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.