Josh Kroenke was made welcome yesterday afternoon. About as welcome as a toffee would be for someone with toothache. There might only have been 10,000 fans inside The Emirates but the message was pretty clear, “Stan Kroenke Out”. Josh will no doubt have passed the message on to his father by now but then he’s probably well aware that he’s not wanted at the club anymore.
On the pitch, Arsenal signed off the season with two cracking goals from Pepe. Partey hit the crossbar twice, Gabriel once in a pretty one sided game which was wasn’t always pretty to watch. At the King Power Stadium, Leicester City had a disastrous afternoon and lost 4-2 to the Toots which means it’s them instead of us who’ll be travelling around Europe on a Thursday night.
Despite Arsenal not qualifying for European football for the first time in over a hundred years, five wins on the trot is a positive to take into the next campaign. Chambers, Pepe, Partey, Holding, Gabriel, Saka, Saliba, ESR, Martinelli, Tierney and Mari are players to build a team around. Balogun, Willock, Mavropanos, Ballard, Azeez and hopefully AMN will be part of a much younger and more energetic looking Arsenal squad as we go into the new season. Question marks must hang over the future of Willian, Bellerin, Aubameyang, Lacazette and perhaps even Elneny, Cedric and Xhaka too.
Neither Nelson or Nketiah seem to be in Mikel Arteta’s thoughts for the future but I very much doubt they’ll be the only ones. Players currently on loan need their future sorting out so either another season on loan or a permanent transfer away from the club awaits them. Unless they are deemed ready to play in the domestic cup fixtures and perhaps even the bench for PL matches of course. Torreira, Guendouzi and Kolasinac will hopefully find a new club and Arsenal will raise some funds to reinvest into the squad.
As much as many of us would like to see all the academy players break into the first team over time, the reality is, they won’t. That doesn’t mean they won’t make a good career at another club, just not at Arsenal.
Jeorge Bird has a list of all the young players who have signed professional contracts but aren’t yet part of the first-team squad although for one or two of them, that’s likely to change.
That’s a long long list of players whose ambition is to make it at Arsenal. Or at least that should be their ambition. Some will probably lose patience, perhaps thinking they’re ready for the first team when they’re not, or at least the manager thinks they’re not. Others might be tempted to move just because the grass appears greener on the other side whilst the other younger ones are likely to continue under a new coach for the under 23’s or go out on loan. The more senior or developed players will probably be part of next season’s squad with those who the management/coaching staff feel won’t ever make the step up will be sold/released. So yes, Edu, Arteta and Mertesacker have a busy summer ahead of them.
Finally, we’ll done to Joe Willock who scored yet again for Newcastle yesterday. Seven goals in seven games, a new Premier League record. His form won’t have gone unnoticed by many clubs and I suspect Arsenal will receive a lot of interest in him this summer. Interest they must surely ignore.
See you in the comments guys.