Opinion of a Realist
There are Arsenal fans who call themselves realists, but fail to ignore hard facts. The 2019-2020 season saw us end on 56 points with unruly trouble makers for players. The clean out started and 2020-2021 saw us end with 61 points, 5 points short of European action. This season we are already on 66 points with three games to spare and 1 point behind third place.
Mikel Arteta has done that which many managers would not dare. To rebuild a team in the manner he has in such a toxic environment. Ill-disciplined players and underporfmers collecting their fat paychecks every month and refusing to move on, so they can hold on to their nice salaries, while the blame is put on the manager for their poor performances. Supporters who have been alienated from the team. Players clashing with supporters. And the numbers of supporters dwindling at the Emirates stadium.
A classic example is Olè Gunnar Solskjaer’s failure to clean up Man Utd’s dressing room while he had the opportunity, and that cost him his job. Can anyone remember how optimistic Man Utd supporters were when Ralf Rangnick came in? They were raving about how he mastered the pressing game and how he was going to improve their team. There has been no improvement, but rather a dismal deterioration that continues.
The Man Utd hierarchy may not want to admit it, but they are looking at what Mikel and Arsenal are doing, and all of a sudden they are speaking the same language. There has to be a clear out.
For Mikel to have started a massive clear out and still be able to keep the ship steady and sailing forward is Amazing. I don’t think he gets enough credit. And that, with some unproven talent and players nobody gave a sniff to be fighting for top four, nevermind top three, come the end of the season.
What some gooners fail to realise is that the dressing room could have been in shambles, and the supporters even further alienated from the team, management and owners. But Mikel and the board remained firm. Mikel has convinced the owners of his project and they are ready to back him up. He has managed to close the gap between owners and supporters, and supporters and team. The Emirates stadium is slowly becoming a fortress again.
We still have +/- 11 players that could possibly leave, and any person who uses logic will tell you that Arsenal are not going to go out and replace ±/— 11 players in one or even two windows. And considering how difficult the January transfer window is, it makes it even harder.
So there is still work to be done to get us up there. So I expect two, at most three, additions will come in in the summer, but I am also reminded that we made four signings last summer, so anything is possible.
The future is looking bright. Upward and Onward We Go! COYG!!!!
By Realist Gooner
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Video – Mikel Arteta talking about our nerve-filled win over Leeds United