I do find this time of year, as the transfer speculation mounts, and the angst heightens amusing and bemusing in equal measure. I used to get dragged in far more than I do these days. Now I just sit back and enjoy the ride, knowing that there is nothing I can do to influence proceedings and that getting worried or stressed is simply bad for me and utterly pointless.
Arsenal are where Arsenal are, and we all know that Arteta and Edu want to improve the squad, so that obvious fact is all we really need to understand. You may not believe in them but until you can make yourself heard in the stadium, again, there is nothing you can do to alter the facts. We must sell to buy, as that is our model and again, nothing will change that in the next 2 months.
Another observation would be that without knowing what Arteta’s plans are and what formation or formations he plans to utilise, then speculation on the type of player he should buy may also be pointless. For a 4231, as know he needs and upgrade on Xhaka, but is he moves to 433, maybe not so much.
I also find it incredible that the same fans screaming for Pepe and Martinelli to start and who are so proud of our homegrown stars, are so desperate for is to sign a wide playmaker from Norwich. When one questions this, the consistent answer is that we need strength in depth to rotate. However, we have many less games next season and unlike other teams like Man City, it is not easy to keep good players happy playing every other game. The best players want to play all the big games and when Leicester and Chelsea, won the league will not in Europe, their rarely changed the first 11 in doing so.
I had to giggle on Saturday when I saw a tweet declaring that it was now obvious that Arteta wanted to play 433, and in that Aouar (remember him) would we the wide left playmaker and not at 10, with Pepe on the right. Was it equally obvious that over 50% of the fanbase were voting Saka was the club’s most important player and he would not play in this obvious 433?
Can it really not be as simple as Saka and Smith Rowe, whilst not expensive star signings really are that good, do not need to be upgraded? If the club buys a Buendia, at least one of these home-produced talents that we are so rightly proud of won’t play weekly. Or perhaps we just leave out our record signing, Pepe, entirely just when he has started producing the form, we all saw in Ligue 1 for Arsenal?
The contradictions and inconsistencies in the observations and demands of our fanbase cannot all be justified with the strength in depth and big squad for rotation argument. You simply cannot want Martinelli, Pepe, Saka and ESR to play regularly and want Kido Taylor-Hart tied down and fast tracked and want another wide playmaker surely? Or maybe many do not rate Smith-Rowe and want him to be given a chance to prove he can grow into the player I think he will be.
At the start of last season Saka had played only 27 times for Arsenal in the Premier League, many at fullback or wingback and finished 19/20 being overlooked for the FA Cup Semi and Final. We all thought he would be good, but did we all expect him, at 19, to effectively carry his senior colleagues and the team in 20/21? Had we bought Aouar as anticipated, Bukayp Saka might not be our Player of the Season and Emile Smith Rowe might not have played 20 Premier League matches for the club. In essence, Smith-Rowe, is at the point now that his friend and teammate was last summer.
I want him to be given the platform to see if our Croydon De Bruyne can have the impact in his first full season that Saka had this past campaign. If 4 assists and 2 goals in 20 matches became, 10 assists and 6/7 goals if the player is trusted, then we will all be happy. After all, there is talk of Odegaard being the real target, who managed 2 assists in 14 outings, and he is values at £50m plus apparently. The young playmaker, who offers the ability to carry the ball, which makes our attack less predictable has, let us not forget, not signed a new deal with the club he has been with since he was a boy. I for one, would hate to see that negotiation jeopardised on the back of spurious links to players, perceived to be an upgrade on Smith-Rowe. He is the future of the club and we need it tied down NOW.
I am going to sit back, enjoy the Euros and see what Arteta, and Edu have planned. The decision on Joe Willock might give us a steer that the plan is to stick with 4231. If this is the case, then the Xhaka, replacement/upgrade is by far the biggest issue along with cover/challenging full back signings. I am relaxed on the creator side and will wait to see what occurs.
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.