So now we are back to doom and gloom again, a bit like the last 9 months of Emery’s tenure…the deep rooted issues that are crippling our club are resurfacing and to make things worse, some of our important players are either getting injured or are considering leaving (Auba most notably…).
Arteta came in, gave the team a shape, lifted the morale and the improved the team’s connection with the fanbase but has he taken on the impossible job? Are the issues too big to be solved? Will he be given time to succeed by the club and the fans? Will the players still have faith in the club and in him?
I think, ultimately, it will come down to:
1. Keeping Saka
2. Showing intent on the transfermarket by spending big on the right players.
3. Axing some players
4. Building around our best talents (Saka, Martinelly, Pepe, Tierney?)
Everyone knows our gaps:- 1 RB, 1 CB (at least), 1 DM, 1 CM are badly needed- If we could get another forward and ST (espectially if Laca goes), it would not be superfluous.
Is the job too big or impossible for Arteta? Maybe…maybe not. My fear is that he needs time and financial backing. You can’t build a competitive team for the EPL title with just 3 talented players, you need a squad of 18 excellent or very good players because the EPL is too competitive and other teams have at least that many great players (Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Utd most notably)…
So will there be financial backing? If so – it needs to be clear as of NOW. Look at Chelsea, they have already recruited Werner and Ziyech and are not far away from getting Chilwell and Havertz. They will of course sell some players too but they are investing in players that are coming of age and have proven both in their league and even at European level for Werner and Ziyech.
At the beginning of the season, Chelsea was predicted to struggle but they made some investments on key positions and have also promoted the youth. Their owner is showing intent by buying these players, which will (1) give hope to the confirmed players at the club, (2) convince big players to come and I would not be surprised if Koulibaly or Ruben Dias or Sriniar end up there in the end because they want a solid CB…
So the difference between Lampard and Arteta’s coaching career could just be that one is backed up by his owner and the other isn’t? Arteta is a good coach and I think he certainly has more in him than Lampard but next year at the start of the season, Lampard could line up:
Kepa – James, Koulibaly, Azpi, Chilwell – Kante, Jorginho – Havertz – Ziyech, Werner, PulisicBench: or
Caballero – Palmieri, Rudiger, Tomori, Alonso – Barkley, Kovacic, Mount – Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Abraham
and we could end up with:
Martinez – Bellerin, Mustafi, Saliba, Tierney – Douzi, Xhaka – Ozil – Pepe, Nketiah, Martinelli or
Macey – Soares, Sokratis, Holding, Kola – ESR, Torreira, Willock – Nelson, Jules, Balogun
It would really be men vs boys…Top 4 team versus top 10 team…
So there is only one way to help Arteta and the team and it is to invest and to invest SMART and BIG to fix the gaps and retain Saka (I think we need to forget Auba, he needs to move on to a bigger team at this stage of his career. Let him go to Juve, Inter, Barcelona, Real Madrid…).
We need to build the team around Pepe, Martinelli, Saka. They need to be put in the best disposition to win games for us but that means that the players behind them are solid enough defensively and can also create…
Some free agents that are worth a look: – Verthongen, Willian, Fraser, Cavani, Ibra-> I don’t care if they played for rival teams.
Some players that want to leave their teams or their teams want them out:- Onana, Cancelo, Semedo, Koulibaly, Upamecano, Gaya, Grimaldo, Telles, Brozovic, Vecino, Paredes, Ruiz, Partey, Zubeldia, Milinkovic-Savic…
I’d rather start the season with: Martinez – Cancelo, Saliba, Verthongen, Tierney – Willian, Xhaka, Partey – Pepe, Martinelli, Saka rather than the team previously mentioned.
I love AFC but I also want them to shine again and if the owner does not back Arteta, I also fear that he will leave because he needs to also look after himself.