• Fri. Sep 24th, 2021

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Finally the happy new year?

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 18, 2020
Let it be heard directly here, it is quite impossible to answer this question on the eve of this second day of the Premier League. Every Arsenal fan knows how much you should never marvel, go into ecstasies at the good form of the Gunners until they see a final victory because there will certainly come a time when the Londoners will multiply the missteps. So what ? Are his supporters all confined to secretly living their desires for the title or at least for the podium? Well no ! Arsenal finally seems coherent in its choices, its aspirations, its communication. Capable of aligning a fiery trio composed of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé but also of dealing with a defense with Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi but also Rob Holding or Sead Kolasinac, the London club has long suffered a lot of criticism . Illegible, Arsenal’s game plan was the talk of the powder in front but was very permeable behind, mixing convincing victories and incomprehensible defeats against the “little ones” of the championship.

After the departure of Unai Emery in November 2019 and the interim of Freddie Ljungberg, the former Gunner Mikel Arteta, who had trained with Pep Guardiola in Manchester City, returns to his former club on December 22, 2019. The catch in hand is delicate for the Spaniard since Arsenal starts with a draw at Bournemouth (1-1) then a defeat against Chelsea (1-2). If they win at the Emirates Stadium in the wake against Manchester United (2-0), the Londoners have a series of draws that make them stagnate in eighth place in the Premier League. However, and apart from the sanitary context, a beautiful clearing comes to illuminate the season of the Red and White. On August 1, the Gunners offered their coach Mikel Arteta the first title of his career with their victory against Chelsea (2-1) in the FA Cup final. This success, acquired thanks to a double from Aubameyang, thus reinforcing Arsenal’s dependence on Gabonese, allows the Londoners to obtain a place in the Europa League this season. After half a season at the helm, Arteta, who has given back a soul and a true identity to Arsenal’s game, is being rewarded for his efforts.

A workforce that is finally credible

Qualifying for the Europa League is not the only good news for Arsenal and their fans. Not only is the game fun to watch, but the staff made available to the coach is finally up to the Gunners’ ambitions. Apart from the probable recruitment of Runar Alex Runarsson (Dijon) as a lining for Leno following the departure of Emiliano Martinez, the transfer window is finally consistent. The upstream recruitment of William Saliba (19) for four years, loaned in the wake to his future ex-club of Saint-Étienne symbolizes a new policy to come. Now, Arsenal is only betting on the attack and finally harmonizes its starting eleven. Revelation of Ligue 1 last year at LOSC, Brazilian central defender Gabriel (22) was bought for 26 million euros on September 1. The latter was the same holder and scorer for his baptism of fire in England last Saturday at Fulham (3-0). Cédric Soares (29, Southampton) and Pablo Mari (27, Flamengo), both arrived last summer and sent off on loan, have also returned to strengthen the defensive line. In midfield and after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s final departure from AS Roma, the Gunners are looking for a recovering midfielder who could be Thomas Partey (27) from Atlético Madrid whose departure clause is currently of 50 million euros. Houssem Aouar (22) is also on the shelves of Arsenal who could very quickly make an offer up to 40 million euros. Up front, despite the knee injury of Gabriel Martinelli (19) which will make him unavailable until the end of the year, the Gunners have recruited an experienced man in the person of Willian (32) from Chelsea . The winger, who can still provide very good services, has signed until 2023.

Justified ambitions

But wouldn’t the biggest transfer ultimately be the contract extension of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31)? The captain of the Gunners signed on Wednesday a new lease with the London club until 2023 and this is excellent news for everyone as the Gabonese are necessary within the team. The striker, who won the Golden Boot in his first season with Arsenal in the 2018-2019 season, had put pressure on his leaders to ensure that the transfer window is in line with the ambitions displayed by the club. This time it seems he was heard. In the wake of their victory against Chelsea, Mikel Arteta’s team won on August 29 against Liverpool during the Community Shield (1-1, 5-4 on the tabs) with a double from the Gabonese, despite the absences of Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pépé. For their first league match, Arsenal encountered no difficulty at Fulham (0-3) with achievements from Lacazette, Aubameyang and Gabriel and for his part, Willian delivered two assists, thus returning a beautiful image of cohesion, consistency and efficiency. This Saturday against West Ham (9:00 p.m.), Arsenal has the opportunity to continue their good momentum in the Premier League. So, finally a good year for the Gunners?

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