So the TW is closed and we bought nobody. The squad has thinned out and especially the departure of Auba feels right for all involved. I wish him well at Barcelona, and I hope he will cope with his lack of passing skills.
The question is, has Arteta stripped down too much and will the failure to buy a CF or midfielder come to bite us in the proverbial?
With just seventeen games to go, on average one game per week, I don’t think so.
Getting the recruitment right is important, as the risks are high. We don’t need another Auba or Pepe like mega investment going all wrong. A player has to fit the style of play, the group culture and have the willingness and intelligence to play Arteta’s way. There was no need to rush a purchase; we are just fine for the rest of the season.
We have direct double cover in almost all positions. The CBs are White, Big Gab and Holding, so you could say we are one short, but either Xhaka or Elneny could provide cover. Surely also Tierney or Tomiyasu can provide cover.
In midfield we have four deep midfield players, and yes they are prone to receiving suspensions but they are now well rested and will refocus on the simple task of winning as many games as possible of the seventeen remaining PL games. I will even say that Xhaka and Partey will be the main factor in us finishing in the top five or better. We, are lucky to have them and they will deliver.
Up front I thought we would be vulnerable. I don’t rate Eddie in Arteta’s system and if Laca gets injured or suspended, we will be exposed. Or do we?
Arteta has learnt at MC that we don’t need great CFs to score a lot of goals. Laca hardly scores, yet we know he is an important player for us. After a tough start, we are now scoring a decent average of goals per game. I also think that we will see Martinelli be the number two to Laca rather than Eddie. He may even become the number one now. I think it is time for Martinelli to get some starts in the centre and playing Saka, ESR and the Ode behind him. Pepe, Eddie and Laca give us options from the bench and Arteta may promote a few young attackers too. We should be fine in attack for those seventeen games.
The only worry I have is an injury to Saka, as we don’t have a similar player with the ability to take on defences and create space and chances like he does. But finding a suitable nr2 to Bukayo is no mean feat and let’s hope one of the youngsters will come through soon.
All in all I am optimistic about the remainder of the season and cannot wait to get going again.
Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!!