When Unai Emery dropped Mesut Ozil, much criticism was directed his way. What was he thinking of leaving such a gifted footballer out of the team/squad. Along came Mikel Arteta and it wasn’t too long before he dropped Mesut Ozil from an even greater height by leaving him out of both Premier League and Europa Cups squads altogether at the start of this current campaign. Arteta too had his critics but now, it’s clear to see both Spaniards were right all along. Mesut Ozil has flopped in a big way at Fenerbache. He’s made ten appearances since his move at the end of January and his goal tally is a big fat zero.
Even worse goings on for two Arsenal cast offs unfolded in Germany where both Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi helped Schalke 04 get relegated. I shouldn’t laugh I know but it is kind of funny. What’s not so funny though is Kolasinac still has a year left to run on his Arsenal contract so unless he stays in Germany or finds another club, he’ll be back in North London for the start of next season. Not that he’s ever likely to play in my opinion. Mustafi however, has already been released by Schalke so he’s free to go wherever he likes. Or to whichever club is willing to snap him up for nothing and I’m sure there’ll be a few.
Things like this show how important it is for a manager/coach to have a team behind him who’s willing to support the decisions he makes. I think it’s fair to suggest that Unai Emery had very little support from the board in place during his time at Arsenal, yet Mikel Arteta clearly has, otherwise all three above mentioned players, plus a few more like Guendouzi and Torreira would probably have been at Arsenal this season and not Thomas Partey, or Martin Odegaard.
I’ve always been of the opinion that a manager/coach should choose his own players to sell or sign and not someone sat behind a desk who has no input on training, tactics and team selection. That’s basically what happened to Unai Emery if the stories about Raul Sanllehi were true at the time. Since then though, Sanllehi and Gazidis have gone and Edu has come in. Richard Garlick joins Arsenal too this month, just before one of the most crucial summer transfer windows for the club I think. Arsenal need quality and not quantity. There’s no point in signing five players if they’re not as good but different or better than who we sell and the benchmark has to be Tierney, ESR, Saka, Partey and Martinelli. Arsenal need players who want to perform and do.
Edu once said that after a phone call with Mikel Arteta, he knew the Spaniard was right for Arsenal and something similar has to be felt when Arteta and Edu talk with potential signings. Arsenal need players who want to be at Arsenal because it’s Arsenal and not because of the salary they might earn. The club has to bring who/what we need and not just some random great player who just happens to be looking for a move to the Premier League. Arteta and Edu have to get this summer right, even if lack of money means transfers are limited. Arsenal will sell players this summer, I think that’s obvious to everyone but what would be the point in selling Joe Willock for example to sign someone like Willian? No point whatsoever in fact if Edu and Arteta did that, they’d both deserve the sack!
For what it’s worth, I don’t think the club should sell Willock, nor AMN, certainly not this summer. Willock has been really good for Newcastle with his goals pretty much keeping the club in the Premier League whilst AMN would have learned a different kind of football under Big Sam. Let’s see how both perform next season at Arsenal before casting off two English players who at the very least can play in the domestic cups. If we do by chance secure a spot in the Europa Conference League, then we’ll need them. However, they might have a fantastic pre-season and make it impossible for Arteta to ignore them when selecting his squad for the first League fixture of the new campaign.
As much as Arsenal might not need such a big squad next season if we don’t qualify for Europe, we can’t forget the Euros take place this summer so goodness only knows how fit our squad will be at the start of the new season.
I hope Arsenal get their transfer business done early. At least then my F5 tab won’t become too worn. NewsNow will be full of recycled transfer stories based of fiction rather than fact, but I’ll still get caught out. Not this summer though, I refuse to click on the ‘Arsenal to sign Kane or Haaland’ headlines…..
See you in the comments.