Arsenal are a team in development but the future looks bright

The future looks bright by AndersS

Arsenal should aim to win the PL. No doubt about it. It must be our goal, and anything less is unacceptable. But is it realistic? How? When?


2 seasons ago we were a massive 37 points behind the EPL winners and although that gap last year was cut to 28 points, it is still a huge difference to make up.
Given we don’t have an owner, or rather a sugardaddy, with almost unlimited amounts of money to spend on the team, we have to find another way.

I will suggest that other way can’t be to hope for a “miracle season”, like the one Leicester had a few seasons ago. We must be a bit more clever than buying a lottery ticket.

Before this season started I found it unrealistic that we could compete for the title. I think we had a good transfer window, but there is no way those improvements would be enough to close the massive gap we have to Man City and Liverpool. Unless they implode, we are competing for 3rd, and I still think this is the situation.

Now, I am sure a lot of fans will argue, if we had another manager, we would do much better. I am not going to go into that discussion, as it is already in full flow in as good as every article on this site at the moment. But I will say, I don’t think any manager in the world could turn us into champions this year. We were/are too far behind, and maybe another manager could do better than Emery. But champions this year? I am sorry, not realistic.

For me the only realistic way for us to compete for the title, is to take a longer view, maybe 2-3 years, and develop a team, which by then will be ready to compete for the title. I think the current regime is doing exactly that, and it seems to me they are doing a fine job.

In 2-3 years, we might have a completely different squad to the one that finished 37 points behind City 2 seasons ago. Nearly every position could be with a different and, hopefully, a better player. When you can’t just go out and buy whichever world class player you desire, that really takes some clever planning and a huge football knowledge. It also takes the courage to trust and develop young players and providing the current trend continues, we could see this squad in 2-3 years:

GK: Leno/Martinez/Macey

RB: Bellerin
CB: Holding/Saliba/Mavropanos/Medley
LB: Tierney
MF: Torreira/Willock/Smith-Rowe/Guendouzi
Attack: Pepe/Laccazette/Saka/Nketiah/Nelson/Martinelli

Not many players left from the season 17-18.

If you think about it, it is not only very drastic to give your team such an overhaul in only 5 years. It is also very ambitious, and you could possibly excuse some periods, where the team won’t look very organized.

All the players above are at an age, where they should still improve quite a lot in the coming years, and as such it looks very promising to me. I admit, we haven’t seen Saliba and Tierney and there are of course many uncertainties, but overall I am confident, many of those can make a strong Arsenal in the future.


There could be other players in the current squad, that may still be in the frame in 2-3 years, but I don’t think it will be many. They simply aren’t good enough for a squad competing for the title, or they may be too old in a few years.

The 2-3 year perspective does not mean the next 1-2 years are without meaning. On the contrary. It is very important we offer the players the right opportunities to develop and it is very important, we economically can offer salaries that will keep the players here, and will attract the ones we need. Champions League football is close to being crucial to this.  So although top 4 is not “the goal” it is an important goal until, we are ready for something bigger.

Going by the above, I think we will see our coming transfer windows concentrating on the following:

  • Additions to RB and LB
  • Maybe a promising CB or even better, an experienced CB with 4-5 years in him (if we can find one)
  • 1 or 2 additions in Midfield
  • One attacker suited to play on the right wing as backup for Pepe

Should be possible to do in 2-4 transfer windows.

This is what I think our coach and management are planning towards. To me it looks good so far.  

What do you think?

 AndersS

26 Comments

  1. Eddie Hoyte says:

    One thing curious about and hoping to see is Tierney whipping in those crosses from the left like he does while at Celtic. Cause clearly I don’t know if anyone else noticed Monreal and Kolasinac hardly make aerial crosses, it’s a low pass out or cutting back to go start the Merry go round of passes.
    Which Saka refuses to be a part of, so far in his two games, he attempts crosses into the box, and a fair amount of his crosses were more than average.
    I’m hoping Tierney will stick to his game and not adapt this whole obsession of playing the ball low after cutting the defenders

    1. Joe says:

      There’s a disturbing thing I’ve noticed this season. Our fullbacks are seemingly being asked to be less adventurous. I’ve seen Kola not as rampaging as he was last season, Niles was also more dangerous last season, he got into multiple finishing positions which has been rare this season.

      Worse still, in the U23 game against Wolves, Tierney and Bellarin were also holding their positions and not attacking too aggressively. I wonder what’s going on.

      Also, I might differ with you a little bit. Ground crosses hit the right way are more dangerous than aerial crosses. We do not have the strikers for the aerial battle

      1. A.ball08 says:

        Joe
        I would first like our defenders to defend first and keep clean sheets
        Then we can build going forward
        We have enough fire power up top

    2. Lenohappy says:

      Eddie I also noticed those Saka crosses, he had a shot that was just a little wide in the first half,if the boy can just do a little work in the gym he will be a real asset to arsenal and whatever national team he decide to play for.

    3. Lance says:

      Eddie H, aerial crosses can only be useful if you have strikers who are good with headers, such as Giroud. Otherwise, those crosses will go to waste.

  2. Joe says:

    I think you’re right. Even among the sugar daddy clubs, I think the only one that has been able to buy a title straight up is Chelsea. Man city had a whole series of failed experiments on their way to where they are now with the years of the Robinhos and Elanos.

    Liverpool also overspent on the likes of Andy Carol, they even had Luis Suarez and look how they are now making it with Salah who at the time, or even 2 years ago wouldn’t be mentioned as a world class forward.

    There’s gonna be bumps along the road, but we’re looking in the right direction.
    Glass is half full

  3. Phil says:

    The headline says “ The Future Looks Bright”. The article clearly states the youth players that are coming through with the young(ish) players added.The problem is nobody can tell you now exactly how good these players will turn out to become.How many times have we been told we have a world bearer on our hands over the years that over time proves to be wrong because the player ends up being deemed not good enough? Dan Cowley was the last one.Where is he now after being hyped up so much? How do we know Holding will prove to be a VVD? Because that’s the level we need to aim at to be successful is it not?
    I agree we have youngsters with potential. But the test is to wait and see if they fulfil that promise which is impossible to predict.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      Well said Phil.

  4. With Holding and Saliba coming back central defence will be sorted. However, we shall need a new right back as Bellerin was never really good defensively..and even if Bellerin were good defensively, we still need somebody to cover and compete with him. I can’t believe Lichtsteiner left and the coach just ignored it like Lichtsteiner was a ball boy or some kind of football intern. He left a position and it was never addressed. Bellerin could very well play 2 games and hobble off injured. We cannot continue for 3 years with a makeshift RB. If Emery declares AMN a RB, then he is not good enough and should be sold. Either way a new RB is neeeded.

    1. McLovin says:

      Lichsteiner was a disaster on high wages. I’m glad he’s moved on.

      I agree on us getting a new RB. We should take a look at Leipzig’s business model in the past few years:

      Konate – free
      Upamecano – £9m
      Mukiele – £14m
      Werner – £12m

      Some top, top talents at Ligue 1 and they are available for peanuts. Example:

      Enock Kwateng, RB, was available for free last January. At the time he was the most tackling and intercepting RB in the whole league. He signed for Bordeaux for free, and he’s not rated 2nd best player in the league. Still tackles 4.5 and intercepts 1.5 per match. Twice he has been named MOTM. These are only stats, but these stats are better than Wan-Bissaka’s.

      1. McLovin says:

        and he’s now rated 2nd best player..*

        1. He sounds good! Though we should be careful not to fall into that stat-trap. Even Paulista and Mustafi had excellent stats when we got them.

          1. McLovin says:

            True, true. But the thing is, looking at stats is the only way for us fans to get involved in finding interesting players..

            We don’t have the time to scout by watching tons of matches 🙂 and we don’t get money from doing it either!

            Fun fact:

            About 3 years ago I found an interesting player in the Austrian Bundesliga. A 20-year old CDM who had unbelievable tackling percentage, 3 times higher than Kante. His name was Diadie Semassekou. I actually sent Arsenal an email to watch out for him, the response was exhaustive. They really didn’t care or want to hear it.

            Last month Diadie transferred to Hoffenheim for £11m. I’m very curious to see how he turns out!

          2. Well, at least they replied @McLovin!!!

    2. Ebuca says:

      For me right now otsei tutu is good at right back,and I know d fact he has not played a lot for us ,he s doing a nice job at Bochum ,the kid got energy required like Trent Arnold weeping those crosses

  5. John Ibrahim says:

    The future is definitely bright

    if Saka, Nelson, Nekitah, Wilock can get regular football and enhance their skills and experience…..we have a very strong team next season or the season after

    together with Torriera, Gundonzi, Tieney and etc…

    a blend of experience and youth…

  6. It’s being reported Aubameyang’s free kick goal vs Aston Villa should have been disallowed… illegal opposition players next to the wall. Chambers dashed and joined the wall while Luiz was standing right infront. True or false?

    1. Joe says:

      ???????????
      How long have you watched football?

      1. New rules were introduced this season mate! No opposition player within a metre of a defensive wall. ?

    2. Drew SA says:

      Apparently it’s new FIFA rules, if there’s more than 3 in the wall then the attacking side needs to be at least a yard away from the wall ? we didn’t know ok, even the ref ?

    3. Viju Jacob says:

      This rule was explained in detail before the season commenced – it was in BBC sports site for a few days in case anyone missed.

  7. Bryan says:

    I want Emery out. I am not convinced of him pushing Arsenal forward. His tactics is poor and seems clueless. We get domininated by teams with less quality of play, I can’t remember when last we dominated a game or win convincely, shambolic school boy defensive blunders every game, we can’t even play attractive, we are a hard watch these days. I’m beginning to miss games without even thinking that I missed something.

    Oh I need my Arden back. Emery out.

  8. Viju Jacob says:

    If our future needs to look bright, the present scenario must change. If Emery isn’t going, he needs to change his ways and start playing football in a positive manner.
    He has a lot of things to sort out in his head because he has a team that is a lot better than a couple of years ago.

  9. Mogunna says:

    Doesnt take 2 or 3 years but to sign right players. Even with money and payment plans we are incapable of that.

    We needed top CB and a beast at DM
    miss a RB, a beast at DM, a LB and RB.

    We got an injured LB, lost Kos, got Luiz to replace. Pepe Ceballos…

    Koulibaly wanted out of Italy monkey screams and loves Arsenal as Ndombele does, both willing to come.

    We sold Ospina to Naples who wanted him bad, instead to use that to get Koulibaly bit cheaper. Ndombele went to Spurs for 35M. It is many quality LB and RB available.

    Leno
    Bellerin – Koulibaly – Holding – Tierney
    Ndombele Willock – Gendouzi
    Ozil
    Auba Laca

    Bench & rotation : Chambers, Saka, Nelson, Kolas, Torreira.

    This squad secures CL spot and can fight for title.

    Point, we needed Koulibaly bad instead of Pepe and Ndombele instead of Ceballos

    Xhaka Sokra, Mustafi should have been sold even cheaper wich will be more difficult.. now and later…

    No need 3 windows to sign right players but some sense.

    To get excited over Villa is crazy, we could have lost this game or draw, got lucky saved by Auba again…We would be 7th or 12th position we will be if lose MU.

    Reality, this team only way to CL is win Europa…

    1. Frédéric slimane says:

      Napoli president is worse than levy,he wants at least 100M for koulibaly so forget about it!!

  10. Frédéric slimane says:

    I completely agree with you,how many seasons and millions did it take klopp at Liverpool,poch has been at spurs 5 years, apart CL football he has won nothing and the team is no better this season than previous ones and it is going to get worse with some of their main players leaving, Eriksen and Co and poch could also leave,man utd 7 years after Ferguson,few managers and over 900M spent are no better and at Chelsea everything is far from rosy,it looks like 4 of the big teams are going through difficult times and transition and from where I’m standing after getting our injured players back we are in a better position than the rest of them!!

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