How do you see Arsenal? Now and going forward?

How do you see Arsenal?

I have thought about this topic for some time. When Arsenal appointed Unai Emery it seemed like a solid choice, a coach that did wonders at Sevilla, the coach that had the ability to bring us European silverware like he did with them. We all saw how that turned out. Freddie Ljungberg didn’t make much of a difference but that didn’t matter because Mikel Arteta came into the picture and he looked like the perfect choice. Honestly, he wasn’t the man we wanted but he looked like a man that could make a difference and he has so far during his tenure at the club. He got rid of the dead weight, promoted talented youngsters to the first team, brought in some good signings, but the fan base does not seem to think that Arteta is the right man for the job. Then I wondered, how do the fans see Arsenal?

When I first started watching Arsenal, they were a great club on the downturn but still played beautiful football. I’ve seen Arsenal go from Chamakh to Giroud to Aubameyang, this club has come a long way. One thing hasn’t changed about the club is the fact it is one of the greatest clubs in England, if not the world. If you had to look at the club now, do our past successes show that we are still a great club? We’ve won the FA cup more than anyone else, but what else is there? We struggle to get top 4, we struggle in European competitions, and we barely lasted in the domestic cups this season. With all the doom and gloom there is a silver lining. We have a great crop of young attacking players, the team has a constant shape, and they are able to produce good performances.

The team is getting better now but it is not a title-contending team. So when will we be a title contending team again? In my opinion, it will be 4 years. We have great young players but they are inexperienced. For the wingers, Pepe and Saka are the starters, but everyone else is not up to standard. The midfield is confused, Partey and Smith-Rowe are the only ones that deserve to start, but everyone does not have a future at Arsenal.

The defence needs work. We need a backup for the left back, right back can improve, and there is no definitive centreback pairing. Arsenal are not known to fix their problems in one transfer window, it took us two windows to get rid of all of the deadweight. Arsenal need to build for the future and that forces us to make some tough decisions.

Giving Lacazette and David Luiz contract extensions is the worst thing that we could do, it does not allow space for young players to fill these places. Experience is needed but not high wages. The midfield needs to be improved upon, a strong spine and depth. Partey needs a partner and Xhaka is a liability. Bissouma could be a good partner for Partey but if one of them goes down who comes in. Elneny is a good bench player but if he is sold at the end of the season who else can come in?

Torreira and Guendouzi do not seem to have a future at Arsenal and that is disappointing. Arsenal need young players that have a high ceiling and can challenge for these positions. Arsenal are reportedly letting go of Bellerin and bringing in Hakimi, it’s good to have an attacking threat but he needs to be able to defend as well, we do not need another Andre Santos. A backup at left back is needed, someone that can challenge, young or old. Centre back, a position that we have struggled with for a long time, needs a leader. Lewis Dunk is the perfect player, but it would be difficult to raid Brighton for two players.

For Arsenal to get all of these guys in one transfer window, it is impossible unless they have the window of their lives. To keep the team as it is, is insane. There are too many mistakes and too many players that are not up to standard. The team needs to trim down and needs to replace the current players with players of more quality. If this team if focused on winning in the future, then they need to invest in the future.

Vuyo Mataka

Tags Arsenal future transfers


  1. I see a bright future, as long as Arteta can get attackers that are suited for his tactics. Kroenke has also shown that he’s willing to spend a lot of money if the team shows a progress

    1. Haven’t we only kept 1 or 2 clean sheets in the past 14 games? I think defence is a big issue too.

      Any manager can be good with a cheque book, but a genuinely good manager can do well with limited resources.

      1. We can’t have clean sheets consistently, but at least we conceded fewer shots than before

        I agree with your opinion about the limited resources, but we also need to think about the entertainment and consistency aspects. For example, Ranieri and Leicester that won EPL with a very low transfer budget

        Their achievement was great, but I didn’t enjoy their counter-attacking style at all and Ranieri’s defensive tactics were found in the next season. I prefer to watch Arteta’s football style and I believe Arsenal will be consistently competitive for years because of that

        1. Sometimes I wonder if we’re watching different game.
          Yes we can all back Arteta cos he’s a rookie(more reason I’m still on the fence with him) but to always compliment his tactics is something that baffles me.
          You even go far in one articles to say, you like his tactics than Wenger cos he plays beautiful football than Wenger, which makes me come into conclusion that, is either you lost consciousness during Wenger days and regain it back in Emery’s last 2months, so you’re confused.

          1. So true, Bob. Arteta Ball can be so damned boring for the fans and predictable for the opposing teams to read. He also tends to micromanage every aspect of the game, not allowing his players to breathe. Sometimes I miss the old man in the zipped up space wear,who would sit it out on the bench and allow his players to express themselves. After all, everything important should have been done on the training pitch.

          2. Based on my observation and because Arteta is Guardiola’s apprentice, I believe this is what Arteta intends to do:


            The players’s positions under Wenger and Emery weren’t as good as they are under Arteta. This is why we conceded fewer shots and made more clear-cut chances

  2. An interesting article Vuyo the last paragraph of which is an accurate reflection of where we are and what we need.While I basically go along with most of what you say,I would suggest that Martinelli is certainly a winger with enormous potential who will go on to have a successful career.I am glad to see you recognise that Come was not built in a day.

    1. He is a great talent but I have a feeling that Mikel Arteta might use him as a striker. If he plays on the wing it creates a lot of competition for Pepe and Saka.

      1. Interesting article Vuyo, and not talking pie in the sky transfers like many.
        Agree about Martinelli, he’s potentially a much better striker than winger. Unlike Laca and Auba he actually gets into the box. His positional intelligence is excellent, and I would say his finishing and accuracy is currently better than either of them. Throw in his willingness to shoot, pace and energy. We have plenty of wide players, we have no reliable strikers. I think he will start centrally next season, and like Henry we will question why we didn’t move him inside sooner.

    2. I think Martinelli needs more pace to he a winger, otherwise a lot More of technique and vision to supply the lack of pace, like Pires (who was fast but not that match). What do you think?

      1. You are the first person I saw questioning Mertinelli’s pace. Maybe I don’t the actual definition of pace but the kid is so pacy for me.

  3. If I had the right cheat codes, I’d love to see:

    A truckload of Latin American gems

    Auba (for a good price)

    To answer the question, the future is bright, I think. We have a lot of fantastic young players in the first team who are only going to improve and a handful more ready to break through. Little danger of stars leaving, too.

    1. Wow,
      Like much of your list but, AMN is a keeper, he is a very good 6/8. I might hang on to Elneny as a pure squad player. For the incomers, Odo for sure. Don’t know enough about Bissouma or Hakimi.

  4. I wouldn’t disagree with your “out” list Sean, other than to keep Willock who I believe can develop into a good box to box midfielder.I would be inclined to sell Xhaka providing we get Bissouma , but I appreciate he is someone Arteta trusts, despite his lack of pace and his propensity for making errors which directly result in goals.

    1. Yeah I admit I thought about it. I think there’s something to be said for keeping players around who contribute significantly to the culture. Players like Xhaka, Laca and Luiz (who I’d like to keep on as a player-coach but think he probably fancies his swan song in Portugal) are spoken of very highly not just by MA but the younger players too. Also, unless we go out and buy 2 CMs (or riskily bring Azeez and Patino straight into the fold), we’ll need some backup in that position.

  5. Hopefully one aspect will be the ending of the “Colney Country Club” culture.

    In direct reply to Manny Petit’s criticism of our dressing room recently, Arteta explained he’ll do this by removing the individuals who are not playing for the badge.

    “He [Petit] knows the club well,” said Arteta.

    “He was here for some of the most successful years and has that opinion. I’m here to change that opinion.

    I am here to give my evaluation of what I see every day, and where we are.

    I know where we are, and where we want to go. We have to respect that.

    Showing passion goes with the character.

    People who are much more extroverted than introverted show more emotion with their body language than others.

    But it doesn’t mean it does not hurt as much.

    For sure, players who don’t have that passion, that emotion and that commitment, won’t be in this football club.”

    The last para’ is key going forward.

  6. Partey deserves to start but not Xhaka? On what basis did you arrive at that totally wrong emotionally gotten fact? And Smith? Xhaka has been our best midfielder this season and to me he, Laca, Saka and Luis are arguably our best players this season. Closely followed by Tierney who misses out of the 1st list due to injuries, then Smith and Pepe in that order.

    Also Bissouma is no where close to Xhaka, Xhaka is miles ahead of Bissouma. Think I’m wrong? Then check the stats. Plus Xhaka is the de facto leader of this squad like it or not. Emery wrongly took the arm band from him.

    I don’t like it when one follows the media and other ill informed fans to talk down on a player. Truth is as it stands Xhaka deserves to start above Partey and will also actually start above Partey and rightly so. A mid field pairing of Xhaka Partey plus a very good AM is good enough to get us Top 4 and more.

    Its high time Xhaka got the respect he deserves for both his on pitch and off pitch contributions to this team.

    1. I can’t say I agree that “Xhaka is miles ahead than Bissouma”. I’m not sure what stats you’re referring to. Whoscored has Bissouma at 6.9 and Xhaka at 6.7 average rating, for example.

      Anyway, I agree with the general sentiment. Xhaka has been one of our most consistent performers and deserves far more credit than he gets.

    2. Xhaka and Luiz ate 2 reasons we are a mid table team … they are the slowest most bacward looking players in the epl … as soon as the ball gets to them you know for sure that the game shifts down two gears … they wreck as a consequence any fires d momentum destabilizing midfield and attack … if setters and the pair of them are still with us in august we could ad Messi and Kane and still be outside too 6 … sad truth is we have better options but arteta has no idea how to use them

      1. As soon as the ball gets to them? Backwards? Luiz backwards? I mean Luiz? Just look at how we struggle to play out of the back since Luiz got injured. Holding can’t even give one decent long accurate pass to the attackers.

      2. RW1
        You must have something against those two players( Xhaka and Luiz).

        Yes, I hate it whenever Xhaka can’t turn his man and have a go at his opponent but prefers to pass back but if I can criticise him for that, then I have to credit him for been the most forward player in our team, which goes to show you how poor the rest performs.

        Granit Xhaka had the second-highest number of passes into the final third (73) among all Premier League midfielders before this weekend.
        Only Rodri (84) had more accurate passes into the final third from outside of it.
        Spurs midfielder Hojberg completed 70 passes, while Bruno Fernandes and Jordan Henderson had 69 and 68.

        So he did what he was ask of him.
        Credit where is due and you can’t take diz away from him.

        If let to me, I will buy Bissouma, and interchange him between Xhaka and Partey because no one knows the future. Nobody would have predict Partey will be this poor.

        Van de Beek was talk of town, but where is he now?

      3. Xhaka is faster than Busquets and even Guendozi. Luiz is also not too slow for CB. For passes they two are the best we have

  7. Top 4
    Man U
    Liverpool .
    Leicester Arsenal Spurs Eeverton .
    Westham Villa Leeds Wolves.
    Palace Newcastle Southampton Burnley Brighton.
    In a good season Arsenal is a 5-6 side.
    In a poor season 7-8.
    Europa League football is our level right now.
    I am ok with that.

  8. It’s funny that those who opposed Wenger’s youth policy are the ones who call for same approach today. Truth is that with money bags (City, Chelsea and Man U; Liverpool were lucky to have players in their prime Barcelona were ready to pay crazy money for) in the EPL, it would be difficult to challenge (Leicester is a once in a lifetime ferry tale).

    When you go the youth route, it faces a challenge. Wenger faced the challenge, fought it to the best he can but ultimately lost. You know what? Ignorant and ungrateful fans blamed him, but reality is what it is. You may ask, what is this challenge you speak about? The invisible hand of the market. When you have very good crop of youth and not challenge (you won’t after all when the money bags have the best of players), they get good after a few years but their ambitions rise. Over the next couple of years, the wealthier clubs land (Torres, Sterlin and Suarez eventually left Liverpool). They are able to offer them wages that you cannot offer them and trophies to justify their decision (the media will cite it as evidence that they were right). If you are lucky and their contracts are long, you dictate their transfer fee, if not you are between being low-balled or losing them for nothing. It’s a conundrum that isn’t easy. It distabilises team rhythm and ability to consolidate. Arsenal post invincibles faced this; Ajax faces this; Dortmund does. That’s why they don’t win much (Ajax wins its league because it remains the king there).

    It is high time Arsenal fans swallowed their pride (they felt Wenger was their problem) and accept that getting European, especially UCL, qualification is quite an achievement. The clubs that stand a chance have big wallets not only to transfer the best of players but to pay the big wages they command (don’t cite Klopp as a refutation of this because he is a good coach that also funded his way through Liverpool’s sales). Arsenal at the moment can, at best, be like Ajax or Dortmund.

  9. Chapo, with respect, you really must learn that stats are merely a guide and can be completely misleading.Your suggestion that Xhaka is miles ahead of Bissouma is utter nonsense and makes me wonder if you have ever played the game at a decent level or if indeed you have seen Brighton play this season.When you have top class ex players drooling over the performance of Bissouma against Everton, you have to accept his quality.The displays of Xhaka have to my knowledge, never been met with such accolades by such a range of ex pros.

    1. I run a small business chain and I have people who manage them for me so I’m practically free whenever I want to be free and busy whenever I want to be busy. I spend most of my weekends watching football matches, EPL of course my favorite. I’ve seen Bissouma too many times, whilst he is a very good player I still rate Xhaka over him, tactically and technically Xhaka executes what Arteta requires of him to the letter, he is even like a player coach barking technical and tactical instructions to his fellow team mates. You will hear Arteta shout Laca, Thomas, Ceballos even Auba but never Xhaka and Luiz. When Xhaka is not in the team you can immediately tell the difference. I personally feel Thomas can do all we want Bissouma to do and more so no need. Bissouma may struggle if given Xhaka’s role in this team to execute. What we actually need is someone who does what Xhaka does but better than he does it. Xhaka is a deep lying playermaker, we need someone actually better, someone of the same skill set as Carzola not Bissouma. Ceballos could have been this but unfortunately he flatters to deceive.

      My view is Xhaka is miles ahead of Bissouma. Yours is Bissouma is better than Xhaka. No problem, your view, your opinion. I have mine and you have yours and I respect that.

      1. I rate xhaka as well and his passing range is crazy.He has technique and with a good team and plan he can be a kroos easily

        1. I have always been a person that has said xhaka has to go and we need to do better
          I will sound like I am going to contradict myself here
          Unfortunately xhaka seems to have no pace, cannot take the ball and be on the half turn to move or pass forward on most occasions
          I feel he slows the pace down for us.
          Saying that, there are times when has been out for us and the team looks like it is missing him and we look all over the place.
          Fair play to for last Sunday playing left back. He had a decent game. Didn’t venture forward to often and held his position like an old fashion left back…I know the opposition was poor as some of you have already reminded me on that on a few occasions 😃
          If we keep him then he should be a bench warmer and not a starter but we do need to invest in that position us a few other places and a lack of funding will see MA having to upgrade thst position at a later date so he could be here for a while longer
          Feeling for 1-3 for us tonight
          Keep the faith
          Upwards and onwards

  10. This has been a pretty positive view, which is absolutely fine. I am just not sure that I share it.

    First, a lot depends on Thursday and the rest of the Europa League. We need the money from Europe to do a lot of what people are talking about. And a lot of the players being suggested won’t be interested in us if we aren’t in Europa at least. Recruitment becomes harder. KSE is not going to open the flood gates in spending.

    We are a mid-table team and I am not yet convinced that management really knows how to make us better. They have been better for sure recently but we have a lot of holes that need to be filled if we are to move up the table. We have a lot of squad weaknesses and we aren’t deep. I would also challenge the view that all the dead wood has gone – some has gone for sure, but we may have pruned good wood as well. We have a lot of expensive players who don’t put up stats to match wages.

    I am also not convinced that Arteta is the man for the job. I see problems in how he manages players and tactics. He is stubborn to a fault – some see it as admirable but continuing to bang one’s head against a wall only leads to concussion.

    A common refrain is that “he doesn’t have the players he wants to play his style”. Well then he needs to adapt his style until he gets the players he wants. The fact that some players seem to quit on him and that quite a few continue to make completely amateurish mistakes says that discipline remains a problem or that he is being tuned out.

    I hope that the optimists are right but I can see us slipping to a place where a sniff at top four, a good cup run or maybe qualifying for Europa will be a great season – basically a decent mid-table club.

    1. our last sentence may come as a gut punch to many, but this is exactly my sentiment about how I see our future shape up. So we basically go back to being the late 70’s to early 80’s club.

  11. If Arteta stays in charge next season then going to be no different then what’s happening now mid table finish! The talent that we do have will get frustrated and move on to bigger and better things and no one could blame them 1 bit!

  12. Some really worrying comments by the Xhaka fan club up above. I guess they mirror the manager’s opinions who views Xhaka as the man who can do no wrong. It kind of reminds me of the Sargent Major in the old comedy, ” It ain’t Half Hot Mum”, who had a specific favorite amongst the troupe of arty types and Nancy boys. Whenever his favourite appeared, he would proudly gush out, ” that’s my boy” ignoring any failings. I guess like him and some other Arsenal fans the main attraction must be Xhaka’s abs and sixpack. Arteta definitely has this problem. He cannot see beyond Xhaka and is ” seduced” by appearance. Question is, why aren’t any of the big clubs interested in this titan who has been an instrumental part of Arsenal’s decline. No Xhaka is here to stay. Worrying indeed. How does the Simon and Garfunkel song go? ” Hello mediocrity my old friend….., .”

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