Arsenal

The four players Arsenal need to win the Premier League title next year

It’s the second Mailbox after the night before. There’s plenty about Spurs fans but let’s talk about Arsenal and how they improve.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com

 

What Arsenal need to win the Premier League title
Arsenal did very well this season (in the PL) and Arteta has implemented standards that were previously obsolete, due to the derelict clown that was previously in charge that oversaw consistent thrashings in every big game Arsenal played. Arsenal’s pathetic soft-touch flakiness under Wenger has finally been consigned to the dustbin.

Where Wenger was a tactical dunce who never practiced set-pieces etc, Arteta has maximised the coaching there. Arsenal finished the season with the best record v the Top 6, they had the best defence in the league and a club-record number of wins (more than the Invincibles).

Ultimately though, they will yet again finish empty-handed. To all those weirdos who celebrated the 0-0 Citeh away result when Citeh had a plethora of injuries and were vulnerable: Arteta was not brave enough. It was bizarre to see various Arsenal fans celebrating a 0-0 at their direct rivals (see mailbox) – why? This is not ambitious. Citeh were there for the taking but Arsenal did not go for it. It was not, “a good point” – I was criticised by the delicate Gooners for saying it then, but if you want to win the league…

The biggest crimes however, were the inability to beat a 10-man Fulham at home, losing to a Moyes West Ham at home and Gabriel Jesus skying a sitter at home to Spurs from 5 yards out to kill the contest. Inexcusable. All those matches showcased Arsenal’s inability to finish simple chances – with the Villa home fixture the Coup de Grace.

Citeh meanwhile have a back-to-back cyborg Golden Boot winner and various players who can create something out of nothing when Citeh are low on ideas (Foden, KDB, Bernardo, Doku). Arsenal have just one top creative outlet (Odegaard), and not one player capable of hitting 20 PL goals. Simple as that.

READ: The most creative players in the Premier League

Arsenal need top-level players over the summer because the ones they currently have aren’t good enough to win anything, that is a Fact. Arteta gave Nketiah a new deal and the 14 shirt. Why? What has Nketiah contributed? Sod all. What has Gabriel Jesus contributed? Last season’s choke job had Jesus’ fingerprints all over it with sitters missed in key matches. He should be dashed out, pointless player. Pep must be still giggling at that one! What the hell is a Fabio Vieira? £40m for what? Reiss Nelson wanted to leave and Arteta begged him to stay: what has Nelson provided? These aren’t hindsight mistakes, they were all obvious at the time.

Arsenal have had two big opportunities to take a PL title off Pep and flunked both (although this season tbf isn’t a classic Bottle job like last season). Arteta needs to swallow his pride and bin off “projects”. Havertz is nice and all but it’s clear what Arteta needs to do over summer:

1. He needs to sign a top level finisher. Long overdue

2. He needs a creative attacking outlet like eg Paqueta of West Ham, Wirtz at Leverkusen

3. He needs a new midfielder to partner Rice who can play further up the pitch, like De Jong of Barca for instance. Get rid of Partey, injury-prone and over the hill.

4. He needs a quality Left back and should keep Tierney as back up

Arsenal have done very well this season but ultimately, history is written by the victors, and it’s another trophyless season (barring a miracle).

Proud of Arsenal regardless
A shame, but in the end the inevitable has happened and City’s dominance continues in a league where they always win eventually and the three who’ve come up will soon be confirmed down with a whimper. Best league in the world? It doesn’t feel like it these days.

I turned off at 1-0 last night and didn’t see the Son miss in real time which honestly is a relief, but any Arsenal ‘blaming’ that moment this morning shouldn’t; it’s a futile exercise. As in fact is ‘what ifs’ regarding all the games where we should’ve done something differently.

“If only we’d beaten Villa” is fine, but ultimately it’s our sole defeat since new year and literally every fan would’ve taken that if offered it after Fulham away. To ‘only’ not win two games since then is a dream scenario everyone would’ve accepted, and even if you want to blame that one game, or others, what about the moments that went our way?

What if we’d have not conceded late to Villa? Sure, but what if Havertz hadn’t scored late winners home & away v Brentford? What if VAR had ruled Newcastle’s goal out? Fine, but what is Van De Ven’s had stood? We also scored late winners against United, Luton and City themselves before Xmas. I maintain a 0-0 draw at City was an excellent result and at the time it kept it in our hands – that isn’t why we’ve not won this title even though some like to pinpoint that particular game. Simply put, this is all just the story of a season.

Post City away, we won every single game bar one. Look at the opposition we played in that stretch – it’s an excellent run when there are no easy games. Since January we’ve been absolutely immense. No regrets, we just have to enjoy it. We’re excellent and it’s exciting. Hopefully we pick ourselves up and go again next year.

As for Tottenham, woof. Absolutely feel free to bask in the ‘glory’ today, but honestly the Ange presser afterwards was an Australian version of an Italian’s rant just over a year ago. This week appears to have divided him and in the fanbase (admittedly based on some of the crap Twitter exposes to me) but his demeanour was such last night that I wonder if he’ll even bother to be back for another crack next season. Quite a funny silver lining, certainly.

Onwards Gunners, have loved (almost) every minute and I thank Arteta for making us this relevant again.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex

 

…It’s not over but it feels like it is. No shame or blame on Spurs players, Son’s miss or Ange they gave City a better game than most thought and their fans wanted. Similar to Man U giving Arsenal a good game but without the small mindedness from their fans wanting to lose the game.

Of course everyone should understand Spurs fans wanting their team to lose to deny Arsenal the title but perhaps there should have been a bit more shame with having those thoughts and possibly realising how small time it makes you seem when you take it to the extremes many did.

Listening to Ange’s post-match comments talking about the foundations of the club and learning a lot in the last 48 hours, those small minded Spurs fans in their City shirts and doing the Poznan may have unwittingly done more damage than they imagined, because your manager and players simply do not put your rivalry with Arsenal higher than their own ambitions for the club.

Such is the internet now that I’m sure this will illicit the ‘cry more’ or ‘you’re rattled’ response, but like I said it’s fine and normal that Spurs fans didn’t want Arsenal to win the league, but when it means your own team have to lose to stop that happening it’s probably best to have some quiet dignity and perspective about it.

So it’s almost certainly 4 in a row for City and only a huge upset will stop them backing up the treble with a double. After 20 games Arsenal had 3 fewer points than City, in the final 18 games Arsenal likely had to get 52 points out of 54 to be champions, we got 48. It’s futile Arsenal fans looking back at ‘games where the title was ‘lost’ because you could equally look at last minute winners v Luton and Man U to show how fine the line can be both ways. Whatever way you cut it Arsenal have had a tremendous season.

City’s title (Unless Moyes can inspire a park the bus masterclass) will be generally treated with apathy by fans. Rivals want City to win it if their club can’t and I get it, City’s title wins can be excused and brushed aside as expected and don’t reflect badly on the team you support. But if someone else wins, like when Liverpool did you have to start to look more at your own teams failings. If they could do it why can’t we? See also Villa getting in the champions league just 5 seasons after being promoted – it’s a great achievement and reflects badly on clubs with similar resources or who started from a stronger position.

Also fans of the ‘rest’ generally don’t come across City fans older than 12 so don’t have that relentless oneupmanship over them. When Man U were winning so many titles their fans were unbearable so we wanted someone else to win it so we could give it back to them for once. City fans aren’t unbearable because we don’t come across them in our every day lives.

The entire world will be watching the outcome of the 115 charges very, very closely, it really will be the biggest decision in English football in my lifetime and probably beyond. This essentially decides whether we let it happen or we stop it happening, because despite all the legal jargon and smoke screens if we are to truly believe that City have broken none of the rules around FFP or P&S then we have to believe that at board, commercial and marketing level City have completed the greatest feat anyone has ever witnessed in football.

What we’re being asked to believe is that with a minuscule fanbase in comparison to the giants of the game City have persuaded sponsors, partners, kit manufacturers etc to pay them more than any team because City’s revenue which allows them to spend so much on players is higher than Real Madrid’s! We all know they are guilty but we live in a world where sadly that has to be argued and poured over by highly paid lawyers to win/lose the argument on technicalities.

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