Once a season is over, do you sit thinking, “what if”? Or can you just move on and look forward to a new campaign? After all, history cannot be changed. History is there to be learned from and that’s my hope for the coming season. Arsenal, Mikel Arteta and the players learn from what’s gone on over the last ten months. Find a way or ridding the all or nothing, the very good or really poor performances.
Arsenal finished 5th which isn’t as bad as the media like to make out but because Arsene Wenger was a serial top four achiever, 5th is deemed as failure. Ridiculous really because every club in the Premier League has failed unless they finished in 1st place. I know, it’s not as simple as that, because each individual club has its own target before a new season begins. If Mikel Arteta’s was to to finish in the top four, he failed but if was to take the club back into European football, regardless of which competition, then he’s succeeded. His new contract suggests the board are happy with what he’s achieved so that’s that.
Onwards and upwards….
Arsenal have a section on their website called ‘by the numbers’ which might sound rather boring, possibly because it is but it shows that Bukayo Saka played in every single Premier League fixture with just two matches coming on as a substitute. Staggering really considering his age and how often he’s fouled. On top of that, he played in one FA Cup match and four League Cup fixtures. Now he’s going off with England to play in the Nations League, the first being on the 4th June in Hungary. Whoever thought that was a good idea is bonkers. Did the footballing powers that be not look at their calendar?
|Emile Smith Rowe||33||0||4||37|
Martinelli played 36 too but the number’s gone missing. Lol
June is a hectic month as far a football goes with four fixtures to play but after that, all is quiet until pre-season and Arsenal’s kicks off on the 16th July in Maryland, USA. That’s the date of our first fixture but players will be scheduled to return before then. Personally, I can’t see any of our players who are involved in next months fixtures being on the plane to America. Great for the squad/younger players as they are likely to play more than they might, but hardly ideal for our preparations for the new campaign. It’s the same for every club whose players are involved in the World Cup but Arsenal’s squad isn’t very deep. At the moment anyway.
The club are surely going to sign a striker, perhaps even two.
I’m not a fan of stats and xG in my opinion are two of twenty six letters in the alphabet but, when a team has 589 shots towards an opponents goal throughout a season, one would expect a higher percentage return of goals. Obviously some of those strikes will have been blocked, saved or from distance etc, but let’s be honest here, Arsenal players were missing chances which looked harder to miss than score. Lacazette, Nketiah, Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli – all guilty of spurning opportunities to increase their goal tally. That’s not a criticism, just an observation but next season they should be upping their percentages of shot to goal conversion. Easy for me to say I know but if they want to be the best…… Not Lacazette of course as he’s likely to leave any day soon.
As might Nketiah be considering there’s been no confirmation of his new contract having been signed. If he does depart it’ll leave just Flo Balogun as the only out and out striker with Premier League minutes under his belt we don’t know what Mikel Arteta’s plans for him next season are yet. Domestic Cups and Europa perhaps?
If one looks at the top clubs around the world, they have strikers who score goals as well as having wingers/forward players who add big numbers to their goal count. Saka, ESR and Odegaard’s numbers would look so much better if they were in addition to a 20+ goal scorer in the team but when they’re the only real source of our goals, well, perhaps it’s easy to think they should be scoring more.
Who the club are likely to sign is unknown to but it doesn’t stop the guessing in the back pages of newspapers or NN.
Today sees Arsenal and West Ham going head to head for the signature of Lille midfielder Amadou Onana. He’s 20 years old, Senegal-born and 6’ 6”. Excellent, we’ve needed a bit of height in our midfield for a while….
The Sun however, reckon Arsenal and Newcastle United’s hopes of signing Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz have been given a boost after he turned down a new contract offer made by the Serie A club.
The Daily Mail write that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are interested in Everton forward Richarlison, who has admitted he is considering his future on Merseyside.
I’ve not even looked at NN yet..
Enough I hear you say. Ok….