I know it has been said so many times it has been practically meaningless, but after the incredible disruption to Arsenal’s first three matches, our season starts now….
Mikel Arteta has now got most of his injured players back in the squad, and most of our new signings are being integrated quickly, although Timoyasu has only just got off the plane and Lokonga has had an injury scare while with Belgium.
Xhaka is also unavailable through his suspension but the return to fitness of Gabriel, Ben White and Thomas Partey is a massive boost for the boss, and Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares and Martin Odegaard will be in contention to start the game as well.
Arteta now believes that the time has come for his new young squad to prove our credentials against Norwich, and he hopes they can all play together as a unit very quickly. Despite the massive rebuilding project he accepts that we need immediate results as well as a long term plan. He told Arsenal.com: “Now we have the tools that we believe are going to give us the best opportunity to compete in the way we want to compete and build what we want to build in this project and now we have to make it work. We have to build it together, we need to create relationships, chemistry, understanding. We have to adapt and we have to do that really quickly.”
“The amount of changes in two years is almost 30 players. Edu explained it like I tried to explain it. We have all participated, trying to create and build this project, led by the owners, and it is a project we believe in, that we have to assemble because it is the only option that we believe was best for the future of the club.
“We all take responsibility because we have all been involved in the decisions and we have to make it work. The complexity in football is that you want to build a medium to long-term project with immediate results and we have to embrace that, because there is no other way in football and you are going to have to get results and we are ready to do that.”
So, I am very excited to see how all our youngsters can play together and expect to see more urgency and quick-thinking on the pitch.
Arteta seems to think they are ready, and I really hope he is right.