Fresh on the mind of every Arsenal fan this season is the question of European football. The upcoming season will mark the first time in decades that the Gunners have not seen enough league success to see them compete in one of Europe’s biggest footballing competitions. But do the men from North London have enough in them to muster up the kind of season that can see them back in the European top flight?
Arsenal football club is currently a mere husk of its former glory. Many scratch their heads and ask where things went wrong when they look back on the days of the Invincibles, because these days, the Gunners are having a torrid time trying to find results, and even more so, trying to find a style that they can call their own.
The appointment of Arteta in 2019 divided the Emirates. Many were proud and excited to see a former Arsenal man take up the managerial mantle, while there were many who believed that Arteta was simply not yet proven enough to take on a job as big as managing Arsenal.
A mammoth task considering where the club was when he took over, especially seeing this as his inaugural foiree into being a football manager. Arteta had proven himself as one of Pep Guardiola’s most cherished deputies, but the Arsenal job was to be his first as the main man in charge.
While Arteta saw immense success in his opening months as Arsenal manager, their honeymoon was inevitably to run its course, and boy did it hurt when it did. Arsenal’s first season with Arteta at the helm was far from smooth sailing. The Gunners started fairly well, however eventually went 8 games without a win, finally turning in three points after an encounter against a weakened Chelsea.
The rest of the season was characterised by moments of brilliance in and amongst a team that looked leaderless and looked a lot like it was just going through the motions. For the first time since his arrival at Arsenal, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang endured an uncharacteristic run of poor form, and experienced one of the longest goal droughts of his career. Saddled with the captain’s armband, it was clear that even one of Arsenal’s biggest and brightest stars was not exempt from the struggle that has come to define the club.
While this tumultuous time has been tough on the Emirates faithful, who have now often called for the head of Arteta, many would argue that there are plenty of reasons to trust the Spaniard as he irons out some inescapable issues that would have plagued any manager in his position.
For one, during his tenure he has overseen the development of the likes of Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe, while being key in bringing young talents like Martin Odegaard and Ben White into the club.
While there is plenty that still needs fixing at Arsenal, and while it may be hard for some gunners to see the light, European football certainly is not out of the question if we see a full strength and fit Arsenal, especially as new signings settle and we see some consistency with selections and formations.
Currently, betting establishments everywhere, from online bookmakers in South Africa to brick and mortar betting shops in Australia have given Arsenal exceptionally long odds of finishing in the top four, and the same can be said for finishing in the top 6.
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