Will Arsenal win the league this season?
- The simple statistic that shows that Arsenal are on course to win the league
- Are Arsenal really playing like a title winning team in attack and defence?
By Tony Attwood
The news about Gabriel Jesus needing an operation means that the regular anti-Arsenal media have something to get their teeth into with discussions about just how long he is going to be out, how Arsenal don’t have a replacement, and all the players they need to buy now.
Of course there is the fact that Eddie was given a new contract, which is generally reported to be a five year deal with an annual salary of £2.34m
Now if we consider the purchases that Arteta has made during his time at Arsenal, then I think we can have some positive thoughts about that new contract.
The purchase of Martin Odegaard for £29m, the nurturing of Gabriel, plucking Takehiro Tomiyasu out of nowhere, the way Saliba was allowed to mature fully then to walk into the back line, the nurturing of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, the development of Martinelli, all these factors give one a sense of faith in what the manager and Edu can do.
And indeed thinking of Edu and centre forwards we might suddenly find ourselves yet another Brazilian forward who can be given time to develop.
But also there tends to be a view at the moment that Martinelli would have developed for anyone naturally and so Arteta had nothing to do with his emergence, but, that would be to forget that Martinelli went on to trial after trial at Manchester United and was turned down. It wasn’t Arteta who signed him of course, but he is there and only just starting to show us what he can do.
But Eddie doesn’t score enough goals is the cry so we need to buy. Martinelli is a winger you can’t rely on him. Smith Rowe isn’t a centre forward etc etc.
But let’s have a quick look at last seaon’s top scorers who are still with us
|Emile Smith Rowe||Midfielder||24||11|
And let us not forget that these players have been developing their games at Arsenal then, and since.
So I am not saying that Arsenal are not going to buy another goal scorer, but rather if that is the route that Arsenal go down, there will be howls of derision from the media because… well, that’s because what they do. But in fact we might well have enough in that group of players of last year to find the goals we need, and the sort of playing re-arrangement that has been brought into the side of late.
For what we should not forget is the fact that a player of some note brought into the team now, will be seeking an assurance that when our injured man is back on his feet, the new guy will not automatically be relegated to the bench for the rest of the season.
And if such an assurance were to be given we would then find that the players in the squad would all get in a panic as to what would happen if they were injured. For it is this sort of psychology and player assurance that those who invent new transfers that Arsenal are supposingly after never investigate.
If Arsenal did get a reputation for buying players and then bringing in a replacement if an injury comes along, that would mean players would demand ever higher salaries in order to secure their position in the club.
Now of course Manchester City do that because first, they can call on the money, and second because there seems to be absolutely no appetite for the League to take on Manchester City over FFP.
But compare that with this summer’s headlines such as “Arsenal placed on UEFA’s FFP watchlist as 10 clubs set to be sanctioned next month” and “Arsenal among clubs on UEFA’s Financial Fair Play ‘watchlist’ after spending spree” and “Arsenal ‘added’ to UEFA watchlist amid Financial Fair Play concerns”
Those three headlines come from the Express, the Mirror and Football.London all three of which are owned by the same company – Reach plc, with all three regularly feeding anti-Arsenal tales from each other to make it look as if the stories are everywhere. They often cite each other as sources, too.
What the Times, the seeming originator of today’s anti-Arsenal tale actually said is that “Arsenal are on Uefa’s FFP watchlist” And of course we had Daily Mail suggest Arsenal possibly breaching FFP rules.
Of course it was all the normal mindless jibberish that the media spout, but it shows us why they are so keen on running the story that Arsenal are about to buy a top scorer.
If Arsenal do, and he works out it will be, “Arsenal under FFP investigation; players must be sold.”
If Arsenal do, and he doesn’t work out, it will be, “Arteta under pressure after yet another transfer market bungle.”
If Arsenal don’t it is, “Kroenke refuses to back Arteta”.
And it will all be a load of balderdash. (Other words starting with b are also available).
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: the team news, Jesus’ problem, and winning records
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: injury update, and the record between the clubs
- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the dirtiest team of all?
- The great injury conundrum: how can Arsenal cope, and how are other clubs suffering?