Exclusive – Michael Thomas On Arsenal’s season so far and Arteta’s signings

The Michael Thomas Column

It’s great to see The Arsenal on such a good run of form of late, and I felt we had a real chance of winning at Leicester.

The team had been playing really well but it wasn’t just the results that were making me feel confident, but the tactical approach to the game that Arteta had drilled into the team. Against Villa and Tottenham it was really evident to see. I didn’t think we would be quite so dominant in the first half against Leicester but it was a pleasant surprise. We rode out the storm in the second half and our defense including Ramsdale were immense! Arteta is growing and so are his young players.

The signing that has surprised me the most is young Ramsdale. He has been magnificent, his saves are amazing for all to see, but it’s how commanding he is for me and his drive to not concede. Hopefully his form continues and he gets an opportunity in the England team.

Ramsdale I would definitely say is heading towards England’s number 1. He has put in better performances than most in his way, so why not? Consistency will be key however.

Just about all our incoming players this summer have been excellent buys, but if I had to pick a Top 3, I am going to go with Ramsdale, Tomiyasu & Lokonga. I’ve spoken on Ramsdale but the other 2 for me have been just as impressive. They are both really young and from other leagues, so to have adapted so well is amazing and long may it continue. Tavares has also looked really good in place of Tierney lately, he gives you something different which is good when fighting for positions.

But we also have to remember that Arteta said that this summer gone was only halfway through his rebuild, so there are still positions he will be looking at to improve our goal returns. I personally think he should go for a top quality striker. We are heavily linked with the Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic who looks excellent. We’ll also need another top quality CM to compliment Partey. Lastly, a winger like Kingsley Coman would be perfect. He carries a goal threat and is so direct.

It’s good to see Lacazette and Aubameyang back together and looking very happy again, but I think Laca was previously on the bench Arteta was trying to knit balls through to Aubameyang up top with the more conventional Number 10, but Lacazette’s intelligence when he plays is so good, and the team look a lot more balanced in transitioning into attack with him. His link up play is very good and you’d just want to see him on the scoresheet more often.

As for our other strikers, Nketiah looks as though he is out the door in January or at the end of the season so the other Belogun and Martinelli should get a run out occasionally. Not being in any European competition didn’t help these young players, but maybe Balogun should go out on loan in January and I see Martinelli as a striker not out wide.

I am aware that despite our 9 game unbeaten run, there are still many fans that are still not convinced about Arteta, but if Arsenal win this weekend that will be another massive one, and then anything from the Liverpool game is a bonus.

There is no real achievement yet and he is also not a failure. Arsenal have the youngest team in the league so there will be patches of inconsistency, but there will also be patches of brilliance. I think Arteta will get it right but I’m holding judgement for now.

On the current form i would say Arsenal could easily make the top 6 but from 4-6 looks like a big scrap but if we stay in the group then it will be very interesting season. January will be the key moment. We lose players to the African Nations Cup and we will need to invest well to stay in the hunt.

But so far so good, and let’s see what the next fixtures bring in.


Michael Thomas

WATCH The Just Arsenal Show on YouTube – Dan Smith urges Arsenal fans to not raise expectations too high


  1. I agree with what you said about Kingsley Coman, but he’d likely bench Smith-Rowe and Martinelli if he comes

    I like our pragmatic recruitment. Arteta has become more realistic by recruiting tall fullbacks, and now we’re looking for a tall CF with good hold-up ability

    Suppose Dusan Vlahovic replaces Lacazette/ Nketiah in January and Aubameyang stays, I think he’ll start ahead of Saka and Pepe on the right wing. This plan will make Aubameyang/ Balogun retain their CF role and we could sell Pepe to buy Vlahovic

    1. I will rather Dusan plays as a striker with Aubameyang which allows us to keep Saka in the team. When Aubameyang leaves, we can then slot in either of Balogun or Martinelli to partner Dusan.

      1. I don’t think Vlahovic can drop deep like Lacazette and Firmino. Most top teams play with one CF, to have more midfielders

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