Arteta has been saying that since he arrived 20 months ago, he had to change many things at the club in terms of the way it operates, its culture…and to be fair, some positivity and changes were visible in his first 6 months with a new-found defensive resilience and 2 Trophies: An FA Cup and a Charity Shield. To win both, big teams had to be beaten so when we started last season, there was a sense that we could consolidate our gains and build on Arteta’s early success with our club and with the signings of Willian, Partey and Gabriel, there was a “feel good atmosphere” around our club especially after our demolition of Fulham away with a few assists from Willian…
Then the season 2020-1 was what it was with a poor League position, performances in the Cups were not great and our run in the Europa League ended against Emery…who went on to win the Europa League
By then, Arteta had been able to shape the team to his liking to a certain extent…This summer, he managed to make new additions: Ramsdale, White, Tavares, Lokonga and Odegaard. He also managed to extend Tierney and Smithe-Rowe while Saka signed on last year. All seem to have a similar profile: young players, good potential and a good engine. Tierney, Odegaard and Saka have got some international experience too.
So Edu-Arteta say that we are building a team for the future with solid foundations but they are two major assumptions here:
- They will play and improve with us
- They will want to stay with us in 12 or 24 months because they (still) believe in the project/in our club.
And I am not taking into account external assumptions related to other clubs also strengthening
I am sure that Arteta will give them the necessary playing time to develop and that our coaching staff will also help them improve but I am not sure that players like Tierney, ESR and Saka would like to stick with us, if we do not (i) contend for trophies, (ii) win trophies), (iii) finish Top 4 or Top 6 especially if clubs like City, Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real, Bayern, Barcelona, Juve, PSG come knocking at the door for them…
PSG needs a LB – they could easily approach Tierney. Would Tierney not want to play with Mbappy, Neymar and Messi?
Liverpool and City always looking to bolster their wingers’ option, wouldn’t Saka want to be coached by Guardiola or Klopp?
So, I understand that Edu-Arteta want more time (basically this season) but their project also need to include more instant success to ensure that the club is still competitive this season and that we can retain the younger talent extended and recruited…Otherwhise, their whole vision is doomed to fail…
Do you honestly believe that Arteta can make the following team (based on acquisition and Arteta’s formations since last year) compete for a Top 4 finish and a Cup Win this season:
Leno – Chambers, White, Gabriel, Tierney – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Odegaard, ESR – Auba (or Laca)
I have my doubts…We had our best results with Arteta playing with a back 3 and I would be more comfortable going back to this set-up especially given the fact that we are conceding goals and chances like no one’s business….