Been a long time since I’ve written an article about Arsenal so why not write about how the clubs performances this season. Arteta was backed with 150m pounds of the Queens finest and with this we spent it on 6 players including Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Questions were asked with these signings as they weren’t big names, bar Odegaard who was on loan last season. £50M on Ben White who only spent one season in the top flight and Aaron Ramsdale for £30M who just got relegated with Sheffield United. Every pundit, ex- player, rival fan and even our own fans were writing us off as they couldn’t believe that’s what we spent the money on.
Early season woes
The first 3 games of the season we were down bad horrendously, we started the season with a 2-0 defeat to newly promoted Brentford who played us off the park, to be fair to us we had injuries and were hit with COVID to key players, so it was always going to be a hard game. Ben White started this game and was being rag dolled by Ivan Toney who was winning every single aerial duel. After this game pundits and fans were on Whites neck saying what a waste of money, with that money you could’ve gotten Raphael Varane who signed for United. Next game was against Chelsea who we lost 2-0 too, we looked good in the first 15 minutes then we conceded and that was pretty much it, we weren’t getting back into the game. City up next and we got bodied 5-0, we’re now rock bottom of the league and fans are already asking for Arteta to be sacked. Arteta was interviewed after the City game saying do you still think you can pull this around and he replied with “Yes I do, you know I wouldn’t be sitting here”.
Covid, injuries, Inconsistency
Arteta finally had most of his players back from injury and players recovered from COVID and the players he bought were in the starting XI and we could see a change in style and mentality. Consistent line ups every week and getting results. One of the big wins was against Spurs who we bodied 3-1, that first half was one of the best halves of football that I have seen under Arteta, goals from our star boys ESR and Saka and Auba who did the famous Henry slide in front of the Spurs fans, what a game that was. We went on an unbeaten run in all comps from September 11th until November 20th where we got rallied by Liverpool 4-0. Everything was going good until Arteta tried to do big man at Anfield which hyped the Liverpool team and the rest is history. After game we had Newcastle which was a standard 2-0 win followed by L’s to Everton who hadn’t won in 8 games, that was such a frustrating game and then to United away.
January transfer window was a bit of a mad one for us, we offloaded so many dead wood players and got rid of our captain Aubameyang who moved to Barcelona on a free. Never had any issues with Aubameyang as a person he was a top guy everybody at the club loved him, but this guy has disciplinary issues and this one was the straw that broke the camels back. As captain of Arsenal you must set an example and him showing up late for training or match day NLD just isn’t it, you have the young guys who look up to you and this is what you’re doing, so for this one I’m backing Arteta on this. At the end of this we didn’t even replace him which Arteta took a big risk on but I get where he’s coming from, he didn’t want to take a risk on a signing for 6 months and it might’ve not worked out in the end so he firmed the January transfer window with no signings.
Players turning the tide
Now let me get onto the players, every single player when called upon has balled out, I really can’t say much bad about these players, yeah there a few here and there but they’re not in the line up stinking up the place. Also we have to remember that we have the youngest squad in the league with an average age of 24, that just shows how mature and how much they’re invested in Arteta’s plan, they will all grow together which is such a bonus. Odegaard this season has been immense compared to last season. He’s showing how being a natural 10 is still a thing, every game I’m watching he’s creating chances, so elegant on the ball, for the £37M that we paid for him, he’s an absolute bargain.
Ben White and Ramsdale at the back have been amazing as well, the fact that Ramsdale is so good with his feet makes our build up at the back so good. The emergence of ESR stepping up this season being our top goal scorer with 0 penalties. Saka as well has that RW spot on lock every week, he’s cooking your favourite LB and there’s nothing you can do about it. Tomiyasu as well has been an absolute rock and the fact that he’s ambidextrous is such an asset, left or right he’s got you covered. I look forward to watching Arsenal games as we’re starting to look competitive, were in the top 4 race with 3 games in hand and I’m confident that we we’ll see Champion’s League nights at The Carpet again, us Arsenal fans need that feeling again it’s been way too long. We have 12 cup finals to go.
Arteta deserves credit
Credit where credit is due when we were down bad, I was critical about Arteta and now that we’re constantly winning games again and we have a style I give credit where it’s due unlike certain Arsenal fans who will bash him even if we’re winning. Number one thing is to support the team, you can dislike the guy but still give credit where it’s due. I just hope we make top 4 and build on this next season by getting a goal scorer and another 8 and then we can transition into the 4-3-3 that Arteta has been wanting to implement, upwards and onwards from here.
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for our next article on Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel!