Another day, another ‘step closer’ in the Gabriel Magalhaes saga, which appears to be reaching its natural conclusion. I mean, when Sky Sports are flashing the ol’ yellow ‘breaking’ banner on their website, you know they’ve been ripped off to it essentially being done.
So the hope is we get some news today at some stage, or at least tomorrow, by which time you and I will have already read so much about him that it’ll be a little bit boring to talk about how he’ll fit in at the club.
He’ll certainly have a job finding a clothes peg, because we’ve got enough centre halves, as I’ve already gone on about ad nauseum. It’s great and interesting that we’ve decided to spend before we sell, but what I’m taking from the signing as a bigger plus point ahead of anything else, is that the club are going ‘all in’ on Arteta. They know they have quite some talent as a manager and look to be backing him. Can’t say that he isn’t being backed.
And he’s being given full licence to get his own back room specialists in too, which is really interesting because we really suck at defending – and attacking – set pieces. I feel like we haven’t been able to beat the front post man since the mid 90s. So it’ll be really fascinating to see how much impact this new person linked to joining – Andreas Georgson – will add.
Liverpool hired a coach just to deal with throw ins, so what Arteta is doing if he brings this guy in, feels very ‘big club elite’ in terms of setting up the structure of true. We’ve seen just how slick the Man City operation has been since Guardiola joined them, so if Arteta is looking at setting us up like a ‘big boy’ club in our approach and with specialists for certain types of situations at the club,m then heck, I am all kinds of ‘in’ on that front.
It does feel like we’re growing up a little bit I have to say. Arteta’s appointment feels to me like it’s really galvanised the club. He’s become a bit of a talisman and after the transitional period of Mr ‘Good Ebening’ I’m really starting to feel the excitement again. An identity of Arsenal as a ‘Superclub’ feels like it really does have the embryonic roots forming at the moment. Signings like Saliba and Gabriel add to that. The idea that we’re even taking a look at a cheeky bid for Thiago from Barcelona also feels very sensible, and I’m starting to really wonder if even within a year we can have the formings of a side who will be able to compete quite intensively.
Hopefully that means that instead of sitting and watching on to see another Oil FC versus German Player Stealers United like we did last night in the Champions League Final, we can be part of those big occasions in the not too distant future. It would be nice to get that Champions League monkey off our backs because not winning it really is a big blot on a club with our history.
Arteta’s appointment has ensured that Arsenal is an exciting prospect right now though and if he’s got an idea on what he wants from us within a three year period, ending up in that prize for the club, I feel like he could have the capability to delivery. He may be a young and relatively new coach, but that FA Cup has done him – and us as a club – the power of good. So much so that I feel like the mire of the eighth place finish – our worst since 95 – has been glossed over to some extent. We can’t ignore the fact that we were so poor in the league – the marker for consistency over a prolonged period of time for a football team – but with Arteta and hopefully a little more luck on his side then perhaps we can start to see us getting back up to where we think we belong.
Apparently Sal Bibbo is on his way too as the back room shuffle continues and whilst it’s sad to see people lose their jobs and we all have sympathy during this COVID era we’re living in, it’s hard to argue that there didn’t need to be a shuffle on the football side at the club, because the decline over the last decade or so has been evident for everyone to see. We’ve seen a number of ‘keepers move on and get better from leaving Arsenal and so I have no problem in a bit of a change up in that section of the team. It’s why I’m less worried about the scouting changes and the fact the club seem to be trimming some of the back room; sometimes getting fresh faces in is the right thing to move people forward. Just look at what Arteta himself did when he arrived.
That’s it from me today. I suspect there’ll be some kind of announcement on Gabriel either today or tomorrow so let’s all just collectively hold our breaths until then.