Arsenal fans can only feel nervous about what lies in store for the remainder of the 2017-18 season.
The Gunners are yet to show any signs of eradicating the issues behind their capitulation last term, let alone finding a way to contest for the Premier League crown.
If their first four showings are anything to go by, Arsene Wenger is still struggling to get his team playing with the level of chemistry and fluidity required to mount a serious title challenge.
Arsenal are currently 11th on the league table having sandwiched defeats to Stoke and Liverpool between victories over Leicester and Bournemouth.
The North Londoners are losing precious ground on their rivals just over a month into the campaign – and that’s so far occurred without juggling the demands of European football.
Wenger and his men tonight host their first Europa League fixture against Cologne in what’s unlikely to be a straightforward evening.
Despite needing a positive result to build some momentum, the Frenchman will be tempted to rotate some of his key stars ahead of their trip to Chelsea this Sunday.
Mesut Ozil could make way having been among the least influential performers in the Gunners’ 3-0 triumph over a Bournemouth side low on confidence.
OZIL'S TERRIBLE OUTPUT
The German international has been virtually anonymous for Arsenal to date this season, failing to record a single goal or assist in 360 minutes of football.
There's no question he can be a crucial influence when his team dominate possession, but his lack of contribution is difficult to ignore considering his often languid modus operandi.
However, a significant portion of the Emirates faithful show enormous patience with Ozil and would be devastated to him leave.
Unfortunately for them, though, the prospect of him departing on a free transfer is becoming increasingly as time ticks towards when he’s free to speak with other clubs from January 1.
The 28-year-old has entered the final year of his existing deal after refusing to accept an extension that would nearly double his current wages to £250,000-a-week, per the Evening Standard.
It’s believed he wants to see how Arsenal fare over the 2017-18 season before he commits to anything.
WENGER'S UPDATE ON OZIL'S CONTRACT
While Wenger is desperate to keep Ozil at his disposal beyond this season, the 67-year-old admits progress has stalled in recent weeks.
“Yes, of course [I want to keep Ozil]. Contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31 because we need a little breather and to focus on the competition, but we will slowly get back into that,” he said.
Ozil attracted an alarmingly low level of interest from clubs during the summer transfer window with only Fenerbahce and Barcelona expressing any genuine desire in signing him.
Whether additional parties will look to pick him up for nothing at the end of next season remains to be seen, though it’s certainly the worst-case scenario for Arsenal.
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