Morning all.

Thanks for your support guys, it’s been a tough couple of weeks but as we all know, the world doesn’t stop just because you or I are hurting. Anyway, I’m back to bore you with with my moaning and waffle.

I’ve seen a bit of Arsenal’s last couple of games and as good as we were against Newcastle, we were as poor against Brighton. As was the officiating, but a bit like the pundits, they love an Arsenal loss. How anyone involved in football thinks it’s good that a club facing as many FFP charges as City are, winning the league again is a good thing I just don’t know. But I guess anything is better than seeing Arsenal win a PL trophy.

When one compares like for like, Arsenal are years behind City. Not in terms of football but finances, squad strength and depth and the big one, experience of getting a trophy push over the line.

I think Mikel Arteta will have learned more about his players than ever before. Possibly about himself too because I suspect he wishes he’d done things differently at times this season. More rotation during the first half of the season, might have helped keep key players fit for the run in but who’s to say we’d have won as many fixtures had the likes of Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Partey, Saliba etc been rested/rotated more. The little I’ve seen of Vieira has already convinced me that he’s not built for the rough and tumble of English football but then I once thought the same about Bobby Pires too. He might just flourish in his second season and I truly hope he does if he’s staying put.

Much speculation is already circling around a number of our players leaving. Xhaka, ESR, Tierney and Partey being the main ones. Lokonga, Tavares, Trusty, who is heavily linked with a move to Rangers, Holding, Patino and Balogun but I can’t see it happening. Not in the vast numbers being written in the back pages because every player from the first team squad which leaves will need replacing and with better players if we as a club are going to improve on this season.

Improvement can come in a number of ways. Better domestic cup runs, conceding less goals whilst scoring more, starting matches focused and sharp and when we have a lead, not only defend it but go on and score more. Somehow, Mikel Arteta has to instil more belief in the players both individually and as a group of players.

This season has been weird whilst being surprisingly better than expected. We’ve beaten every other club at least once barring Man City and Southampton. Four points dropped against a club which has been sat bottom of the league table for most of the season does not make good reading. Nor did either match make good viewing. Losing to Brighton 3-1 (League Cup) and 3-0 at The Emirates was not good, the performance in both, poor. The performance against Everton at Goodison Park was just as bad.

Going to The Etihad and having rings run round us was just awful, made worse by then watching the superb performance which saw us beat Newcastle.

It’s the latter I’m choosing to focus on as this season draws to a close. The defeats of the clubs like Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Tottenham as before this season, they were the ones we couldn’t defeat. Yes, they are likely to be better next season but then so will Arsenal.

Surely the whole idea of having a young squad is for them to grow and improve together with tweaks here and there each transfer window. I know we can’t miss those who’ve been on loan or who’ve yet to have a chance at playing for the first team but why sell Balogun when a striker with better scoring stats than him would probably cost double what we sell him for. If Xhaka goes, why sell ESR? If him not playing much this season has been solely about getting him 100% fit, surely his career is with us and not somewhere else? When he’s fit and firing he gives us directness in attack and goals.

Just my opinion but I think it’s the midfield and defence which needs focusing on this summer and finding a player who can allow Saka more rest. A player younger and fitter than both Jorginho and Partey but just as good, if not better. A left back as good as a fully fit Tierney if he leaves and more defensive than the roaming Zinchenko and a central defender who can do what come in for Saliba without having a negative impact on the way we play.

Mikel Arteta needs a 25 man squad and every single player needs to have his trust because otherwise there’s no point in them being at the club. On the flip side, if he is signing players who he doesn’t trust, then perhaps there’s a different kind of problem.

I think this summer has to be about now, signing players for now and not 2/3 years time because otherwise we’re unlikely to improve.

Catch up later…