Glance through Arsenal’s squads over the past few seasons and you’ll notice a common theme.
The Gunners tend to have a deadly striker, a creative midfielder and one reliable centre-back, surrounded by an array of players of slightly less ability.
In the 2009-10 season: Robin van Persie was the forward, Cesc Fabregas was the playmaker and Thomas Vermaelen the leader in defence.
This season, those aforementioned roles are occupied by Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny respectively.
Not since 2004 has Arsene Wenger been able to build a squad capable of winning the Premier League. The squads of 09-10 and 16-17 had talent but also had some glaring deficiencies.
GiveMeSport has a look at how both squads shaped up on FIFA 10 and FIFA 17. You’ll notice the quality mixed in with the severely average in both sides.
FIFA 10 (4-2-3-1)
GK | Manuel Almunia | 82
RB | Bacary Sagna | 85
CB | William Gallas | 84
CB | Thomas Vermaelen | 79
LB | Gael Clichy | 80
CM | Alex Song | 71
CM | Cesc Fabregas | 86
RW | Theo Walcott | 79
CAM | Samir Nasri | 82
LW | Andrey Arshavin | 86
ST | Robin van Persie | 88
FIFA 17 (3-4-2-1)
GK | Petr Cech | 88
RCB | Shkodran Mustafi | 83
CB | Laurent Koscielny | 85
LCB | Nacho Monreal | 81
RM | Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 79
CM | Aaron Ramsey | 84
CM | Granit Xhaka | 84
LM | Kieran Gibbs | 80
AM | Mesut Ozil | 89
AM | Alexis Sanchez | 87
ST | Olivier Giroud | 83
Arsenal’s side on FIFA 10 had an average rating of 82. That’s *just* less than the rating on FIFA 17 – 83.9.
But Arsenal’s team on FIFA 18 will be rated much worse if Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both leave the club in the summer.
Both stars have one year remaining on their contracts and may have to settle for Europa League football next campaign, prompting BBC pundit Garth Crooks to suggest Ozil should leave the Emirates Stadium.
Crooks’ bizarre comment about Ozil
And where does Crooks want to see Ozil end up? Tottenham Hotspur.
Yes. You read that correctly.
“A player with his talent would be more appreciated at a club like Tottenham,” Crooks wrote. “Now at this moment I may have Arsenal fans foaming at the mouth at the very thought of Ozil defecting to White Hart Lane but frankly it is a better fit.
“Only at Spurs will the fans accommodate players like Ozil. You see, at Spurs it is all about the football while at Arsenal it is all about the winning.”