Super Leightweight in Attack and Key Players Missing: How Did Arteta get Arsenal to Fifth?!?!

Arsenal won 10 from their last 16 games without Aubameyang, Laca with his mind on his next contract and inexperienced Eddie having to lead the line. Furthermore, at a vital time we lost both Tierney on the left and Partey and Tomiyasu on the right. Still we will finish fifth, taking 30 points from a maximum of 48 points.

How did Arteta beat the Hammers, the Mancs and the Chavs with such a lightweight attack and these big injuries…. And how strong are we going to be with quality new additions in attack after the summer?

Discuss 🤩

By TotalArsenal

43 thoughts on “Super Leightweight in Attack and Key Players Missing: How Did Arteta get Arsenal to Fifth?!?!

  • I think some of the reasons we won those games was because the pressure was gone. We had lost 3 games in a row and we had nothing to lose. You can also say that utd are playing even worse than us this year, West ham had one eye on Europa league and Chelsea were very below the normal level.

    Not taking anything away from the achievement but we lost 3 before and 2 after that run so they sort of don’t really matter. Especially as the 3 we lost first are teams that we should comfortably beat.

    As soon as the pressure was on both before and after those games the team folded and we let spurs have 4th. If we want to push on next season then the fragile mentality of this team has to be fixed or we will forever be the bridesmaid.

    I think next season is hard to predict as everyone will strengthen and I don’t know who we will keep and who we are targeting. I think we should be aiming for top 4 and 3 semi finals. To do that we have a lot of work to do and not alot of time to do it in.

  • Thanks Total. I haven’t given up on fourth yet. OGAAT, mate.
    It is ‘frankly’ astonishing that we are going to finish in the top five, taking into consideration the lack of goals from our boys up front (as pointed out by our Aussie mate), the injuries to a thin squad, and the learning curve the team is on.
    An historical perspective may be helpful…
    Of the 105 seasons Arsenal have enjoyed top flight football, they have finished in the top four 44 times. If we accept fifth for this season that will be the 12th time in our history. Our average finishing position over those 105 seasons in the top flight is 8th.
    Our longevity in the top division is second to none. Our winning record is behind only that of Liverpool and Man Unt.
    This is an above average season for us, equal to or an improvement upon the past six seasons. Some of our football has touched the mountain tops, the first half against Spurs at home being the pinnacle of the season.
    We were thoroughly blessed under Arsene, as we were under George, Bertie and Herbert. Despite the new playing field awash with oil and blood money, our time will come again. To empty the P section of the dictionary, patience, perspective, perseverance, passion and proper preparation will guide us. I sense that Mikel and Edu have these qualities.
    The Gospel of Mark chapter 13 verse 28 and its context is a message for our world, but could also be read to encourage our progress at Arsenal. Summer is on its way.

  • I am not sure how the argument of a high finish with this squad is valid. We have had transfer windows and have been able to strengthen this squad. We gambled and chose not to so can’t use it as an excuse.

    I would rather have no player than the wrong player like we should have done with Willian. The one player that we let go that I don’t agree with was chambers. He could have covered for mid and right back for the rest of the season. He had 6 months left on his deal and we just cancelled it and let villa have him.

    All will be forgiven if we have a great summer transfer window and start next season with a bang. Also if spurs lose and we beat Everton then I will be very happy but the problems still remain.

  • Cheers Wedge,

    Good point about pressure even though I cannot agree that playing Chavs, Hammers away and Mancs at home doesn’t lead to pressure because we already lost a few games before that. I don’t think it works like that; quite the opposite.

    Yet, I agree that the team buckled under expectations of finishing fourth. The last two games have proven this. I expected this given the youthfulness of the team and the key players we were missing.

    But isn’t it amazing that Arsenal will most likely finish fifth with such a limited attacking force?!

  • Wedge, the beauty of our team is that it will have a lot of incremental growth as our squad is young. We don’t need to add many either.

    There is talk of Jezus and Depay joining us, and they would slot in very quickly. The whole defence will be a season older, and maybe we will get a quality central midfielder too. Oh and Saka and Co will get better and better!

  • That’s a great comment, Stuart. This one should be printed and stuck on walls all over Goonerland. Perspiration is another P to add. 🙂

  • Wedge, the club looked for a quality attacker in January but missed out. Hard to buy well then and we need to get it right, especially with CFs

  • I see the Jesus-rumours but ain’t that excited. I’m probably wrong but think he is a bit timid? Hiding most games? I want a tall, strong striker with speed. Kind of an Adebayor 2.0. The 2008 version of him would have 20+ goals for us this season (and next).

    Love that Martinelli has been given the no 11 btw.

    Nice reminder about Reiss yesterday pb, must admit I’d forgotten him. Might provide the rest Saka will need.

    Think you’re right about Chambers wedge. In hindsight that loan was clearly unwise. But then again, would we have made top 4 with him and without the outgoing loans in jan? Im not sure..

  • Hcm, Jesus will fit into Arteta-ball very, very well. Good first touch, very mobile, good passer of the ball and great positioning.

    But I also like tge Adebayor type.

  • One thing you’ll always get with a team of young players is dips and swings in form, consistency of performance comes with experience and that also applies to our manager.

    You never quite know what to expect with this team but it’s never dull despite what the naysayers claim, I mean it’s quite possible that Norwich could pull off a miracle this weekend, but if they did it equally wouldn’t surprise me to see Arsenal drop points as well, we’re erratic but always interesting.

    I don’t go along with those who routinely say that there’s not been any improvement in the team under Arteta, in fact I’m really quite bored debating the subject with them, so if that’s your view then good luck to you but don’t expect me to engage.

    I like this squad, I like the manager and I like Edu but I’m still not convinced by KSE so I’m 75% of the way there, let’s see what Stan the Rams fan gives us to spend this summer but he’d better find some serious coin or else the mob will be after his blood again – frankly I still don’t trust him…

  • Arteta stated at the very beginning in 2019 that this was a 5-7 year project, perhaps even longer and after 3.5 years he has almost achieved what he set out to do,despite Covid-19, losing some essential players to transfer or injury, media negativity and criticism, a very competitive EPL, growing more competitive each year and fickle plastic fanboys ready to whine about how bad AFC are because they didn’t win the CL, EPL, FA Cup etc., every year since he took over. We are lucky to have him and I see a bright future for him and AFC. My only worry is that he’ll be recruited by a big club in the CL because they appreciate him more than we feckless “supporters” do!

  • Super lightweight in attack abd key players missing during business end without a proper backup let’s not forget is also down to the manager. Iam in a minority and i have said it many times i still remain a skeptic about Arteta. The fact that he let Auba go and didn’t make it work after giving him a monster contract making attack threadbare. Mind you it’s the same Auba who won his first major trophy in his managing career. Regarding key players injury, iam sure it a common knowledge about Tierney and Parteys injury record. Tomi can be excused as he was new to Arsenal and the medical staff needed time to understand his medical history. Knowing the injury history he didn’t make adequate arrangements for backup and chose to die at the altar of Xhaka in both these positions.
    Anyways what is done is done but I would be looking at his management very closely over the next season to see if he learnt this lessons. According to me the jury is still out on Arteta.

  • Madhu, but how did Arteta still manage to do it… Is the question?

    We only know about 5% of what’s going on at Arsenal, but Auba had to be disciplined after another late/no show, he played without passion and did not seem to lead at all. Arteta gave him the armband, gave him responsibility and whopping contract, yet he just wanted out. Some of the chances he missed looked suspicious to me too… But you can only point at Arteta.

    For sure an older and wiser manager might have handled it differently and possibly better, but please don’t look past Aubameyang’s attitude and behaviour. This boy had become toxic and had to go with all the consequences of losing our main, alfa CF. Nobody expected a high finish anymore, yet Arteta still managed it with the lightest CF group. That’s how good he is.

  • Yes Kev, dips and swings are a logical outcome when building a new squad based around young talents like we have. The good thing is they will learn.

  • madhu, Management is all about making the best use of your resources, how do you expect any manager to manage a massive squad with no other competitions to play in? what makes you think he did not try to get cover? its very easy to say its the mangers fault and assume he has endless coffers in the bank. Do you think having numbers signifies quality? the players who lack quality were let go it was simple as that, auba aside. A good manager manages his squad with the limited resources he has, why do you expect him to work a miracle? do you think there is an endless amount of cash/ you think there is an endless amount of players who add further quality? do you think there are an endless amount of world class talent ready to leave absolutely everything just to move to a foreign country and play? would you? Do you think we can negotiate 10/15 transfers in one window?? how many players were let go? how many players were arsenal in talks with? just because we saw no incomings what makes you think they did not try? were you in all the board meetings? i am curious because you speak as though you know everything

    there’s a ton of things to consider, one of them being you have to have the right player, It is great management not to fold to pressure and buy a players who may be a slight upgrade and blow your summer transfer (and than have fans as yourself throwing ‘bad management’ jibes about), as oppose to wait for summer and buy players who will be much better in quality and squad depth. This is reality you have to accept, especially if you want to achieve the status of of the current top teams, success is not built instantly, we all know this would take at least 5 years to see a team with real quality, its only been 2.5, not sure what the fuss is about, the team had clearly declined and desperately needed young blood, which is what we did last summer, now its about adding quality and depth, you cannot expect arsenal to negotiate 50/100 transfers in 2 or 3 windows, be realistic! getting 5th with a lightweight squad and incomplete built team with key injuries- for which you clearly and purposefully ignored is actually brilliant management.

  • TA, you cant have it both ways. If you are giving Arteta the credit for getting us to 5th then he has to take the brickbats for Auba’s contract and his behavior thereafter. I don’t care for Auba as he is not in my club anymore, but Arteta is. So iam more inclined to look at internally and just hope Arteta has learnt his lessons. Arteta if am not mistaken has had 6 TW to sign striker that he wanted and we are still waiting for that mythical striker to emerge.
    Iam inclined to believe that we have underperformed in the second half of the season. One of the reasons for the underperformance is due to Jan TW which made the squad lightweight. There is a reason Jan TW is provided and its precisely for teams to make mid season adjustments to squads either due to injuries or shortcomings.

  • There must be perspective in every assesement and the long term goal is more important than short term. Is not 5th place over 8th some progress particularly that we have a small squad and above all getting rid of players not having Arsenal culture? Even Liverpool took a few years under Klopp to achieve success, not immediately! With the right additions and hopefully players improved ability to handle more pressure with age and experience and Arteta improving in motivating players and yet not over-pressuring them, we will improve. The last summer TW was great and I believe that there will more of the same this summer. Then Arsenal will explode.

  • Fuji, fair enough that’s your opinion and i respect that. I just stated my opinion and you are free to disagree, but to say that i know everything is just a bit much. i have never claimed that and to put it on me is stretching it far. I do have my reservations and i will stick by it. I would be more than happy to eat a humble pie because i love Arsenal and want them to be successful. Its not about me being right. I will stick by my opinion until i see evidences to change it.

  • Madhu, agreed.. no doubt Arteta has also blame for the flopping of Auba this season. He put his money and trust on the wrong horse.

    Re buying in the Jan TW…. Getting it right is much harder then, as nobody likes to lose a great CF mid-season. They tried nevertheless. But we are involved in a long term project and that’s what I think you are not seeing my good friend. 🙂

  • I see that TA, but long term with intermediate goals to keep everyone interested. As someone said in the long Term we are all dead 🙂

  • Madhu, you must remember that after the first half year of Arteta’s reign we won the FA Cup (and not with luck, but a really dominating performance), but we immediately dropped from EL’s knockout stage and kind of sucked in the PL.
    Back then the word was “come on, he just inherited this squad, he need time to improve them; let’s give the guy a couple of years and and a lot of money (to buy the players he needs with the right profile and mentality)”. It was never about 7 years, and never about 25 new players.
    Without specific expectations there is always a chance to set the bar even lower.

  • Madhu, I did not not mean to say that you do know everything, and whilst as you said i have my opinion and you have yours, this was simply in response to how heavy your opinion is because so many factors are ignored. for example, look at how many outgoings we have had, it simply points to how much of a rebuild we required and perhaps saving on wages to help fund future transfers by getting rid of players who will not contribute anything, for me I sympathise with mikel as its his first managerial job and he probably did not expect it to be as active as it has been in terms of outgoings and how much rebuilding was needed, we can say the board was naïve to get him but that’s done now. In that term what is not really mentioned enough is how the attitude has completely turned around (we are being laughed at for our players showing passion after wins), how the connection was built again betweens fans and players, for an inexperienced manager, its not half bad…..simply put, he has laid in strong foundations for which we can build upon. I do think the future is bright but we cannot expect immediate success as its quite clear for all to see there is still a lot of work to be done, but there most definitely has been improvements and there are signs that there is something stirring.

  • Yeah Madhu, so let’s start dreaming! 😁 “A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.”
    Gaston Bachelard

  • Madhu, your interim goals are fine and reasonable. The BoD will want Arsenal back at the top and know how big the gap is with Pool and Citeh. Their goals will therefore be different from yours initially. And that’s why you and your friend from Budapest will continue to be disappointed for a while. First we build and rebuild, then we settle in and then we push on and achieve.

  • Total I agree that the wrong player is worse than no player. This is something that we have been guilty of in the past.

    I am impressed that we managed to get 5th with such a limited squad but rather than see that as an achievement I see it a missed opportunity. We had some great games against some big clubs this season and we also had some poor games against the lower clubs. The best thing I can say about this season is I am excited to watch us again.

    With a year extra experience and 2 or 3 quality additional players we could be a real top team. Arteta and the lads need to use this season as a stepping stone to greatness.

  • I think it’s hard to get the sort of attackers that suit a klopp/pep/Mikel team. Arteta could not and cannot do much with Attackers who are best when launched into space, like Auba and Pepe. I think the same goes for Eddie, but there is still time. On the ball in tight spaces they are limited.

    So finding the right CF x2 will not be easy, as they will be in high demand. They need to be athletic, physically strong, energetic, high stamina, great first touch and clean passer of the ball, intelligent reader of the game and clever positioning and of course a good finisher. And they, need to buy into Arteta-ball. Get this wrong again and we are in what we think of totnumm 😁😂

  • TA, regarding striker you are essentially saying we need a robot built by Arteta 🙂

  • Waxing lyrical there, Total. I’ve never had much time for the French rationalists, but delving into Bachelard brings reward. Just the titles of some of his works breathe beauty… “The poetics of space”, “Earth, and reveries of repose”.

    Mark Noble, what a truly fine fellow. I have a West Ham supporting mate who has a dog named Bobby, after the late great Bobby Moore. He intends to get another dog and name him, Markie. We too have had our long term servants, Pat Rice, David O’Leary, Tony Adams. Let’s hope Bukayu & Emile also go the distance for us.

  • Beautiful titles, Stuart!! Must admit I don’t know him well but love the quote. I thought he was a phenomenologist.

    Yeah Noble is a great club footballer and a rare breed these days. Happiness seems always somewhere else to be found these days. 😊

  • Not crying over spilt milk but….

    So, how is that not a red card for Son. VAR did not even review it but the moment Holding (yeah, that was dumb) puts up a protective forearm, boom! Red card. Suspension!

    On game day 38, some consistent refereeing will help.

  • TA, Tim Stillman is a remarkable Arsenal fan with such an understanding of the issues for one so (relatively) young. Like how he has put his thoughts out so clearly. Much like the way he writes them too.

    Look forward to the last games; yeah, still one game to go!

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