their lowest since 2007. While these totals were enough for a second place finish this year, it is unlikely that they will be enough next season, which means Wenger has to figure out how to get more scoring production from his team in order to win more games.
Due to the second place finish, Wenger won’t be criticized as much as he has been in the past off seasons, but the fans are still expecting a Premier League title very soon. While most fans would be happy if Wenger is the man that gives them another league title, they will just as happy if it is a new manager so Wenger will essentially be managing for his job next season.
Wenger will try to avoid the rough stretch that occurred in February and March, which cost his team a chance to win the league title. But with the unpredictability of injuries, there are no guarantees they won’t have a similar slump next season.
What about Gayle at Crystal Palace?
Crystal Palace is another team contemplating what to do this offseason. The club has been trying to figure out what to do with Dwight Gayle, who has been an unpredictable player since he joined the club.
When Gayle is on, there is no doubt that he has the potential to be one of the best players in the league, the problem the team is having is that he hasn’t been on too many times since he joined the club in 2013.
Some experts believe that Gayle is one of the most expensive flops in history, but that is hard to back up since he has been the team’s leading scorer every years since he joined. Despite the reservations some in the organization have about his value to the team, Gayle was rewarded with a three-year contract extension last month, which indicated that the team wants him around for a while.
After signing his new contract, Gayle celebrated by scoring two goals against Stoke. Against Southampton this weekend, Gayle seemed to be flustered and was rushing a lot of his shots, which resulted in him missing three excellent scoring opportunities.
Crystal Palace has been looking for a big name striker for years, but it seems like Gayle might have hit his ceiling. If he has, the club has to consider bringing in a striker that can produce consistently if they want to be contenders for the league title.