”You are not in the Champions League and because you are not in the Champions League, you say ‘Okay, I don’t have to invest because I don’t have the financial ability to do it’. But the other clubs invest and then the gap becomes bigger”. Mikel Arteta (14/7/2020)
Over to you Stan Kroenke. I don’t think it is too much a demand if Arsenal fans ask that our $8.3b American owner, spend a bit on the club by helping us sign both Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar.
I know Arsenal operates a self-sustaining model, but it wouldn’t be that bad to step out of that and lean towards our mega rich owner for support especially in times and circumstances such as the one we are currently experiencing. Let’s consider this as a one-off situation that would propel us to grab any chance or opportunity to get back to the top of the English game.
Two situations, or if you like called them factors, that I consider major opportunities that Arsenal need to capitalize on , in what can be described as one of the grimmest times in the widely and appreciated illustrious history of the club are: the emergence of Mikel Arteta and acquiring two very good midfielders to improve our team. That’s Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar. We have drifted far away from the top for quite a while that, it is no longer funny. We are in danger of becoming a mid-table team in perpetuity, if nothing ambitious is done to push us back up to the sides.
These opportunities, chief of which is the emergence of Mikel Arteta as one of the brightest brains in the coaching world, cannot simply be missed. The club is fortunate to have appointed him next after the Unai Emery debacle, because I felt if he didn’t get the nod, he would have gone somewhere this summer. It is thus imperative on the part of the club to back him with the necessary support and recruitments for him to strive. It is commendable though that the club so far have moved to make some backroom appointment to support him, but that should not be the end of it.
Vinai and Edu have recently been talking about theirs and the owner’s ambition to get us back into Europe’s elite teams, but we prefer to see it translate into reality by way of action. I mean you are what you do, not what you say you will do. Actions always prove why words mean nothing. We have heard similar things in the past that only turned out to be simple rhetoric. We cannot let the same flames burn us twice. Our gullibility as Arsenal fans has waned and we would be moved only actions and no words.
It is a good thing in a weird way, that Arteta is a driven and ambitious young coach who would not stick around if he is hamstrung by lack of financial backing by the board and owners alike. He would not hesitate to speak his mind, as we have seen before from his interviews. He knows that without the much-needed additions in the playing department, he will not be able to really implement his preferred philosophy and also stamp his tactical and technical nuance/authority into games.
This can go a long way to prevent or at least limit the extent to which he discovers his full potential as a coach. Let’s face it, even the Peps, the Klopps and the Zidanes of this world struggled with squads that lacked the players who possess the requisite skillset to implement their footballing philosophies on the field of play. It is only fair then to get Arteta the players he needs to implement his vision and philosophy on the pitch, rather than risk losing him, because I think he would walk if he is not backed.
One thing Arteta has shown in his brief reign so far as Arsenal coach and also in his spell at City is the ability to utilize the players at his disposal, performing at their full potential. But he can only take them as far as their skills and abilities allowed.
“In order to build, you need to win, and we had to find a way to give a little bit more stability and be a little bit more unpredictable with what we wanted to do. We found a different formation that I believed could suit us and it did, in terms of results”. Mikel Arteta – Sky sports 27/07/2020.
It clear that he is making do with what he has at his disposal for now. The current system isn’t Arteta’s preferred system. Besides that, it is important not to rely on just one system.
“We want to have versatility. We will be more difficult to control if we are able to master two or three different formations without driving the players crazy. Always with the same principle, but being able to change systems, and to attack and defend in different ways”. Mikel Arteta – Sky sports 27/07/2020.
Arsenal’s midfield is an area Arteta is obviously looking to improve in the rebuild, and rightly so. An area that I consider as key to getting the team to function and operate effectively in the way Arteta wants. This is why I feel, having the chance to sign two midfielders, in the caliber of Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, is another opportunity the club cannot afford to miss. The thing is, there don’t seem to be any threatening competition for both of their signatures, and they fit the profiles of midfielders we lack in our squad.
Thomas is a powerful midfielder who can operate as a DM and also a box-to-box midfielder. He can play with or instead of Xhaka in a double pivot, or as a pure defensive midfielder sitting at the base our midfield with two creative midfielders ahead of him like Aouar, WIllian or Saka or even Ceballos in a 4-3-3 formation just like we see at City. We wouldn’t be too devastated to lose Xhaka through injury or suspension or when he isn’t performing. Aouar on the other hand can be used as the creative hub operating in the pockets ahead of a double pivot as described by Arteta below:
“Look at the players that we had in the past at this club in those positions. You go back to (Santi) Cazorla, to (Tomas) Rosicky, to (Andre) Arshavin when he played there, to (Aaron) Ramsey, when he played there, to (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he came in. Even Jack Wilshere used to play in those pockets all the time. That is a lot of players who are now not there. We have to renew that cycle, because if not, those kinds of players won’t be there for us anymore. They are a big part of what any squad needs”. Mikel Arteta – Sky sports 27/07/2020.
Aouar can also play with either Xhaka or Partey (if he signs) in a midfield two when are deploying the current system that Arteta is using. These two players are too perfect and too good opportunities that cannot be missed.
Look we are The Arsenal, we don’t have to penny pinch around when it comes to signing players who would in no doubt improve us massively and take us forward. We need to spend, not just for the sake of it, but in order that we capitalize on these opportunities. We have to move forward and back into the frames of elite football teams in the world. COYG.
Arsenal enthusiast and writer from Ghana. Love all things Arsenal and football. Sharing is caring. This is an opportunity to share my opinion about the game with the rest of the world. Please would you spare some time and read what I have written and also feel free to comment what you think about it. Thanks!