If there’s one thing you can bank on after the first weekend of the Premier League season, it’s that social media will be ablaze with knee-jerk reactions and truly terrible hot takes.
Indeed, as Manchester City proved last season, the league campaign is a marathon not a sprint and there is still so much more to come. Of course, that is true for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal too even despite their miserable start to the season after a loss away at newly-promoted Brentford.
Still, doubts about Arteta aren’t exactly new.
The worst Arsenal season in memory saw his side slump to an eighth-placed finish and, frankly, it’s hard to see where he turns this around.
Perhaps the club’s malaise isn’t entirely indicative of his ability to coach a team but, as we’ve seen so often in football, decision-makers behind the scenes are far more likely to get rid of the manager rather than look at fixing the structural problems around them.
While it’s important to give a developing young manager time to grow (as well as consider whether or not Arsenal could seriously attract anyone better at this stage), it’s not as if Arteta is working with anyone else’s team.
The problem is, however, that it simply just doesn’t look very inspiring.
Granted, the likes of Ben White (recently described as ‘Holding with hair’ after a poor debut), Nuno Tavares and Albert Sami Lokonga could potentially develop into big players in north London in the years to come but, right now, they do not appear to be established enough to turn the tide of toxicity.
The decision to hand Willian a huge £190k-p/w+ contract looks stranger by the day while Cedric Soares barely played during his initial loan spell at the club before being handed a long-term deal himself.
Alex Runarsson was the subject of such awful social media abuse after his performance in goal during a Carabao Cup meeting with Manchester City in December 2019, he was forced to delete his accounts.
Thomas Partey certainly has the potential to become success stories but injuries have undermined his progress so far. Martin Odegaard, perhaps, is the one truly successful addition but even the Norwegian schemer might not return.
After a nightmare spell in Barcelona, Coutinho wouldn’t exactly be joining without baggage either.
Again, Arteta may not fully be at fault given Edu is the club’s sporting director but, after 18 months in charge and a raft of new players, it’s not clear where this Arsenal project is going.
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