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POR 0-2 ARS – Money could save us, Money could kill us… [Positive Needs & Hopes]

nketiah-celebrate

Money could save us, Money could kill us

Positives, Needs and Hopes 

It’s March. It’s 2021. One year from now.

Could this happen?…..

Who would’ve thought that Arsenal would be where they are today?

After a fairly miserable 19/20 season where Arsenal tumbled prematurely out of Europe and failed to make it back in, the only true positives were a new coach that the players and fans believe in and a very exciting batch of youngsters.

Here we are one year later after a summer where the fanbase saw multiple players leave and very little money spent, Arsenal are back now as domestic contenders.

The question has to be asked…Did Arsenal’s lack of funds prove to be a blessing in disguise?

Many thought Arsenal needed an overhaul at the back yet forgot that Arteta had squeezed the max out of Mustafi and Luiz. Mari was cheap heaven and has proved to be the organizer that Saliba needed.

Would Upamecano have done better? I doubt it. Would it have been smart to partner Saliba with another new and young player? Doesn’t look like it.

The continued good form of Arsenal’s senior CB’s has also allowed Arsenal the patience with Saliba.

Ceballos and Pepe’s second season form was not a thought this time last year. The Gunners faithful, much like all football fans, lacked patience and understanding of their adaptation period.

papa-celebrates

Would Smith-Rowe have even been recalled if Arsenal had the money for Grealish or not been forced to nudge Ozil out?

If Arsenal had money in the summer, I’m thinking Ozil finds another reason to stay and Arsenal stagnate. Note that Ozil’s wages have been split six ways to improve the contracts of the ‘sensational six’ in Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, ESR, Nketiah and the emerging gem, Balogun.  If Ozil was still at Arsenal would Arsenal have found balance in their attack and unleashed Pepe to wander like Ozil was allowed to?

Nelson is starting to achieve similar consistent performances to his boyhood best friend, Sancho. If Arsenal had had money, would Nelson have been upgraded on?

If Arsenal could’ve afforded a new contract for Lacazette would they now be anywhere near as potent?

The cheap and intelligent purchase of Soares has proved a master stroke in an area that was a true worry.

Arsenal’s money woes not only forced them to sell many last summer but have cleansed the squad of what have proved to be a group of players that were holding back others.

It’s not true to say that money doesn’t help, because it can.

Sometimes it saves you.

It’s also fair to say that if you give a coach like Mikel Arteta a balanced team rather than an expensive team you might come to the conclusion that money can kill you too.

mari-fist

POSITIVES:

  • I’ve never seen an Arsenal team use the entire width of the field like Arteta’s Arsenal. Saka and Nelson were literally on the paint. Even when the ball was on one side, the other wide player stayed 75 yards away, offering the big switch. This is a confident tactic that I’d like Arteta to use against better opponents. It’s a little risky as it can take too long for players to become the compact defensive unit but what it does give is multiple solutions. Either EVERY player has individual space as opponent (Portsmouth did this) is afraid to leave ANYONE super wide open. Alternatively, they can play in a compact block which can leave your wide (and often most dangerous players) in oceans of space. The other way of looking at this tactic is that it might be subconsciously prompting the players to play safe (Olympiakos at home) for fear of transition and a generously dispersed team.
  • Pablo Mari looks like a serious defender. For a newcomer, it is obvious that he loves to organize. His passing was impressive too.
  • Reiss Nelson might just prove to be the next in an impressive line of players who are fulfilling their personal potential. Prior to last night, Nelson was playing with fear and clearly not with the freedom that his talent needs. Primarily, Nelson was running at speed at their defenders rather than just short passing. He had swagger. He set up both goals. Something has changed here. It also needs to be noted that Pepe doesn’t do this. He should but he doesn’t run on or off the ball at full speed. Advantage Nelson?
  • It was interesting in the week that Arteta was so honest about what lack of CL could do to the clubs finances, I wondered if this communication was an intentional precursor to having a reason to push Ozil out.
  • That was Martinez’ cleanest game this season.

torreira-injury

NEEDS:

  • Arsenal need to improve in leading passes. In the first half in particular, there were many times where players are given the ball where they are standing rather than a step or two in front.  When Arsenal have such swathes of personal space they need to take advantage and lead players with their passing.
  • We are all still waiting for Arsenal to play two dominant halves. Also, a fast start would help set the rhythm.

HOPES:

  • Arsenal need the DM option and need Torreira back as he is unique in the squad. At the same time I’ve noticed that both Guendouzi and especially Ceballos have improved their desire to defend.
  • Just got a feeling that Arsenal will go for this free transfer this summer, Willian. Would add technical security and a versatile, gifted player.

FINAL THOUGHT:

  • My opening thought might sound too optimistic but give this some thought…. who has impressed you most this season? Tierney and Pepe?The two that cost the most. The big money! Would it be the youngsters that cost nothing alongside those that cost almost nothing. Chelsea had no money last summer. Would Abraham be on the cusp of having to lead the line for England this summer with the pressing energizer bunny, Mason Mount in the same star studded squad with Tomori and Reece James knocking on the same door. On the other hand, Utd have spent over 1 billion since Ferguson to become also rans. Money can save you, but money can kill you too.

@mike_mmcdonald

Sent from my iPhone

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2 Responses to POR 0-2 ARS – Money could save us, Money could kill us… [Positive Needs & Hopes]

  1. Jason March 3, 2020 at 8:52 am #

    Lol. Are you really basing this piece off of a performance against Portsmouth. League 1 Portsmouth.
    Your optimism is admirable but also the reason why Arsenal are crap. Fans blind optimism is why this club has got away with underinvesting for decades. Arsenal just made a financial loss… but it’s their first loss in a very long time. The lack of investment – even re-investment – is a slap is the face of supporters who have paid the highest ticket prices over a decade.

    Is there some reason for optimism, yes. Arteta looks better than Emery. There are some kids with obvious potential. Some senior players have room to improve and Arteta appears to slowly be helping them with that.

    There are more reasons not to be optimistic though.
    The first AND second half performances against Olympiakos shows Arteta still can’t effectively manage his squad. We still look sketchy at the back against mediocre opposition. We lack depth in crucial areas. We have just one senior player the biggest clubs would want (Auba) and there’s a good chance we’ll have to sell him in the Summer… along with Saka if he doesn’t sign an extension.

    I’m not trying to put a downer on you for the sake of it. But ridiculous, unfounded optimism like yours is why the club can keep under-investing, selling a pipe dream which you lap up like it’s chocolate milk when in reality – it’s a big load of loose poo.

  2. J.M. Bapple March 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm #

    I appreciate your optimism, but neither Nelson nor Nketiah is anything more than a peripheral squad player. It’s nice that they contributed last night, but there is no chance that either is a top four starting XI player. You are right that spending money is not always the solution and that it sometimes distracts you from developing your internal options, but Arsenal need anywhere from 4-6 new first XI players to compete for top four, and the notion that Nketiah, Nelson, ESR, Guendouzi, Torreira, Balogun or Willock are going to get us there is simply not credible. We will need to go into the market, and given our limited financial resources, it will be two summer windows before we have anything like a top four squad.

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