Morning folks. Hope you’re all gravy?
Me? Well I’m fine thank you very much. Had a load of ol’ dodgy dreams about people being rude on ferries and offering to fight me when they wouldn’t listen to mine and my mates’ advice that they don’t sit next to our tiger because it bites. Which I found odd.
Not half as odd as Chelski though. In an attempt to upstage us and our Premier League squad announcement on the Premier League website yesterday they announced Petr Cech in their 25 man squad for the season. They already have Mendy, Kepa, Caballero, but now they’ve added a fourth to the squad because – as Lampard put it – “we have space”.
I wish we had space. As I mentioned yesterday we have 19 overseas players and only room for 25, so it would have been nice to be able to get Ozil and Sokratis in the squad. But it is what it is. This is a talking point for 73 days before the January transfer window opens and we will most likely offload Sokratis which will free up one space, then we’ll try again to get Ozil a new club.
Of course by then there could also be other players heading out the door and when you think about the current volume of centre halves we have I’d be surprised if Holding or Chambers aren’t looking at an exit on loan or as a sale. Of course at this stage Arsenal would probably prefer to get the sale done to bring some money into the coffers, but in this depressed market it doesn’t feel like much will change come January.
What could have changed, however, is where we see the club under Arteta. It’s weird because I’ve seen a few minor dissenting voices on my social media timeline. Not people I follow but usually those connected to people I follow who are responding to the negativity. Personally I just don’t get it. Because of the fact he joined halfway through a season, because we had over four months of the year in lockdown where no football was played, it still feels to me as though he’s still working out his team. There are so many mitigating circumstances that are going on here I genuinely can’t understand people who want to see us further along the path he’s taking us. We won an FA Cup. Ask Pochettino if he’d have liked to have just won one of them in his career at the Tony Totts. I bet he’d swap it for qualification to the Champions League, that’s for sure.
So we have a young manager, a man who has won a trophy, a man who clearly has the players playing in a style that they buy in to, and a small minority are STILL unhappy? It’s bizarre. I think of Klopp and he’s into year five of his time at their club. Once again, as a reminder, Arteta joined us in December, so hasn’t even hit year one. And for three months he was sat at home and so was his squad.
In his first full season he finished fourth with 22 wins, 10 draws and six defeats. It was enough to get top four. He won his first trophy with Liverpool in 2019 which was the Champions League. That’s three and a half years later. That year they finished runners up in the league on a record points haul and last year won the Premier League.
Three and a half year’s to win his first trophy. Arteta did it – if you factor in the COVID hiatus – in four months.
At the end of his first season Klopp spent £93.85million. Yes he was able to sell but there’s no point talking about that because of the depressed nature of our market we’re in. Apples and pears, n’all that. He also spent £63.9million in year two and £167.9million in year three. In year three they won the Champions League. So if people are looking for potential trajectories then let’s look at that as a benchmark. If Arteta is half the man we all think he is – and I believe he is – then I’m not going to get too hung up on the fact we played a frustrating game at the weekend against Man City who, let’s look at as well because Pep joined in 2016 and is now FOUR YEARS into his project. In Guardiola’s first season he didn’t win any trophies. In his second he won the League Cup against us and also the Premier League with a record points tally. To get to that point City spent £193.5million in his first season and £285.75million in his second season. So Pep had a blank chequebook with which to utterly reshape his team.
Arteta won’t get that but what he will do is get the best out of the players he’s got. Partey coming in is another piece and with Ozil out for sure we all now know that he needs another creative piece. We’re still not complete. We have holes as a squad. Yet the belief is still there from many Gooners that I talk to and that is an amazing feeling. We just have to hope that the positive trajectory continues but that can only really continue if we’re winning football matches. We have a chance to do that tomorrow in the Europa and then on Sunday against Leicester. Two wins out of our next two puts us in a great position.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that a small number of shouty people need to chill and let’s try to enjoy the ride Arteta is taking us on.
Catch y’all tomorrow.