Since Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal after Unai Emeri’s sacking, Gunner’s fans are like on a rollercoaster. After only 5 wins from 13 games in the Premier league Unai Emeri was sacked and club legend Freddie Ljungberg 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 allowed them to play European football in the following 2020/21 season.
2020/21 Season; A New Hope
The new season came, and Arsenal started it in the best way possible; they won the Community Shield against the reigning champion: Liverpool. 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, with Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson came on as subs. The future looked bright.
Arsenal won all of their 6 games in the Europa League, but at the same time, things weren’t looking good in the Premier League. Just four wins out of 14 games meant that Arsenal hosted Chelsea on Boxing day, sitting only a few points above the relegation zone. Arsenal was playing terribly, they were clueless in attack and disorganized at the back; but, Arteta never lost his faith in his team and his ideas. He kept pushing for the way he wants his team to play.
Finally, his patience paid off. On Boxing day against Chelsea, Arteta left out of the squad Arsenal’s most expensive player Pepe and the captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; so, in this so important game, Arsenal’s attack was Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Martinelli, and Lacazette. The youngsters delivered. Arsenal was the better team; they were attacking with such ease that you’d think that these kids are part of the Premier League for ages. Four wins out of five games are like a mini-renaissance for this Arsenal team.
Young players are the heart of this team; they are fast and ruthless in attack. They are a 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.
This Arsenal team is good enough to fight for the top-four spots; however, 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 on 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 was this a one-time thing only? It looks like Arteta will keep his faith in the youngsters, so only time will tell if they’ll repay him for the trust.