Can you see light at the end of the Arsenal tunnel?

Chaotic current scenes at Arsenal might lead to a bright future


The Arsenal faithful are used to watching their club splash the cash on players who never really provide some steel to the team. 35m for Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, 26m for Lucas Torreira, 14m for Sokratis and 16m for Lucas Perez are some of the high-profile signings Arsenal have made in the recent past that have failed to provide much to the team.

As a consequence of poor recruitment, the Gunners have slipped to the stands from the stage of “English club echelon society.” When the conversation starts with “which club is the best in England,” Arsenal are never named in the same breath any more.

And that has been the case for several years now.

Arsene Wenger once angered the Arsenal faithful when he said that finishing the season in top four is like winning a trophy. And remember when all the trolls on social media were that annoyed of Arsenal finishing fourth season after season?

The nature of trolls have shifted in a similar fashion like the position of Arsenal has shifted from title challengers to a mid-table club.

Arsenal have experienced an enormous change of landscape in the past years. They believe that their current system is bound to be successful in the “modern climate.”

The post-Wenger era was obviously going to be difficult. And as they, “sometimes things have to get worse to get better.” Raul Sanllehi, Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy have all left their important roles at Arsenal Football Club. Arsenal were also the only club in England to agree to a pay-cut. The club also made 55 redundancies for which they were heavily criticized.

But history has shown that after a storm hits, calm days are closer than they first were. The North-London outfit have made some shrewd signings in the past few windows, which is gradually building up a robust squad.

Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Kieran Tierney, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Bernd Leno and Gabriel Martinelli are all carrying a torch in the dark tunnel. But soon they might see the light at the end.


Yash Bisht

Connect with the writer via Instagram/Twitter: @yarsenal09


    1. almost agree with you in everything mate, you definitely gotanidea unlike most here.the light will be bright if we let arteta work.Olympiakos is a huge challenge for him and im dying to see him pass this test. greetings from greece

  1. You contradict yourself from start to finish. The players many called deadwood and have now been removed used to finish in top 4 every season and challenging for the title in some. They finished 6th at their worst and that was only once.

    When you say the club has made some shrewd signings and that the future is bright I do not agree. First reason is because no one has seen the future and whoever use the future to defend our current state has to tell me how they have seen it.

    Second reason the future can be predicted but it is predicted based on the current events. How can our current state be an indication of bright future? This I do not understand.

    The players that have been signed these past few windows are said to be good signings and better than the deadwoods that used to deliver top 4 and FA trophies. If these players are that good they should better their predecessors but we have regressed to the point no one thought was possible. And if these signings are that good perhaps then it is the manager and not the player that should be accountable.

    1. “The best way to predict future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

      Which is what we are lacking now (eventhough there are glimpses for hope).

      For comparison, we think that we are improving and Liverpool thinks it is degreesing and still we are behind them in points table. Even in this lack of form (of Liverpool) how many of us really believe that we can beat them in the next fixture or at least play without fear?

      I am still hopeful that next season would be better but my only problem with Arteta is he is unable to instill the ruthless winning mentality into his players. We still have players who are not comfortable with having the ball in their feet.

      For Arteta:
      You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

      Against Arteta:
      You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

  2. I can’t see it.

    It’s clear we need new, hungry players but there’s no indication yet that MA is the manager to take Arsenal through this slump.

    We’ve been slowly declining, for the past decade at least.

    And let’s not forget that the new players we need, won’t be ‘world class’ as we cannot attract world class players like we used to, especially when we’re not even going to be in the Europa League.

    We should look into Championship, Eredivisie, lesser known clubs in Ligue 1, for new players. They we can afford and will be more eager to join us.

    1. We still have a shot at Champions League through the EL. Don’t forget we are still in the competition and winning it should be Arteta’s saving grace in my opinion.

  3. A team is only as strong as its weakest links and I’m afraid we are still deficient in a number of key areas .In the present financial climate it may take some time to move on the players who are not up to scratch , but unfortunately patience is a virtue which many Arsenal fans , and indeed fans of other Clubs, simply do not have.Sadly it seems to be problem of modern day society as a whole.

    1. My dear Granddad while some things can be taught other things can be learnt only through experience and patience is one of them. At your age you already have a wealth of experience and wisdom so your thinking and how you see the world can not be compared with people way younger.

      In my twenties I was a little bit wiser than in my teens and now in my early thirties I am a little bit wiser than in my twenties. Looking back how I saw the world in my teens is very different to how I see the world now.

      And honestly if I could travel back in time and teach my teen self some of the things I know now he wouldn’t neither listen nor understand.

      Some things only life can teach.

        I am Grandads generation and younnever miss a chance to call me an old fool or similar. MAKES YOUR ABOVE POST LOOK RATHER HOLLOW, DESPITE IT BEING TRUE, as despite what you actually write, you do not REALLY believe it!

        1. Dear Jon,

          I have never called you a fool even once so once again you are accusing me of something I have not said. You did the same only yesterday. I am not a person who go for direct insults. It does not come as easy to me as it does to you.

          Can you honestly say I have not tried to respect you? To understand you? But what can I do when you strive with all your capacity to be disrespected?

          Currently it seems I am the top of people you dislike here and contrary to what you believe and say, I don’t hate you. It is one of the things you have decided for me just like how now you have decided for me I do not believe what I wrote.

          I do enjoy some of our interactions however unpleasant they are and I am sad that often I do not get the satisfaction of seeing them through because of your tendency to run away when cornered.

          Another thing I do not like from you is your strange interest in my name and nationality. I am not the only one using different name but more than twice you have said you know why I hide my real name and accused me of bias because of my nationality (which you do not know)

          Will it be wrong for me to be alerted of prejudice because of your interest in my name and nationality?

          And apart from your age, do you think based on your interactions with other members you deserve to be respected?

          Give me a reason to respect you and I will.

          1. HH Artfully constructed post but you HAVE called me names. But let that pass as its not the point, I wish to make make. I do not know you so cannot dislike you I do think someof your posts are out of touch with reality and there is areason I constantly describe myself as arealist , which is that I accept life as it is for good or ill.
            But “accepting” does not not trying to change things for the better; merely recognising that all change takes meaningful time THIS POINT IS WHERE YOUR POSTS ARE SO FRUSTRATING TO ANY RELIST, as you do not live in thereal football worldand are unrealistic in your expectations I have never appreciated people who are self entitled as to what they want- which you manyposts shreik out to me that YOU ARE! iLL LEAVE IT THERE,but promise you it is nothing personal. You are almost certainly a decent man but just not a realist. Well it takes all sorts, as they say!

          2. I am calling a truce Jon and even though I will probably not agree with your views as always, I will watch my language when interacting with you and other members.

            It is not an empty promise this time.

    2. That’s very true. When you win you are considered the greatest, but when you lose you are considered the worst

  4. What bloody light?! Things haven’t been this bleak for years and years. I dont get the article at all, unless you are saying Arteta isn’t getting out of these star players what he should and will be replaced. Well some of us have been saying that he isn’t getting the best out of these players and have been questioning it and are seeing the reasons we are not achieving what we should. In fact we are under achieving by a big margin, which gives us no sign of any light in any tunnel.

    1. My sentiments too, I can’t even see the beginning of the tunnel let alone a light at the end. We once had a manager that would have got this current batch in the top 4. We replaced him with a manager that took us to within 90 minutes of champions League football, again we moved him on. We now have a manager that has been financially backed, they have allowed him to ostracise certain players, pay players off and given him funds to offer extravagant wages. Yet still he says it’s a rebuilding process. Well taking the team to a mid table team is not rebuilding, infact it is serious destruction. We have become a team that has to loan in big teams players instead of having the sway to break transfer records. I look at our best x1 against spurs best x1, the only player I see getting in is Tierney. If that is rebuilding this team then I am sorry you can keep it. Stop moaning that the players cannot play the way you want to. Instead recognise that fact and manage the squad you have not try to fit square pegs in round holes.

      Henry, Bergkamp and Overmars are all interested in joining the club in some sort of capacity, maybe Arteta, Bould and Edu should be looking over their shoulders?

      1. All through a world wide pandemic. Ok.
        Wenger’s time was up 2years before he left, Emerys english was awful and players didnt understand him or his methods, reason we got humped in the final so was moved on to a cheaper alternative to any other manager out there who would take all the brunt of the rebuild as we trim the whole club of staff, players, coaches etc…

        Give the club time, Rome wasnt built in a day and Mikel seems to have a touch of Pep in his training methods (according to actual professional players who state so) who again didnt get it right in his 1st 18months in charge of an ever spending city team.

        Im not Mikels biggest fan but he has got us an FACup & Community Shield. He hasnt been in the job over a year for gods sake and look at the difference from when he took over in the WHOLE club not just the pitch.

        Alot of individual errors have cost us so much and trying to get that out of these players will be very difficult that’s why alot will be moved on this summer again like Jan if not alot more.

        Come January if Mikel isnt performing, or Arsenal for that matter then it was maybe a gamble worth paying for as we will have got rid of so much so called deadwood all around the club for a maybe a better manager to come in a reep the rewards but why not let Mikel have a pop at it!!

        1. Isn’t that too late Sean? It sounds like a huge gamble. Wait till 2022. And what will the worst case scenario then bring us? Another manager who needs time to deal with the mess he has inherited. I think the end of this season should be the time of big decisions and if worse comes to worse, break it down and start again as the song goes. Oh,and it wouldn’t hurt to start getting rid of some people now. For one Bould is a statue who had done nothing for this club post playing career. Edu is a con man and Arteta’s sideline assistants have so far been useless. Get that broom out and start sweeping the cobwebs.

  5. All football managers talk in code especially Managers of teams like Arsenal who are falling short of expectations.
    ‘We have been cursed by bad luck injuries and every referee we have had has been blind and paid off by the opposition owner. Our goal is to maximize the forward momentum of our most proprietary essentials there by achieving synergy and by an amalgam of offensive and defensive
    attributes reaching the nexus of our potential.’
    We must find solutions.
    We must stay united.
    We must have faith.
    And so the Manager rambles on and on about how we are almost through the pain and any minute now the glorious unbeaten run will begin and trophies will flow.
    One more transfer window one more piece to complete the puzzle and the the good times will roll.
    But till then be patient.

  6. Arsenal will keep going backward!! From when they celebrated top four why Chelsea, man c and etc were gunning for the title I thought how can a sport team be celebrating also ran positions?? At that point I predicted that it won’t be long before they start celebrating top 10, 12th or just been part of the PL which can be said as something close to wot we are seeing today. They seriously lacks good decisions makers, I mean people wit football brain, and I don’t rate them at all in taking the right turn, the idea of having a roving door situation for managers at arsenal should never be criticised at all, all top teams and successful teams have that, it’s only the ones comfortable wit also ran tag and serious lack of winning ambition that wud be happy retaining a stagnant coach, wot we seeing in Chelsea at the moment is the kind of impact a good manager can hav on a team, on a man to man comparison, there is very little between arsenal and Chelsea players but u cant say that in terms of output and results right now so my conclusion is, there is a sad comfort zone mentality at arsenal right now and dat comes frm the people dat own the club, am afraid they will hav to be forced to sell up and leave before arsenal becomes a top team again

  7. As long as these players are part of AFC, sorry I can’t :
    Bellerin, Xhaka, Luiz, Lacazette, Elneny

    1. Can’t agree less, however, I will keep Laca over Auba considering all round contribution and Xhaka is a good back up. Willian, Auba and Pepe should be added to the list.

  8. The only light to be seen at the end of the tunnel is when he steps aside from that seat. Arteta is just confused, and he’s ultimately confusing most players.

      1. DTM. is it not nearer the WHOLE truth to say that since Gilberto left us, we have been so dismally short of a DM, who was even adequate, that when we got one who had a promising start, as Torreira did, we overhyped him massively and judged him way TOO SOON , as fans always do.
        Just as some players blossom after an initial slow start, we are too critical OR too eager to hype and in either case, generally WAY TOO SOON.

        The REAL truth is that Torreira was always going to find his size a huge handicap in our Prem, especially, and so it proved. Ultimately he proved not good enough, just like so many others since Gilberto.

        1. “Torreira was always going to find his size a huge handicap”

          Yet this does not seem to have been an issue for Kante.

        2. Yes a totally fair assessment jon, but unfortunately it’s just human nature to prematurely hype a player especially when in the position we were in, with regards to crying out for a functioning DM for 15 odd years.

          Though I do feel it was more than a physical handicap as he coped well for 8-9 months, and if you check his pl
          defensive stats for his first season, they are impressive (bar defensive headers) and he had a great eye for a pass and was a solid dribble. he apparently spoke little english and had grievances with being homesick, family etc. I feel it was a mixture of burnout and mental strain.

        3. 👍 👍 Not replacing Gilberto Silva with a like for like DM was Arsenal’s biggest player recruitment error.

  9. I am disapppointed to be in a small minority on this thread – though not of ALL Gooners generally, most of whom are not on this site and many not even on social media at all, because they will be generally older and wiser – who agree with this articles truthful theme.

    I can and DO see the light approaching and the reason is that our squad has massively improved in personnel since MA arrived. I also know that it takes far longer than most on here will allow to become a reallly successful team.

    We STILL have two woeful regulars brought in by Wenger and used ever since, for lack of a better funded(by Kroenke) viable alternative. BELLERIN AND XHAKA. Both need getting rid of before we can make enough progress. I discount the dismal Elneny as just a bit part player of no substance as, mercifully, he hardly ever plays.

    Two woeful regulars can do so much damage in any team; as evidence, look no further than some of Liverpoools doomed attempts to replace their injured star players out for so long.
    We NOW have a nucleus of about three quarters of a proper team but on top of that we also need sound squad players BEFORE we can seriously hope to progress all the way to the top.

    We HAVE a fine and dynamic manager- if you want the truth as much as I ALWAYS DO, THEN BLAME OUR OWNER. He is the REAL culprit!

  10. Two things:
    (1) selling patience is a bridge too far for some, especially those, like myself, who believe they’ve been asked to be patient since the time we arrived at the Emirates…which isn’t to say that I don’t totally understand that it was going to take some time for Arteta to clean the mess that had Wenger left, but purchasing Willian and retaining Xhaka and Luiz suggests that Arteta felt our house needed only a renovation when it was clear that a total rebuild was required

    (2) when some are quick to suggest that other managers, including our previous ones, would have achieved more with the players currently under contract, I have mixed feelings about that notion…although I do believe with a manager like Pep, Klopp or even Tuchel we would definitely finish higher, albeit I’m not sure qualifying for Europe higher, the one factor that many seem to forget is that the EPL is the top League in the world now with the most parity, few if any old school “freeebie” games and a massive tv deal that has given teams not so familiar with the top of the table the impetus to pursue their own European dreams…now this isn’t meant to provide Arteta with excuses for our present mediocrity, as I feel he’s underachieved, it’s just that a top 4 finish nowadays is vastly more difficult than doing likewise during the Wenger Cup years

    ultimately I’m not convinced Arteta is equipped to climb this much more difficult mountain, especially with our present business model and with no one who could hold a candle to Dein in the room

    1. TRVL Sad to read you don’t rate having patience, as to my mind patience is an absolutely vital necessity for ALL fans of ALL clubs for most of their history.

      Right now MAN CITY are in glory days but how about a few years ago, not all that long ago , when they were in what we used to call Division Three(league one now). Their fans then needed massive patience and without patience your life as a fan is going to be made more miserable, and by yourself too without patience, than it need ever be.

      Food for thought if you are indeed a thinking man. I’d reconsider if I were you, unless you LIKE suffering unnecessarily.

      1. Methinks you didn’t really read my post, as I never, as you would suggest, wrote that I didn’t rate having patience, I merely made note of the fact that this might fall on deaf ears for those individuals who have been hearing this patience narrative since the time our absentee landlord and the grinch who stole football teamed up and manufactured the great Emirates stadium ruse

        as for the whole ManCity story, I’m well-aware of their 1998 relegation battle that went down to the final day of the season…they were fortunate enough to have brought in Everton legend Joe Royle, who got them back to the premier League within 2 years…now that’s be rewarded for your patience, maybe we should contemplate bringing him in as manager

    2. Good post RVL and well put. I’m just as frustrated, I just don’t see that firing another manager will solve all of our problems. I think there is absulutely no guarantee that any AVAILABLE manager out there will stop the rot, let alone return us to our former glory (in my opinion two separate issues – for example Benitez or Allerdyce could move us up the table, but at what cost?).
      I agree that the three you mention are currently way ahead of MA and as close to a sure thing to achieve both as there is, but the fact is, for many reasons none of them would come.
      We have descended into the mire over a long period, and the malaise will not be cured overnight. The crux is probably that some of us see improvements and the seeds of a recovery, others dont.
      Regarding the three players you mentioned – we will never know for sure why they have been retained or brought in, but IMO all three are still here because with so many due to leave MA wanted some short to medium term experienced pro’s to help him as a rookie manager with a lot of younger players. All are model pros off the pitch and Luiz and Xhaka are leaders. Also 1) Willian was expected by NOBODY to have deteriorated so much since last season, and he was free. You remember the praise after the Fulham game?
      2) Luiz was never a long term solution and is used now as a second string defender, and is not playing badly at all. He’s on a season by season so could go at any time 3) Xhaka we’ve done to death. I believe he will go but we have to find a better player that we can afford before we do that – Partey is never fit and Ceballos goes soon.

  11. If we equate our league position with our position in the tunnel, then we are right in the middle of it. So no light yet!!!

  12. We need to win the UEFA cup so we can be back in champions League and have that extra cash flowing in. More time we spent out of champions League worse the situation is going to get for us both on and off the field. I bet now all of us are thinking being in champions League year in year out was not so bad 😜. We need to build but it does not mean we have to first completely destroy our self n then rebuild. We just need to take what is good at the club already, add more dimension to it and build in top. A total new strategy would be a disaster specially one that yeilded us FA cups and regular champions League qualification. I don’t know if we can see the light at the end of tunnel or not but I do not agree with where we are heading, this is based on facts/figures on and off the field. We are not producing results in both areas as we continue to drop down in the list of revenue generated clubs and we are sliding down the league table as well.

  13. I’ve been an Arsenal fan for just over 20 years and definitely enjoyed some of the most beautiful football imaginable! This club has also got me through some of the bleakest points in my life.

    I really like Arteta and desperately want him to succeed but also realise some of his decisions have left fans with mixed feelings. Our current league position doesn’t help the outlook and add to that the fact that since we moved to four at the back we’ve lost some of the defensive solidity associated with the early part of Arteta’s tenure. I do believe some of the fluidity we’ve found recently has been by accident rather than design e.g. the emergence of Smith Rowe due to the unavailability of William.

    However, we’ve recently been losing or drawing games (other than City and Villa) where we have been the better team by far for large chunks of the game. This alone has me looking forward to the next game every time we play. (I would like to mention that for the first time in just under 20 years, I did stop watching every game under Emery even though we were on an unbeaten run because the football was painful to watch, akin to headless chickens)

    It will take some time and patience but we’re on the right track. The atmosphere on social media seems to be very toxic – I just wish everyone could get behind the team / club for a while.

    1. Sorry I would also like to add i much prefer a formation with 4 at the back over the 3 at the back which seems to be in vogue since Conte first (and briefly) pitched up on these shores.

    2. Good post Hyena – yes I recall those Emery games that we won so painfully. I get annoyed when fans compare MA unfavourably to Emery because they forget how awful we actually were during the second half of his much quoted “run”. For me Emery was a very lucky manager, whereas Arteta has been unlucky. What goes around comes around, so lets hope the results soon mirror the good performances.

  14. It’s still all about Arteta magically becoming as good as Pep Guardiola when the evidence quite simply ISN’T THERE. A cup run doesn’t make you good enough for a team with UCL aspirations. Arteta is an amateur and it’s blantaly showing. The passes he is getting are just absurd. people who were strongly against Wenger now have Arteta’s back like never before. Arteta’s football is WORSE than AW’s in his final seasons.

      1. It’s not adulation Ahmad. We see faults in him like everyone else does. But as opposed to a very experienced manager, we expect a rookie manager to improve. We also beieve that the collapse of Arsenal started many seasons ago, and it is unreasonable to expect it to be reversed overnight.

  15. I am worried that the light at the end of the tunnel is an on-coming train. The current squad contains too many average players. They can all have the occasional good game, but over the long haul, they are still just average. I keep mentioning EDU and his “scouting”. Is he forced to look solely for young (cheap) talent? I fear that, lack of UCL football (and it’s consequential money) will condemn Arsenal to mid table mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Only Kroenke digging deep into his pockets, or the sale of the club to a sugar daddy, will get us out of this mire. Maybe a new manager who is not trying to emulate Guardiola might change our fortunes, but who knows!

  16. Had on of those sleeps that 65 year Olds too often have where you have to get up two or three times, usually following a crazy dream, but my last one was about Arsenal and it wasn’t good. Hope it is just down to my bad sleeping position. Still it’s hard to have confidence in an organisation which has been run down over the past 16 or so seasons. It’s what you get when the balance sheet becomes the overiding determiner of success.

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