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Football News: Team Review - Arsenal

Team Review - Arsenal
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Team Review - Arsenal

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League Position: 16th

 

Ins And Outs

Ins:
Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion
Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid
Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United
Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna
Albert Sambi Lokonga from RSC Anderlecht
Nuno Tavares from Benfica

Outs:
Joe Willock to Newcastle United
Lucas Torreira to Fiorentina (loan)
Willian to Corinthians
Matteo Guendouzi to Olympique Marseille (loan)
William Saliba to Olympique Marseille (loan)
Dejan Ilien to SKF Sered (loan)
Reiss Nelson to Feyenoord (loan)
Runar Alex Runarsson to OH Leuven (loan)
Hector Bellerin to Real Betis (loan)
David Luiz released (since joined Flamengo)
Dani Ceballos to Real Madrid (returned after loan spell)
Mathew Ryan to Brighton & Hove Albion (returned after loan spell)

 

Goalkeepers:

Bernd Leno
Aaron Ramsdale

A lot will depend on how Ramsdale gets on this season, as it is clear that Leno is not suited to the way Arteta wants to play and his dissatisfaction with the coaching can only mean his time at the club is likely to come to an end sooner rather than later. The last time Ramsdale played in a team that liked to play out from the back, at Bournemouth, his confidence was destroyed as he struggled to adapt. Since then he has had a year rebuilding it and growing in maturity, so it will be interesting to see how Ramsdale gets on now.

 


Defenders:

Ben White
Gabriel
Takehiro Tomiyasu
Rob Holding
Pablo Mari
Kieran Tierney
Nuno Tavares
Sead Kolasinac
Calum Chambers
Cedric Soares

The big issue with the Arsenal defence is the way they spent heavily on it, when it was probably the one area of the team that was not in need of the investment. All that investment seems to have done for was to bring in defenders who, while very good in their own right, were certainly not an upgrade on Saliba, who they sent out on loan. Not having him in the squad was a mistake last season, now it just seems to be about his personality clash with Arteta. Normally I would not be in favour of backing a player over a manager, but when the manager is as inept and clueless as Arteta, it makes no sense to back him. The team should have been built around Saliba at the back, the only reason to buy White and Tomiyasu is to partner with the young Frenchman. This is a decision that looks certain to cost them in the long run, as he is now keen to leave permanently.

 


Midfielders:

Thomas Partey
Granit Xhaka
Mohamed Elneny
Albert Sambi Lokonga
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Bukayo Saka
Martin Odegaard
Emile Smith Rowe

The bizarre saga of trying to sell Xhaka and then giving him a new deal just sums up the Keystone Kops nature of Arsenal at the moment. It just leaves you scratching your head and trying to figure out what on earth are they thinking. Lokonga does look to be a good signing, unless he is only seen as cover for Partey's quite numerous injuries.

 


Forwards:

Gabriel Martinelli
Nicolas Pepe
Alexandre Lacazette
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Eddie Nketiah
Folarin Bolagun

The Gunners do seem a little light up front, though Pepe is now looking like a player for them, at long last. If Lacazette and Aubameyang can refind some form, though that will require good service, then they will at least have a genuine goal threat, with Martinelli and Bolagun showing great future potential.

 


Manager: Mikel Arteta

I could just write a long rant about Arteta's inadequacies, but I doubt anyone has time to read the full list of them. So I will settle for pointing out his lack of any tactical insight, the complete lack of any kind of coaching skill and his ineptitude at man-management. Which is basically the three most important parts of the job he is utterly hopeless at. It just beggars belief that he survived the summer.

 


Conclusion:

A decent enough squad, though unbalanced, which is being hampered badly by possibly the worst manager in Premier League history. They are just lucky that the quality of the players is enough that they should avoid relegation comfortably, despite Arteta's many, many faults. It is also very possible that an early enough change of manager would make it a straightforward task to qualify for Europe.

 

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Written by Tris Burke September 12 2021 19:36:52

 

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