The mood of the average Arsenal fan is currently a combination of frustration, anger, and disappointment after another season of ineptitude and failure in the Premier League. It appears that Arsenal are finishing the season the way it began with abject performances, short of pride and passion, and Mikel Arteta is unable to do otherwise. This has left fans looking for answers and seeking assurances of strong financial investment from its wealthy owner to avoid becoming a mid-table club.
On the podcast, in the gunroom segment, Jay asked the pertinent question “what are we?” – a valid question because Arsenal currently have no identity and the ambition of the fans is currently in the hands of a 19-year-old boy who has embarrassed his highly paid contemporaries.
Saka has played more consistently and with more pride and ambition than Aubameyang, Willian, Pepe, Lacazette, and Partey combined. He has shown more leadership in his brief professional career with a series of gutsy and adventurous displays in which he has tried to alter the outcome of games by taking it to the opponents, without any sign of fear.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 19, 2021
Saka also epitomises what Arsenal fans are demanding from their players in terms of commitment and passion. But hold on a minute, a 19-year-old boy has all that pressure on his young shoulders, it’s nothing short of a disgrace. There are a few others that can avoid criticism mainly Odegaard, ESR, and Tierney, but some of the others need to look deep into their soul to look for something that they’re not delivering on the pitch at present while asking themselves have I served the fans or the club honestly and given everything I have.
I can tell you the answer now and you’ve probably already guessed it, there won’t be many that can hold a gaze, I can assure you. As for the future, I would imagine that there could be up to ten players heading out of the exit door with at least six coming in.
Those six will have to be Premier League ready and of sufficient quality, prepared to embrace a huge challenge ahead to put this club back where it belongs. As for the Manager, he has to prove next season that he can take the club forward if given the full support of the board in the summer. One transfer window and one more season, or it’s over in my opinion, and for many reasons honestly.
Mikel Arteta seems unable to motivate the team sufficiently for big games, not that the players should need it, but something is desperately wrong in that department for Arsenal. His use of playing personnel in terms of starts is baffling, continuously using individuals that fail to deliver time and time again, but worse still are his use of substitutes which is normally a last-minute gesture of roll of the dice when the game is effectively lost.
Not that he has a bench full of quality at his disposal, but his refusal to start Martinelli is undermining any remaining faith in his ability to manage the club successfully. So, Arteta has one transfer window and one more season for me. In that time, I want to see performances, players who will toil during adversity, and above all, players who want to win because I’m not seeing that from the majority in the first team.
This has been a difficult but measured response to the circumstances of late, not a knee jerk reaction and I still want to believe that Mikel Arteta can take Arsenal forward, I like him, I genuinely do but, my feelings will change towards him rapidly next term if he can’t pull this club up by the bootstraps and deliver the goods.
I’m not even talking about trophies here, I’m talking about putting on a show that has me bouncing around the room, one that typifies my club, and win, lose or draw shows passion and appetite. If he and his players can’t give the fans that, then someone has to take the heat and Arteta will be at the head of the queue.
Jay mentioned the ‘mythical process’ on the IAAT podcast and he’s right, what’s the process behind what we are witnessing, where are the players willing to bleed out for this club and honour its history. There are only a few and they’re just out of nappies.