Much is being made of our under-performance this season. Many are pointing to the difference in desire and team work shown by the likes of Leicester – those intangible bits, the bits that get you through when really you should lose. Those games when actually, you have no right to get a result but you do. Because you have grafted for it.

Team Concept

It’s difficult for me to say, I’ve been there when we were pretty shit and what we are all being fed at the moment isn’t good enough, but we are still 3rd in the league. There are many teams that are looking up at us and wanting to swap places.

That’s not an excuse, or even a statement of satisfaction with the situation, but it is a fact.

This season was the best opportunity we’ve had for years now and we’ve blown it. We have dropped points in key games where we’ve not turned up. We’ve attempted to win the game at a canter and been roughly shown the door by teams that appeared to have that intangible desire and fight. Something we have oft been accused of lacking. I’m not sure we lack either, but we do lack organisation and we do lack leadership.

I feel we have missed Arteta massively this season. Someone to call the shots and calm the team down. We are too quiet and our players spend too much time introspectively looking at their own games when in fact, football is a team game and we don’t function like a team. At all.

We are a disparate bunch of highly talented players, ability cannot be questioned but our teamwork can be. We don’t do anything as a unit. We don’t attack as a unit and nor do we defend like one. It’s not a question of personnel. Its a question of personality. Our team has a highly focussed attacking game with a win at all costs mentality that is wonderful when we can steam-roll a team, but when we are forced to work together we are found wanting.

Individual creativity and brilliance is one thing. Not conceding a goal takes team work.  It takes mental strength and it takes effort.

What I’d give to see us play like a team again.

Could we manufacture this teamwork by bringing more of the kids through? Players who love the club and want to fight for it? We’ve seen it with Iwobi – there is immense talent in the ranks but we have to be strong enough to accept that they will make mistakes as they learn their trade. There is a big overhaul in the summer in our midfield and I cannot imagine Arsenal buying three midfielders, so I expect further promotions from within.

GREENOCK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: James Tavernier of Rangers celebrates after he scores Rangers third goal Gedion Zelalem of Rangers during the Scottish Championships match between Greenock Morton FC and Rangers at Cappielow Park on September 27, 2015 in Greenock, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images) *** Local Caption *** James Tavernier; Gedion Zelalem

GREENOCK, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: James Tavernier of Rangers celebrates after he scores Rangers third goal Gedion Zelalem of Rangers during the Scottish Championships match between Greenock Morton FC and Rangers at Cappielow Park on September 27, 2015 in Greenock, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images) *** Local Caption *** James Tavernier; Gedion Zelalem

I expect Zelalem to be given a first team shirt next season after his loan to Rangers. He has done particularly well this season as a first-team regular, with this quote coming from Mark Warburton, Rangers Manager – “Look at Gedion Zelalem,” Warburton told The Daily Record. “At 18, he’s starting 20-odd games for Rangers and he will go back to Arsenal having played so many games for us and hopefully helping us achieve our targets, while they get back a better player.”

I’d also like to see  Hayden and Akpom back and given a shot following their contribution for Hull this year. Both of them have the ability, but its whether they can fulfil their potential.

Don’t forget, we have a responsibility to give these players our support and an opportunity to grow and become great players for AFC.

WG