Arsenal must get their act together this window or risk sinking even lower

Arsenal must get their act together

After watching Arsenal’s underwhelming Premier League performances of the past two campaigns, it is natural that the current boss Mikel Arteta is already on huge pressure.

Although the London side lifted the FA Cup trophy in the Spaniard’s first season in-charge, they have found life extremely difficult in the English Premier League.

But there are certainly signs of promise as Arsenal are genuinely looking to offload a number of key players who played a major part in the last two insipid seasons.

Those could include Granit Xhaka, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi, Alexander Lacazette and Reiss Nelson. Although some would argue that the likes of Willock and Nelson should be handed more first-team opportunities, it is also worth considering that they have featured in a combined 125 appearances for Arsenal.

Thus, people cannot say they have not been handed chances in the first team. Although I like both the players and would like to see their contracts extended before loaning them out, I won’t make much noise if Arsenal cash in on them this summer.

The second positive sign is their record at the back end of the Premier League. The Gunners won five games in a row for the first time in Arteta’s tenure as Arsenal manager, which was certainly a positive even though it ended up in vain.

The club can definitely build onto their late season form with good signings. Acquiring the services of a centerback in Ben White and then a Premier League proven midfielder will massively improve the squad Arteta has at his disposal.

Although the Gunners conceded the third least goals last season, we cannot say that they had the third best defense. A good defense is one who shuts out goals, but an excellent defense is the one which not only concedes less but also contributes to other areas of the pitch.

With White, we can expect him to ping defense splitting and defense stretching passes. And with a good midfielder (someone like Bissouma), we can get more athletic at the center of the park, which hasn’t been the case for a number of years.

A realistic target for Arsenal next summer would be a top five finish and, on the side, fighting to win the EFL trophy or the FA Cup. Even though the supporters would argue that Mikel Arteta should be sacked if they don’t finish in the Champions League spot, the Gunners faithful should look at the broader picture.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are in all ways superior than them at the current moment. Leicester City have also overtaken the North London outfit when it has come to performing consistently in the Premier League.

We have to take the present situation with a pinch of salt. Both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool are not our direct rivals for the next campaign. It’s Totten*am, Leicester City, West Ham United and even Leeds United.

If we don’t get out act together soon, we will be fighting it out with the likes of Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Wolves and Southampton. Which is a scary thought.

That’s why this summer can be one of the most crucial in Arsenal’s history. Fail to strengthen the current team, and the club can slip to the bottom half of the Premier League.

Yash Bisht

51 Comments

  1. Sir Michael says:

    We only need 2 or 3 players slowly build a team and don’ sell all our English players remember we have to have a Quota of English Stop trying to buy a team BUILD ONE

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      Exactly…finally a fan can see this instead of spending big and signing big name players

      1. VasC says:

        Even the fiercest of Mikel Arteta supporters are just willing to wait until December and are ready to kick him out if the results don’t improve. That’s not a good foundation to build upon.

        Personally, I’ll be happy if the team plays like Leeds last season and at least 2-3 players from the academy (Saka and ESR not included) are prepared to be included in the starting line-up the following season. Qualifying for Europe will be a huge bonus.

  2. Apangu iddi amin says:

    But does Kroenke care about this? All he knows is he is getting his money through TV and other means not through Arsenal going to play UEFA that’s why he is always quiet when it comes to transfer. And you will hear them saying unless we sell, we can not buy and when fans are making noise they say we have 200 million to spend and they keep restricting buying prices until other suitors take away our

  3. Gunners4life says:

    I was thinking practically for almost half season last season (lost efl cup in dec, lost fa cup in jan), we were only in 2 competitions and we still finished 8th. This trnasfer window is really crucial and failing to replace xhaka (if he leaves) and david luiz means we are gonna be weaker than last season..

    Going by the transfer rumors we have so far, Im predicting us to finish at most 6th place. Our manager & squad is nowhere near the top 4 clubs and if injury strikes we might even finish lower than leicester, tottenham, villa and/or everton.. and if westham manage to keep lingard, they might perform another miraculous season.

  4. Gmv8 says:

    As Arsenal fans we pay the highest in the league for tickets. It is unacceptable that as a proportion of their income, fans spend infinitely more than the owner on the club. As I said before I didn’t understand the whole thing of preferring Kroenke to Usmanov – Usmanov is already spending big at Everton, and neither their fans, Chelsea fans or the FA appear to have any qualms about where the money came from. We knew an American owner was bad news from the Man Utd experience, not like it was something new. The tv stations will screen us less the worse we become, presumably Kroenke realises that as well. Season before last season our games were quite often not screened at all. That has never been the case before.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Gnv8, please explain your comment regarding paying the highest in the league for tickets.

      Here’s an example for you to beat:
      I paid £380.00 for my S/T and it allows me to see all PL matches and 7 cup games… it also puts me in the mix for Cup Final tickets and, if I cannot make it to a match, the club will sell my ticket for me and, if they can’t, record it against next seasons ticket.

      Please find me a PL club that does all that for £380.00… OH and if I can’t afford that due to coronavirus issues, they are offering a season’s grace, while assuring me my S/T will be available for the following season….. now let’s see what PL clubs offer that kind of deal……….

      1. Arsenull says:

        Arsenal season ticket is almost twice the price than that of Liverpool and Man U. What on Earth are you talking about?
        You are probably the only person on the planet to pay 380£ for an Arsenal season ticket.
        So you’re either lying or you got a crazy discount.

  5. gotanidea says:

    If we can’t buy a new CF, Tierney’s long crosses would most likely be wasted again and we’d lose a lot of aerial duels because of Leno’s long goal kicks

    Lacazette is fantastic in tight spaces and in linking-up with our midfield, but he often lost agains the tall CBs in the air. Aubameyang is highly inconsistent as a CF and Balogun is unproven in EPL

    1. VasC says:

      We’ve already discussed Moller. He’s available already. Will he gets a chance?

      1. gotanidea says:

        I heard he’ll be loaned out

      2. Ozziegunner says:

        Moller, is a year older and stronger this coming season. Surely he deserves an opportunity as a plan B in the cups, to see how he fares?

        1. VasC says:

          Instead of giving opportunities in just cup games (where we won’t be playing our strongest team), I prefer giving him some minutes in league games for a better assessment. Whenever the plan A isn’t working against teams that defend deep, instead of waiting for the 80+ minute mark to make the sub, may be letting Moller step-in around 60-65 minutes will get him into the tempo to play naturally for the final few minutes.

          1. Ozziegunner says:

            VasC, don’t disagree.

    2. Sylva says:

      Arsenal need a good pre season for players to understand the coach tactics property. Players coming late due to Arsenal board and Edu’s sluggishness in the transfer market won’t do the coach any good. Too many players link to Arsenal with only Tarvas signing is not a good clue. If in the next 2 weeks we can’t boast of more and decent purchase then, there will be little to be optimistic about next season. We want to see quality signings and not rumor post (s)

      1. gotanidea says:

        Many clubs are waiting until Euro is wrapped up, so I believe Arsenal will announce Lokonga and White a week after Euro

        1. Sylva says:

          GAI,
          It will be an encouragng signs at least, if Arsenal announces White and Lokonga. Then with an AM we should be good to start.

  6. OnceGreat says:

    Well, they will have to be veeery lucky with the cheap signings that they can only afford.
    I don’t believe in any rumour that has a price tag over 20M £. Arsenal doesn’t have the money.
    Calling out the owners is as useful as swimming against the stream. They’ll never invest a dime, so let’s hope Edu and El Pulis will do a Leicester this summer.

  7. VasC says:

    Predicting how the teams going to improve by signing some player is bad. What’s even worse is assuming a “realistic” target for the club, without knowing who’s gonna make the final squad when the season kick starts. The worst part is believing that signing players is going to fix every shortcomings of the club.

    I’m not scared about how the club is going to perform in this season or the next or the seasons after. I’ll be there for Arsenal, as long as there are a few academy products in the first-team squad, even if it means playing Championship football instead of Champions League football with a bunch of players paid to fake their loyalty for the badge.

    1. Gunners4life says:

      I can relate with you on so many levels. There are much higher sentiments in seeing someone like Reiss Nelson succeed than Pepe, or Willock instead of Xhaka. They are our kids and to see them wear the red and white really feels like we are keeping our identity.

      At times, I admire clubs like Bilbao who stand by their principles and identity while trying to survive against clubs like Madrid or Barca who went and buy their glories. But as long as our owner is Stan, I will keep shouting for us to spend. 300M, 400M or even 500M if possible! He keeps milking on the club and fans, and I am not ready to satisfy their greed by depending on our academy products alone.

      Maybe one day, when the fans can own the club, then I can concur. I am all for it even to the point of self sustaining the club using exclusively our academy products, playing a footballing brand we are proud of. We can invest fully on the academy and scouts to attract the best talented youngsters, build fanbase and footballing academies around the world. If we have a Brazilian player in the club, he would come from the club’s academy in Brazil. Maybe, once in a blue moon, we will have a player or two who transfer to the club because they dream of playing for us, not because of the money.

      We will use the club profits to contribute to the community in North London and wherever our fanbase are located (instead of having our club profits enjoyed by greedy owners). We will have a different measuring stick of success than other big clubs. Trophies will not be our main goal. Keeping our identity is. And one day when we win trophies, it will be dope. And we will be proud because we know we are part of it, and not because of some oil money.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍 G4L

      2. VasC says:

        Club + Fans + Ownership = Recipe for disaster.

        “Self-sustaining” is a long-term process. Constant chopping and changing won’t help. Changes are needed and inevitable. But, with proper justifications and at the right moments. Replacing Wenger was inevitable. But, was replacing Emery needed? Or the now trending #ArtetaOut a necessity?

        To maximize the number of academy players in the senior set-up, every level in the club must preach and practice from the same template used by the senior side. It’ll help the players’ transition from academy to senior football a lot easier. Do our senior side have a clear-cut template? If yes, is it being preached and practiced at the lower levels?

        How many “FANS” actually support “academy first, import next” like you do, except a very few? How much have the fans discussed about self-sustaining or the academies? The majority of our fans just want our club’s senior team to win, whatever it may cost us, reasonable or unreasonable. The club is safer in the hands of a businessmen than fans, for he’ll try his best to protect his investments. Having someone at the top who can identify himself as a fan is a good thing. Only, if that person is uncompromisingly principled.

        1. Gunners4life says:

          I feel the idea of success dependent on rich owner is an illusion created in english clubs.. Clubs in Germany has a 50+1 rule while many clubs in Spain are 100% owned by club members and they dont seem to self destruct.

          Of course a proper governing body is needed. To some extent, we can probably copy Barca’s system, with presidential system, election, and stuff (like how countries are run). The key is good governance. We can see how Barca self destruct by spending lavishly vs how they conquer Europe using a healthy academy system. With the current ownership under Stan, no matter what we try, we would always be behind clubs like chelsea and man city.

          Then again, as you say, most of the fans probably wants instant success and does not mind the club owned by a random rich dude.

          And anyway, this is all just my footballing utopia and is way too far fetched. Sharing just for the fun of it lol.

          1. VasC says:

            There is still a faint hope within me that we may put ourselves above Chelsea and ManC this season, if we TRY to do the right things, EVEN WITH THE CURRENT OWNERSHIP.

            We are presented with the opportunity to concentrate only on the league without any European distractions for the first time in many years. The squad is comparatively youthful and they finished strong last season. With just the right amount of additions and playing to the strengths of the players in the squad with some tactical flexibility, we can achieve great things which we may consider impossible now. It all comes down to TRYING.

            Not just trying to sell, to buy, to replace. Leeds tried last season to play a certain way and were rewarded. They were rewarded for their collective efforts. If they can do it, so can we.

  8. kev says:

    As said weeks ago Smith-Rowe has already signed a new 5 year contract. Done deal!!!! Agent probably used Villa for leverage by giving false hope.

    Now left with White to pass his medical and sign

    1. kev says:

      Our new signing had better not be as bad as they say he is. If we make another naïve Runarsson like signing its all on management. I hope we see a great player who can even oust Tierney from the lineup.

      1. Kedar says:

        Is there anything on CAM or CM??

        1. kev says:

          Maddison, Aouar, Bissouma, Neves, Renato Sanches are some targets

          1. Kedar says:

            But nothing concrete yet

          2. kev says:

            Talks opened for Aouar and Bissouma. Nothing advanced yet.

      2. Gmv8 says:

        It seems absolutely crazy that we sold Emi Martinez to Villa to placate Leno who now wants to leave us – EM is arguably the best keeper in the EPL, and it wasn’t as if he hadn’t demonstrated this to us – I would’ve thought a bit of care should’ve been taken with ascertaining Leno’s intentions, like seeing how open he was to signing a long term contract before getting rid of a keeper who was home bred and demonstrated his quality in the EPL and FA cup – no wonder Villa thought we were crazy and get rid of the most promising CAM for a song.

        1. kev says:

          We are in a club where some fans want other players to fail just because their favorite starts. People start to support players more than the club. I’m so happy for Martinez and hopefully he continues to pull out world class performances. The club had the audacity to sing Runarsson who was said to not be good enough even before he came in. Its so annoying how we do transfers.

      3. John Ibrahim says:

        hard to tell …..till the players play competitively

  9. FingersFurnell says:

    I think buying wisely rather than big is the answer in any window, if we can get our targets that would be great, a big if as always because there are a number of other Clubs doing the same and it all has to suit the player, Agent, selling Club etc, not easy but we appear to have landed one as a much needed left sided full back, an attacking midfielder with goals in them would be great too if we could do it

    It always gets fans excited to speculate this time of year and it’s always good to bring in a new face or two to freshen things up but I believe the squad is pretty good now, with or without Xhaka

    It is correct that we are competing with any team from 11th up last season and maybe Wolves and Southampton could seriously challenge, plus potentially Palace with their new Manager but that’s not a new thing, every season starts with a level playing field with maybe only half a dozen teams or so that won’t really feature too much in the top half during the season

    City are out of site, Liverpool not far behind but we could overtake Spurs, West Ham, Leicester, Chelsea and United, our results against all of them were pretty good last season, Spurs beat us away, we beat them at home, we lost at home to Leicester but then beat them up there, otherwise we didn’t lose to any of them, so only losing 2 games in 10 against the other teams trying to get on a par with City and Liverpool consistently and that’s the word “consistency”, a number of teams weren’t able to play consistently well last season and that surprisingly included Liverpool

    As holders I was really disappointed to go out of the FA Cup so early the way we did, we lost in the Carabao Cup to City the eventual winners and likewise Villarreal in the Europa, a competition where we did really well to be a post width away from getting to the final and playing a team that hadn’t managed to beat us in the League in two games

    Auba has got to be better next term, it was a blip, Partey I’m sure will show us a lot more than he has so far, Saka will kick on even more with his confidence from the Euros, ESR will continue to improve, if Pepe can be more consistent he has shown us what he can do, our defence has improved and both Mari and Gabriel will be better for a second season in English football at this level

    Martinelli or Balogun could take the place by storm but if not Laca & Eddie are quite capable and won’t let us down when needed, I could go on

    Arteta will be a better Manager too, that is natural as he would have learned a lot from last season and got to really know his players well, hopefully that will help us with our consistency

    So, reasons to cheerful, I may or may not be a lone voice in the wilderness but I don’t really care I am looking forward to the new season with genuine optimism as always

    1. Tom says:

      Same here bro… i share your thoughts.
      I beleive the team will definitely improve this season as compared to last season and the season befor.
      Iam excited about the prospect of progress we will make going into the season as am optimistic of a top 5 finish.

    2. SueP says:

      Fingers
      I really enjoyed your positive post

  10. C.Fabregas says:

    Arsenal always falls short in the transfer window i am not even surprised, it is the Arsenal i came to know recently

  11. Ximplicity says:

    @C.Fabregas most top teams did really nothing so far in the current transfer window but you could argue they have better squad than us. Euro 2020 ends tomorrow, so I believe Arsenal would be active very soon. They’ve already announced Tavares signing and I believe as per media that Lokonga and Ben White are almost done. Finger crossed though, the club might do the unthinkable this TW

  12. Durand says:

    Rumors abound, no one knows, even Arteta and Edu don’t “know” until the end.

    1. Will Kronke cough up the money?

    2. Why would White’s agent or Brighton rush when other clubs enter the bidding?

    3. They have targets they like, but other actors involved in the deals.

    4. I hope Arteta and Edu have solid 2nd and 3rd choice options because 1st choice isn’t always possible.

    For me that’s where the rubber meets the road. Will their alternative transfer choices be good business?

    That’s where missing Sven comes into play. I’d have more confidence in his alternative choices than Arteta or Edu.

    Hold judgement until the window closes.

    Hold praise or criticism until Arteta shows he can properly or improperly utilize the player(s) brought in.

    December is a fair indicator; Arteta entering 3rd year, his philosophy and style should be apparent and not an issue, and he’ll have 10 or more players HE CHOSE to bring in.

    Where are we in FA Cup competition? How close are we to the top 6? If we are 8th or worse, he has to go, no more excuses; nice try but another failure.

    Blaming Wenger and Emery would be simply wrong; their bad apples removed, and their other players Arteta chose to keep.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Durand, I’m struggling to find any difference with the situation regarding the clubs mentioned and their spending power, to the situation that faced Arsenal ever since kronkie became involved with the club.
      Suddenly it seems that reality has become a fact of life with those fans who were never satisfied with being a top four club, winning cups, appearing in the CL and having a brand new state of the art stadium to call home.

      We can only dream and hope that MA will take us back to those days of “failure”…. but of course, that still wouldn’t be good enough for some of our fans.
      Why can’t we compete with City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United?
      Just like these teams, we have had bad buys, the difference is that their owners want to be winners, while our owner just wants to be richer.

      1. Durand says:

        Ken my friend,
        The differnce for me has always been ambition; that combined with competent management.

        Merely looking back shows Arsenal will spend money, just not always the amount or on the “right players.”

        Gabriel was £27 million, Saliba £27 million, Pepe £72 million, Laca £50 million, Auba £54 million, Partey £45 million, Torreira £30 million, Xhaka £35 million, Tierney £25 million, etc…

        Just a few examples of what I personally consider “significant” sums of money over the last several years.

        Out of those Tierney is definitely a keeper, perhaps Pepe, but Gabriel and Saliba who really knows.

        A poor hit-to-miss ratio, and management should have done much better with our resources.

        Seems owners “ambition” ends with CL qualification and the sizable financial payoffs that accompany it.

        2 decades and not once the effort to dig a bit deeper and take the next step; hence I blame Kronke’s for shrinking away from “ambition” and titles.

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          👍 Sadly Durand, Arsenal appeared to lose ambition and gave up trying to compete some time ago.

          1. VasC says:

            After the departure of Arsene Wenger, the club have seen far too many changes in the management level. The management structure and personnel remain changing, even after three years. Lack of continuity gives the current personnel the power to absolve themselves from any accountability for the mistakes originated during their predecessors’ time. A sane investor shall never put up any more resources until the management team is steadied and ready to accept full responsibilities.

  13. S.J says:

    I am having the feeling we might end up with these players –

    Tavares – LB
    Lokonga – CM
    White – CB
    Aouar – CM
    Keeper??- GK

    Will this be a good summer transfer window if these players are the only ones we sign?

    1. Gunners4life says:

      The question we must ask is how many of these players will start in our starting players and how do they compare with the starting eleven of last season’s top four clubs..

      I would say ben white and aouar would be in our starting lineup but they would at most make the bench of the other clubs..

      1. Gunners4life says:

        These signings would definitely not propel us to top four, sadly..

    2. Pert Murdersacker says:

      Unfortunately we need so much more. Bellerin seems destined to leave so a new RB that plays the modern style full-back role like Tierney, RB Leipzig’s Adams or Barca’s Emerson would be amazing, though difficult. A proven goal-scorer, preferably an aerial option would be massive for us, we put so many quality crosses into the box but nobody gets on the end of them. Then in midfield we need possibly two more, it looks like AMN, Xhaka and Torreira will leave, Guendouzi already has. At CM that leaves Willock, Partey, Lokonga and Elneny, two of which will play a big part away at AFCON, leaving the Willock who is best at CAM and the inexperienced Lokonga, so I hope we have sights on two of Aoaor, Sabitzer(can play anywhere in Mid and For roles), Zakaria, Neves, etc. CAM we should let Willock and ESR battle for it, with the experienced Sabitzer/Aoaor able to move upfield and fill in when needed. If Leno goes we’ll need two keepers (Onana and Woodman would be ideal). If we decide Aubameyang will play centrally (though he does better at LW in the PL) then a player to offer Martinelli competition would be fantastic.
      Although we have no european football next season we still need a solid 20-25players given AFCON, injuries, potentially doing well in cups.
      Fingers crossed it’s a great couple months of business, but my expectations are a lot lower than the aforementioned dream scenario!

  14. Durand says:

    Tavares and Lokonga will not propel us into the top 6, forget the top 4 this year. For that matter not sure how White solves our woeful attack or adds goals to our team.

    However, a couple midfielders would not only balance the team, but a Bissouma could further improve the defense, and Auoar could aid the attack.

    I’m not an expert or the manager, so I’ll wait until the window closes to gauge the “success” of the Summer, and December should be a good indicator regarding “progress”

    At least 10 new players, approaching £200 million in transfers, signing fees and wages.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      so its still the big name players approved by the media that the fans always wanted

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        Bash, please exain to me how Joe Willock, who played 15 games for Newcastle United, scoring 8 goals and Guendouzi and AMN, who were on loan for Hertha Berlin and West Bromwich Albion respectively, were part of Arsenal’s “insipid” performances last season? It’s completely unfair to blame players, who were not even at the Emirates to be given opportunities to play for Mikel Arteta.

        1. O.T.S says:

          This is deep!

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