A young, experienced and at times immature squad- just where will they end up?
With only 17 games left of this Premier League season, it will be interesting to see where this young Arsenal squad ends up at the end.
There is no doubt that anything higher than eighth place this season will be seen as progress after last season. But not winning anything for the last two seasons is always a big worry especially given how Mikel Arteta started his reign at the club.
After winning the FA Cup in 2019-2020 and the Community Shield in 2020, things were looking up but it has all gone downhill since then. We finished in eighth place last year and have gone out of all competitions, where the only thing we are fighting for this season is a Champions League and Europa League place with at least three other clubs.
With no European football, the best chance we had of winning a trophy would have been this season, as we had only the cups and the league to focus on, but as always we fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup and lost out in getting to the final of the Carabao Cup after losing to Liverpool in the semi-finals.
So where do we really go from here with the squad we have at our disposal?
There’s no denying that this squad is young and there is not really a high number of experienced players in the side, so where the balance is I struggle to see. Especially as two of our supposedly experienced players in Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have discipline issues of their own and are prone to red cards. If that is the experience the young players will be looking up to, then we are in trouble in a few years’ time with the young squad we have coming through.
Mikel Arteta has been speaking to arsenal.com ahead of the run in though, and was talking about the squad, stating:
“We have lost points that sometimes show the lack of maturity we have in the squad, but at the same time we won a lot of games because of the enthusiasm, the passion and the energy they bring to the team. So we have to keep maintaining that balance right and give them confidence.”
At least he is acknowledging the immaturity at times in the squad but also the passion. But it doesn’t bode well that sometimes it is the most experienced players who have the lack of maturity and discipline, but there is no denying that at times there is passion and togetherness in this team and it can only get better given the right support.
If they could be more consistent with the passion and fight, then it surely will be a good end to the season. But as always with Arsenal from now until the end of the season there will be more ups and downs and bumps and bruises to come.
But if we end up in the highest place possible, then I for one won’t be complaining. Well not much anyway!