Hats off to Mikel Arteta’s Masterful Recruitment, which will see Arsenal though

“Mikel Arteta’s Masterful Recruitment Will See Arsenal Through” by Ssekatawa Patrick 

A lot has been made of the injury to Gabriel Jesus, so much so that it may seem as though the world has come to its end for Arsenal! Mikel Arteta’s charges have put up quite a show, to the surprise of many a pundit who had predicted failure once again, having failed to clinch the all important Champions League spot after their collapse that handed Spurs the advantage to consequently finish 4th, condemning Arsenal to Europa League football that they find themselves in this season.

Finishing 5th, despite all Gooners the world over being disappointed, was in itself an achievement considering the Gunners had finished 8th in the past two seasons. After all, everyone had dismissed them at the start, after they had lost to Brentford, Chelsea and Man City without scoring even a bad goal!
To the optimists, myself inclusive, that was an upgrade and we harboured a feeling that the good times were making their way back to the Emirates. To the pessimists though, it was all doom and gloom and many even called for Arteta’s head!
Clearly though, something was cooking in the kitchens at London Colney. Mikel Arteta and Edu had a plan, and they were determined to execute it no matter what! Out went all the deadwood, and they set out to recruit players that suited the Manager’s philosophy to the dot. Mikel Arteta had talked of ‘specificity’ repeatedly in his press conferences and today we can explicitly see exactly what he meant.
In came Aaron Ramsdale, Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaës, Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Ødegaard, Sambi Lokonga, Fabio Vieira and Gabriel Jesus.
Despite all talk of William Saliba signing permanently with Marseille because ‘Arteta didn’t believe in him’ and all that nonsense in the press, the Spanish tactician had a plan up his sleeve for him as we all have come to realize.
Those players are a true embodiment of the manager’s philosophy. Young, fearless, hungry, exuberant and most importantly; extremely versatile. And that is the gist of this article.
Mikel Arteta put a lot of thought in his recruitment to prepare for setbacks, like the latest one that saw his star striker fall prey to a nasty injury that will reportedly see him sidelined for up to three months.
Takehiro Tomiyasu said himself that he’s capable of playing in defensive midfield, having been educated as one back in Fukuoka, and that he only began playing right-back while at Bologna.
At the national team in Japan, Tomiyasu plays center-back while he has been deployed at left-back as we’ve all seen this season, and to great effect.
Benjamin White is primarily a center-back, but was often used by Marcelo Bielsa in defensive midfield at Leeds, while Arteta has used him at right-back this season so far.
Martin Ødegaard can play as an #8, a #10 or as a mezzala, Fabio Vieira can play all the positions Ødegaard can as well as right winger, left winger and as a false#9.
Gabriel Jesus is predominantly a striker, but he’s comfortable on either wing, so is Gabriel Martinelli.
Sambi Lokonga can play both as a defensive and as a central midfielder,
Zinchenko can play as left-back, central midfielder and as a playmaker.
The same goes for the players Arteta didn’t sign. Bukayo Saka started as a left-back, moved to left wing, then central attacking midfield until he settled at right wing, Emile Smith-Rowe can play as an #8, #10 and as a left winger, Reiss Nelson can comfortably operate on either wing, while Eddie Nketiah can play as a striker and out wide.
That is not inadvertent, it was as a result of insight, diligence and several months of cautious scouting.
So, yes, the loss of Jesus is undoubtedly a massive blow, but in recruiting the way he did, Mikel Arteta knew setbacks like that would happen, and made pre-emptive moves to counter them.
Little wonder therefore that rather than a striker, it’s Mykhaylo Mudryk, a winger that is rumoured to be their number one target in spite of Jesus carrying a long term injury!

Ssekatawa Patrick

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20 Comments

  1. The most satisfying thing for me in the last few months is watching the amount of new fans who weren’t to sure on what direction our club was heading in by coming on board and support the projectand process.
    The way the whole team and management have embraced in turning this club around and givng us back the kind of football we have been missing and craving for many a season.
    ” The road is long
    With many a winding turns
    That leads us to who knows where, who knows where
    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him”

    3 points for a any guesses for the song and group

    Merry Christmas one and all…

    Onwards and upwards

    1. @Alanball08
      I can’t make sense of your Hollies song quote. Who is it that we’re carrying, either physically or metaphorically?

      1. JAX I thought it a shame that he chose to use that last line, which was an odd choice and extremely misleading! Had he stuck to just the first four lines , he would have found positive comments. But that last line ruined his post.

        1. Yep jon. He needs to listen again to the song which is about “carrying” his brother through life (“his welfare is my concern”), probably due to mental health or addiction issues or possibly some other misfortune. Odd to see it referencing a team’s progress.

          1. I thought it was about a family member too, however I couldn’t find any reference to that being the case as the Hollies didn’t write the song.

            1. You’re right Sue, I doubt if any of the Hollies or family members were being referenced. Just a great song with no connections to any of them.

    2. Showing your age Alan. The Hollies is my guess and that means I’m showing mine!

      Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it and an Arsenal win this Boxing Day. Settling down for leftovers and mince pies
      Come on Brentford and come on you gunners

      1. Hehe
        Jon jax
        I had a little saying in my head and then thought I know a song that sounds like that
        Has no relevance at all to the list but at least it had you thinking about something
        Yes sue .. age is catching me up
        Merry Christmas

        1. AlanB Sorry that I was a little too hard on you and you were trying your best, after all!

          Only wish I were NOT easily old enough to remember the Hollies (and well before them too!!) Id like to think that old age is creeping up on me but, in truth, its more of a gallop than a creep! Sigh!.

  2. Surely I have known for some time the gaffer has all his duck in a row, so there will be no panic buying come January.

    So its become clear if he can’t get the top striker ( The Serbian) he wants no striker will be purchase in January.

    But the gaffer also states in another report he wants player to improve us right away, that leaves us with Savic or Nevas in midfield.

    With the relentless pursuit of Mudryk it certainly looking like a master recruitment at work, seems he has got the backing from Kroenkes.

  3. Arteta indicated the other day that Arsenal would bring in a “striker” even if it were from leagues abroad or closer to home, including the Eng!ish Championship division?I find his comments interesting in that one striker who has impressed me more than any in the Championship is Joao Pedro of Watford.Reminds me a lot of Jesus in many respects.Watch this space?

    1. Yup of all the strikers mentioned Jao ticks all the boxes, if we wanted a relatively cheap like for like replacement then it has to be him. he could do what GJ does, will beg for the move, wont need time to adapt to epl.

  4. Merry Christmas to all of you 🎄
    Arteta will take us all the way, but this season is just the beginning. Let’s stay positive and support our club whatever they decide to do in January. Sometimes it’s necessary to take one step backward to take two steps forward 🫶

  5. Hind sight is a great story. Always was, always is, and always will be.

    In sight: is seeing in the present, the signs of the future.

    Dumb sight. Believing what your understanding of what you see is always right. Always.

    As in the computer claim: WYSIWYG.
    ‘What you see is what you get.’

    To quote the song writer:
    ‘It ain’t necessarily so.’

    Thank you for a well written piece. Thank you. I enjoyed it.

  6. Enjoyably realistic and intelligent piece. I offer this joke as perfect illustration of the all important difference between relentless pessimists (of which JA has its fair share ) and optimists, of which we have a welcome majority.

    Here goes: Two brothers were given a Christmas presnt each. The pessimist received a brand new bike but soon moaned that it would get a flat tire and thepaintwork would flake off.

    The optimist received ten tons of horse manure and was soon up to his neck in it, merrily digging away with a spade and saying” There is bound to be a lovely pony in here and I will soon find it”.

    Gooners who are regulars on JA know precisely which other Gooners fit both types of brother!

    1. Good news: The optimist found the pony.

      Bad news, bad bad news. The pony was dead having suffocated under all that horse manure.

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