The pressure during the season was definitely on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as he struggled to polish turds to secure a top-four slot. He failed and I doubt anyone was that surprised because he virtually had the same underachieving players, a host of internal issues, plus a pandemic to hinder any ideas of progress. However, the focus now turns on Edu as the summer transfer window approaches.
Arsenal limped to a tragic eighth place in the Premier League and exhausted fans, keen to see improvements on a grand scale, couldn’t wait for the campaign’s last day to avoid being subjected to any more lifeless and soulless performances.
The high note was the performances of Tierney, Saka, Smith Rowe, and when given the opportunity, Martinelli. The youngsters gave 200% in every game and showed a real appetite and ambition which was sadly lacking from the majority of the senior players, but that aside, we now look towards the summer transfer window and in particular, the expertise of Arsenal’s technical director, Edu.
This in-between period is extremely crucial for next season as Arsenal try to balance the books whilst simultaneously improving the squad and Edu is under pressure to pull off a miracle or two to justify his position, under an increased scrutiny post the ESL mutiny.
If he fails and Arsenal end up in a similar position next season, it won’t just be Arteta with his head on the block, with Arsenal supporters in a less than forgiving mood. Edu is looking to repeat the Martinelli coup in this summer transfer window, but those types of players don’t come along very often and especially at those prices (£6m).
Quality on a shoestring is something every top team would love to be able to do but it’s a rare as a Piers Morgan, Megan Markle love-in and if Edu can manage to unearth four key performers of the Premier League standard for less than £100m, he will be hailed as a football genius, one which can write his own ticket in North London for as long as he wants but what are the chances?
The truth is that every club is scratching around for the next generation of supreme talent and many of them can offer more than a back catalogue of historic success. The vultures are circling and Edu needs to prove something to himself and the Arsenal hierarchy.