Nothing has been welcomed more by Arteta, no doubt, than the luxurious situation of playing a couple of superfluous UEFA League games. I feel for the man who has so much pressure on him mainly due to a lack of philosophical resolve to see things in the right perspective by most of the fan-base.
There are plenty of reasons to be dissatisfied with Arsenal’s performances and current position in the league, but the season hasn’t even started properly and it will be the next three months that will make or break it. Yet, if you read some of the blogs it’s like we are already relegated and Arteta is a nasty virus that has become us.
We do seem to be stuck in a painful discrepancy between Arteta’s vision/theory and the execution of it on the pitch right now. We are getting it 40% right and 60% wrong right now and hence have not taken many points from our recent games. Key is for Arteta to find a number of (temporary) solutions which make Arsenal do the majority right rather than woring, and so start winning games again.
When it goes wrong one of the things we fans like to look at is who the club can buy to make it all better. For me, like any other fan, there is always a need to buy one or two players to turns things round, but I am also fully confident that our squad is really good. Arteta has plenty to work with.
This is what he had to say during the press conference (see also Arsenal.com):
on how long he thinks it will take to build a team to play in the ideal formation and tactics he wants to play and the sort of players he will want to add to the group...
There are players that can develop perfectly into that formation [4-3-3] and one thing is that the ideal thing you would like to do and the other is the possibility that you have to achieve that. As a coach, you have to adapt to what we have and what we can do in the future, obviously we have to work to evolve it to where we want because as well we have to recruit players that are very specific for certain areas and whether you have them or not is a question that is at the moment one of the issues that we have.
on whether five or six players is an accurate number of new players he will need…
No but it’s not just to recruit because there are players that are evolving that you could not see that they could play in those positions and now you see how they are performing and playing. We’ve got a lot of players that are here that weren’t capable to play in that way of playing and they are. So as well, it’s about timings, it’s about coaching them and about them evolving in the right positions and maturing. It’s a bit of everything.
I think the responses by Mikel sum up how difficult it is for him to get things right straightaway; it simply takes time: developing and coaching players takes time; recruiting the right sort of player(s) takes time; making everybody understand the way we are going to play and their individual tasks and roles… takes time.
However, for tonight we, like Mikel, need not to worry about any of this. We are playing a game of semi-meaningful football in Ireland and we have a group of eager youngsters who would like to impress the manager and fans. What is not to like about that?
So how are Arsenal going to line-up? Will Arteta go all-Academy or will he play some experienced players in key areas? Some experienced players need game time and the manager simply needs to play them.
I am hoping for something like this:
Mari, Chambers and Soares simply need the game and the same goes for Pepe, AMN, Joe and Nelson. Kola also needs to stay fit in case Tierney gets injured, so another game for him makes sense. But in attack Mikel can try something out and it would be great to see starts for both Moller and ESR. Height in the box is sorely missed and a creative, attacking midfielder with an eye for a goal would be very nice too.
So for me, it’s these starting eleven this (early!) evening, but what do you say?!