Since Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal after Unai Emeri’s sacking, Gunner’s fans have been on a rollercoaster. After only 5 wins in 13 games in the Premier league Unai Emeri was sacked and club legend Freddie Ljunberg took the spot as an interim manager. Then on the 20th of December Mikel Arteta stepped down as Pep Guardiola’s assistant and became Arsenal’s new head coach. He did a good job and despite finishing 8th in the Premier League they won the FA Cup which gave them the opportunity to play European football in the following 2020/21 season.
The new season came and Arsenal started it in the best way possible with winning silverware. In the first game of the season Arteta showed that he’ll have immense faith in his youngsters. Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, and Bukayo Saka started the game while Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson came on as subs. The future looked bright. Arsenal won all 6 of their games in Europa league but at the same time things weren’t looking good in the Premier League. Just 4 wins out of 14 games meant that Arsenal hosted Chelsea at Boxing day sitting only few points above the relegation zone. Arsenal were playing terrible, they were clueless in attack and disorganized at the back. But Arteta never lost his faith in his team and in his ideas. He kept pushing for the way he wants his team to play. And finally his patience paid off. On Boxing day against Chelsea, Arteta left Arsenal’s most expensive player Pepe and the captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the squad. So in this incredibly important game Arsenal’s attack was Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martinelli, and Lacazette. And the youngsters delivered. Arsenal were the better team, they were attacking with such ease that you’d think that these kids had been a part of the Premier League for ages. Now 4 wins out of 5 games and we’re seeing a mini renaissance for this Arsenal team. Young players are the heart of this team, they are fast and ruthless in attack, and they are joy to watch. It’s like the years rolled back and we are watching Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, only this time the youngsters are English instead of French.
It’s clear that this Arsenal team is good enough to fight for the top 4 spots. They didn’t deserve to be around the relegation zone. Let’s hope that Arteta will get enough time and help from the board to impose his ideas into the team. Because Arsenal always meant quality football and entertainment. The young guns have the potential to become world class footballers, players like Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Maitland Niles look like they can be the spine of this team for years to come.
Will they keep showing the glimpse from the last several games? Or this was one time thing only? Looks like Arteta will keep his faith in the youngsters so only time will tell if they’ll repay him for his trust.