Robbie Savage: This is the best Arsenal can hope for this season

Arsenal Emirates

Arsenal will struggle to improve upon their traditional fourth place finish

Despite a summer recruitment drive that has seen Arsene Wenger welcome Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers into the senior squad, Arsenal have failed to truly progress from their top four status and into worthy title challengers.

That is, according to renowned pundit Robbie Savage, who was unimpressed by Arsenal's trip to Germany midweek as the Gunners were humbled by Borussia Dortmund in the first round of group stage fixtures in the Champions League.

"From what I saw of Arsenal getting absolutely battered in Dortmund, a top-four finish in the title race at home and the last 16 of the Champions League is the best they can hope for," said the 39-year-old in The Mirror.

"In other words: Business as usual."

A number of weaknesses were once again evident at the Signal Iduna Park as Arsenal's lack of a specialist defensive midfielder saw the club's rearguard continually exposed, while Mesut Ozil's effectiveness as a creative midfielder was limited as the German trequartista was shunted out wide and made just three passes that penetrated the final third.

"Mesut Ozil was anonymous against Manchester City last weekend and the game in Dortmund also totally passed him by," Savage added.

"I’ve heard people say Ozil should occupy a more central position, but Arsene Wenger is using him in the role where he plays for Germany. I would suggest he needs to pull his finger out. His fellow German Per Mertesacker also looks miles off the pace at the back."

Savage also criticises the appointment of Mikel Arteta as captain as, like Thomas Vermaelen before him, Wenger has seemingly given the armband to a player incapable of making a sustained impact in the first team.

"Wenger has made a rod for his own back by installing Mikel Arteta as club captain - because the Spaniard looks painfully slow and is struggling to justify his place in the side."

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