Atrocious season finally ends with a victory to nicely relegate Watford. by Konstantin Mitov
Lovely Arsenal people, the season is over and thank your god really. We beat Watford 3-2 after spoiling a three goal lead, because we partially switched off and partially played to give Aubameyang the golden boot. Maybe that was part of his contract offer? Jokes aside it wasn’t very professional and our last 2 games were a quick reminder that the 2 massive wins before that don’t mean we’re suddenly top 4 contenders.
We finished 8th. Let that sink in for a little. We only managed 14 wins, same as the 14 draws and 10 losses With a goal difference of just +8. We’ve conceded 48 goals (disgusting really) and out of the 56 we’ve scored 22 were by Aubameyang. We used to finish on +30-40 goal difference, so finishing on a single digit number is sad.
That’s pretty damning stats for an entire season. We don’t really create a lot of chances. There’s an extreme lack of creativity in our midfield. We used to have like 5 players that could occupy the creative midfielder position, now we have none. And Ozil is not the solution for me. Two managers in a row have shunted him out. It’s time to go. If we won’t play him, just pay out his contract and let’s finish this topic.
But the creative problem remains. I don’t think Willock is the solution. He’s mostly playing due to the lack of alternatives. We need to invest in at least 2 midfielders. One creative and one that can hold together the midfield. For me Xhaka and Ceballos are both not good enough, so we need to improve on at least one of them.
Guendouzi has a problem with his attitude. If he doesn’t fit the system, cash in and get somebody in. If we can do a swap deal for Coutinho, do it. Is he the best choice? No, but he is better than what we have and beggars can’t be choosers. Then there’s Torreira who hasn’t really worked out and prefers Italy. Move him on and get some money to spend.
Then there’s the obvious defensive hole. Honestly it’s astonishing how long our defense has been poor and how we’ve not managed to improve upon it. We added David Luiz last summer and he did what he always does. He can be rock solid in one game and a complete clown in another. Sure he won the league at Chelsea, but he did it with better players around him at a younger age.
We don’t have that kind of support for him here. Our most solid defender is Mustafi. A lot of people hoped he would never play for us again after a dreadful spell in Wenger’s penultimate season. Skodran has somewhat turned a corner, but there is still a mistake in him. I respect how he took criticism on the chin and didn’t hide, but that’s 2 players with a mistake in them already in our defensive line.
Sokratis I don’t think has started a game since Arteta arrived, so we should move him on if we won’t use his services. Then there’s Holding and Chambers who are both questionable. That’s a lot of CBs and not a lot of quality. We desperately need a new CB, regardless of Saliba’s arrival, which means we’d need to move somebody on.
The LB position looks hopeful with Tierney and Saka, but we should definitely move on Kolasinac. The RB position needs an upgrade as Bellerin is nowhere near the wonderkid who first arose to the scene and Soarez is another cheapo. And being cheap as we can see left us 8th, and we could’ve been 10th if results didn’t go “our way”.
Up front the contract situation of Auba and Laca is really poor. I like Eddie, but it’s too big of an ask from him to carry the burden of our strike force. We can’t let Auba go, because he’s scored like 40% of our league goals. Laca has decent hold up play and can also nick a good goal. We should do whatever we can to keep them, especially Auba, otherwise I don’t see how we replace his goals, without thumping massive money we don’t have, that we need to spend elsewhere nonetheless.
There’s still one game left before we all go on a break and that’s the FA cup final, but the outcome of it doesn’t hide the fact that we’ve been poor and on a downwards spiral for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I would love an FA cup trophy on any day, but if you entire season comes down to one game in a cup tournament, you haven’t done your job right.
Last year’s Europa League final was extremely painful. We did beat Chelsea in the 2017 FA cup final, but this game could go either way depending on which Arsenal turns up. But whatever the outcome, we need to spend. Rumors are we only have 30 million, but there are a lot of players to offload. Guendouzi, Torreira, Sokratis, Ozil and Mikhitaryan are to name a few. This should raise some funds for players to improve our defense and midfield. If the Kroenkes want us to be excited, they should dip in their pockets, because we need it now more than ever.