Talking Points: Problems at Arsenal lie far above Wenger’s head

All the talking points from last weekend’s Premier League action.

Talking Points: Problems at Arsenal lie far above Wenger’s head

Has the real Arsenal power struggle begun?

The Arsenal soap opera took another embarrassing turn this weekend with supporters increasingly divided as to how their club should be run.

The fans inside the ground, as Arsene Wenger pointed out, were fantastic and cheered the team even when they were losing – twice.

Yes, there were protests outside the ground, but it was literally a handful of people and they have become a laughing stock for supporters of all rivals clubs.

The point some of them seem to be missing is that the problems at Arsenal, and there are a few, lie well above Wenger’s head.

They have a rudderless board and an absent owner with no passion for the club as a supporter might have.

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis apparently came out fighting yesterday – and he should worry for his job as much as anyone – intimating at a fan forum that Wenger will have to sign up to a major overhaul in the way the club is run in terms of players, coaching and recruitment.

The question remains as to who is the most powerful man at Arsenal – Arsene or his boss?

Crude Barkley flatters to deceive again

Ross Barkley’s forgettable week continued in the Anfield derby and not just because the midfielder was fortunate to survive a first-half assault on Dejan Lovren with only a yellow card.

The Evertonian should clearly have seen red for a studs-up challenge on the defender but, in the week that he completed a seventh successive international on duty for England without playing a single minute, the 23-year-old hardly helped his cause.

No Englishman has created more chances in Premier League play in 2017 than Barkley but questions remain.

Wilfried Zaha set to be in demand this summer

The Crystal Palace winger has found himself the centre of attention this week because of his decision to turn his back on England and commit to Ivory Coast.

The form he has shown during Palace’s revival suggests he will remain a prominent figure during the summer transfer window.

The move to Manchester United may have come too early for the player, but now 24, he is demonstrating a growing maturity that won’t have been overlooked by Antonio Conte, amongst others.

Sam Allardyce accepts his player is likely to be in demand. “That’s a nice thing to think about, not a difficult thing,” said the Crystal Palace manager.

“I think in today’s world a player of Wilfried’s capabilities, if you see them grow and become quality players for your team and continue to help you win football matches, it’s bound to make interest from other football clubs then across the world.

“So I think when that day comes, we can’t moan about it for me because we’ll have done all we can for Wilf and Wilf will have done all he can for Crystal Palace.”

Has Mourinho given up on Luke Shaw?

In a week when Jose Mourinho, uncharacteristically apologised for his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger before his departure to Chicago Fire, the Manchester United now appears to be hanging Luke Shaw out to dry.

The Portuguese left him out of his squad for the game with West Brom before going on to question his desire to succeed at the top level.

But it’s only 18 months since the England defender suffered a horrendous leg break and the psychological effect of that injury can take time to recover from.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is a good example of player who was fit, but took some time to get back to his best on the pitch.

Shaw is just 21 and Mourinho might want to exercise some patience because the ex-Southampton man has the quality to succeed and letting him go could be a decision that will haunt Mourinho in the future.

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