It’s been 18 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title, and they’ve arguably never been further away from it than they are now.
Yet reports suggest that manager Mikel Arteta is to be rewarded with a brand new contract at the Emirates Stadium as he heads towards the final year of his current deal.
But why? What has he done to earn himself a new contract with the club?
The answer, quite simply, is nothing really.
Arteta has brought through Emile Smith Rowe as a first-team regular and regardless of the reason why he brought him into the team, he deserves credit for keeping him and making him a key player.
He’s recruited relatively well too with all of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard regulars in the side and playing relatively well.
But he’s managed to cause a rift with a multitude of players including William Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi, Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That’s not including the ones he forced to leave the club too on a permanent basis.
He’s also overseen the worst start to a season in Arsenal history, their first season of no European football in over 25 years and they currently sit outside of the top four once again.
They had a decent run in mid-season where it looked like things were going well, and they had a very impressive performance against Man City. But ultimately they lost that game.
They had a solid 0-0 draw at Anfield after going down to ten men. But ultimately, they were eliminated after losing the second leg.
They struggle to score goals on a regular basis, defensively aren’t exactly solid, are nowhere near getting back into title contention and are out of all the cup competitions in January.
Arsene Wenger was forced out for less than that and he was their most successful manager ever. Unai Emery was forced out because he missed out on top four and made the Europa League final, then went on a bad run the following season.
But Arteta is set for a brand spanking new contract and likely a pay-rise to boot.
Arsenal are a club who have lost their vision of being one of the best and have instead become a team just happy to take part. They’ve accepted mediocrity and are now rewarding it.