WILL EDU AND ARTETA LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES?
By Ibiniyi Victor
The hugely productive and cohesive relationship between the Arsenal bosses Mikel Arteta and Edu Gasper has been fundamental to the progress recorded thus far by the club, both on and off the football pitch.
The management also deserve credit – firstly, for recruiting the now flourishing duo and secondly, for reassuring the gaffer of their faith and trust in him by offering him a new contract right in the middle of a losing run last season. I believe many will agree with me that this was an anomaly given the level of cruelty these football managers suffer when things start going wrong. There is no better way to show faith in a manager than this, and as a result, the manager has been able to focus even more on growing his team without bothering himself about the security of his job.
And yes, the work done thus far has been impressive but definitely not without some blips and mistakes along the line. Actions, either good or bad, have consequences and while some management/managers’ actions have resulted in the success or failure of their teams, it is not entirely difficult to admit that the failure to sign adequate cover during the last winter transfer window somehow cost the club a champions league spot at the end of the last campaign.
Many would argue that the players themselves are to be blamed for the failure, given the fact that they had their fate in their own hands, but one or two more additions might just have gotten us over the line.
As fate would have it, Edu, who has now been promoted to become Arsenal’s first ever Sporting Director in recognition of his tremendous work, and Arteta, the gaffer, both find themselves in an almost similar situation as the previous season. And what are the similarities here?
- The winter transfer window is almost here.
- The team is in need of a striker (after the injury to the hardworking Gabriel Jesus) although last season’s reason for a striker was due to Laca’s poor form.
- There is a need for a worthy backup to the injury prone Thomas Partey.
- There is a need for another winger to cover for Bukayo Saka either when there is a need for rest or there is a blip in form.
How the duo has decided to rank the listed problems in the order of their perceived importance, or whether they see them as problems at all, remains to be seen, but there is no denying that the situation is similar.
The top four was the goal at the beginning of the season and the team is very well on course to achieving that target and this time around, an even better result than fourth position. I am resisting the urge to mention anything close to suggesting a title challenge as these are still early days. But this is football after all, anything can happen, but whatever happens between January and the end of the season, there is no doubt that these two men will play a major role in what will be.
Mistakes are of course meant to be made but also meant to be corrected ‘if one is willing’, and these two important people – Edu and Arteta are no exception. They have made their mistakes in the past (during the past winter transfer window) and the have another opportunity to correct those on an even grander scale – grander scale in the sense that this might just ‘maybe’ be an historic season for the club as regards the premier league title.
I mean, the top four was what you bargained for, right? But you find yourself in a position of a title challenger. What could be grander than that? But whatever will be the end to Arsenal’s story this season, these two Arsenal men will be held accountable – be it for criticism or credit.
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