Arsenal haven’t had much success in the loan market… ever. But the decision to send Reiss Nelson (18) for a year-long stay with Bundesliga’s Hoffenheim on deadline day has been one of the best deals of the summer for both Arsenal and Hoffenheim.
In sports, as in life, one’s true colours and potential can only be revealed with great challenge.
Arsenal played their third “top six” opponent of the season on Saturday: Liverpool. A great time to check in on Emery’s progress at Arsenal.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool are flying high with success and momentum blowing in their wings; the result of hard work and meticulous planning from their visionary managers.
The new instalment in European football, the UEFA Nations League (explained), has predictably divided opinion as to its purpose and necessity after the first two rounds. Do people really care? Is it just a money-grab by UEFA? Is it too much for the players who start for both club and country?
Arsenal’s first eleven games of the season have resulted in nine wins and only two losses (against Man City and Chelsea). The Gunners have scored 29 times and conceded 13. A great start it would seem. Yet, the new Arsenal is far from perfect.
What have we learnt from Emery’s Arsenal so far? What are the positives and what are the negatives? Are they on the right track?
As this blog wrote earlier about Ramsey and if he’s worth a contract extension or not (before the news about contract talks breaking down last week), it concluded that he does deserve an extension but nowhere near what he is reported asking for.
Now, everything points toward the exit door for the Welshman, even more so than when Özil and Alexis where in a similar position one year ago, as his agent have commented, “The club made a decision. Life goes on,” and, “He didn’t want to leave, but now there’s no other option,” when confronted about the news on Twitter.
Since Wenger was removed as manager at Arsenal, a restructure of the club’s hierarchy ensued. For two decades Wenger was Arsenal’s obvious number one. The one with the answers and the one who made the decisions. Now, up seems down.
Similarly to Alexis and Özil’s situastion at this time last year, another key figure at Arsenal, Ramsey, is edging uncomfortably close to the tipping point regarding his summer-expiring contract.
Why he is yet to extend his contract no one knows. Is it a money issue? Does Ramsey want to play more centrally? Is the Welshman yet to click the pen ready because he wants to see how Emery’s Arsenal unfolds? Or is it Arsenal who are stalling? Again, we don’t know. But regardless, is he worth an extension?
What does his stats, comparisons to others, potential for replacement and his role at the club tell us?
Yesterday’s shaky, and at some times turbulent, performance against West Ham suggest Arsenal will not only struggle against the top teams this season, but the mid-table ones too. At least for the first half of the 18/19 season.
The summer transfer gossip always gets way out of hand, especially for glistening Arsenal eyes. Media put their flashiest bait on the hook and don’t have to wait long before we eagerly bite. Ousmane Dembélé is available for sale? Of course he’ll join us, even though we don’t have Champions League football or the money, and the fact that a number of bigger clubs would be drooling at the opportunity.
It makes dreamers out of all of us. Even the most cynical bastards, like me. But let’s be realistic for a moment.