It is hard to argue that Arsenal have made significant progress this season in comparison to last season. We are seven points better off and up from sixth to fifth, such is progress I suppose, but the defence stood still and we are clutching at straws calling this season a success in terms of the Premier League. But there are good reasons to believe that we will do much better next season.
Two crucial defenders will return
For a large part of the season, we were without Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin and that has been critical. I am not arguing either player are world class but they are solid reliable defenders and would have undoubtedly been regular starters, and compared to some of the defenders we have they would have done a far better job. Both will be back next season and that will immediately strengthen our defence.
Mattéo Guendouzi will improve massively after his first season
The youngster has come on massively in his first season, he does run around like a headless chicken and can be rash with his tackling but no one can deny that he has not improved. Guendouzi will have a full season’ss experience under his belt, a far better understanding of the English game, and is definitely on the right trajectory. If developed right he could be our next Cesc Fabregas.
Unai Emery now has more experience and knowledge
The same applies to Unai Emery, he will improve because he now has far more understanding of the English game and there are not many managers that succeed in their first season in English football, Pep Guardiola never did, Jurgen Klopp never did, Louis van Gaal the same. Yes, there have been some successes, generally associated with Chelsea ,but the point is that most top class managers need a season to bed in, to get to grips with the intensity of the English game, and Emery will be better served next season for the experience he has gained this campaign.
There will be new signings
There will be new signings, and if we get them right they can make a huge difference and I am confident Emery will get them right. Klopp needed time and then he brings in a top-class defender and keeper and look at the difference they have made. Emery did not have a full understanding of the sort of player required to excel in the English Premier League, he does now and you will see a huge difference next season in the quality of signings.
The dross will be offloaded
The manager will now know which players he needs to offload, he is neither stupid or blind and he will know deep down who he has to sell. We may have opinions on who should be ejected but it is not just about talent, there is attitude and character as well as cohesion within the dressing room, and it will be all these factors that Emery will analyse as he determines who he wants to keep and who he needs to sell.
Surely we should be positive of more improvement next season?