5 Reasons for Arsenal Fans to Have Hope this Season
By Jahid Islam
Hello, readers of We Love You Arsenal! I’m Jahid, @MadAboutMari, and this week’s article is a more uplifting piece looking at a few positives that we can expect in the upcoming few months. With an ambitious transfer window behind us, we’ve reinvigorated key areas of our squad with youthful and exciting players. As a result, there’s several ‘on-the-pitch’ reasons as to why I think this season could be a great one for us:
Numero Uno - A proper right-back:
Our last summer signing might be the most important one we’ve made in a while. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s arrival at The Emirates relegates the likes of Cedric and Chambers to the bench, and offloaded Bellerin to Betis. It’s about time! And that’s not being harsh to those guys, they’re just not really the profile of player we’ve needed under Arteta, and Tomiyasu’s flexibility to play at CB and RB competently is a big plus for our squad. Bigger than the Swiss flag. ‘Bigly’.
Moreover, his passing and ability on the ball is something that we’ve missed since pre-ACL injury Bellerin, not to mention Tomiyasu’s 6 foot-something bulk of physicality. With his signing, ‘Teta’s able to play his ‘asymmetrical and dangerous’ 2-3-5/3-2-5 formations(s) with a talented, inverted RB that works harder than a uni student with an assignment due yesterday.
Call me premature, but I have a strong gut-feeling that Tomiyasu’s about to destroy at RB this season. Either that, or your boy’s coming down with some food-poisoning. BRB.
For a more in-depth profile on our new right-back, check out Mac Johnson’s piece on the player.
A pretty good number two… lol:
The second reason to get your hopes up for this season is Aaron Ramsdale. Our new Goalkeeper who’ll compete with Leno for that starting spot between the sticks. In the West Brom game, he was stellar and endeared himself to the travelling Arsenal support (as well as us lot watching back at home) with some terrific saves, great vision, and unadulterated passion. You love to see it.
With reports claiming that Leno’s looking likely to leave Arsenal soon, I’d implore Arteta to start Ramsdale in our next game after the international break, against ‘The Canaries’. I think that Aaron will do great things for us this season and beyond, and be a springboard for more attacks, wins, and future glory at The Emirates.
Here’s a piece I’ve written on Ramsdale, and why he deserves all our support now that he’s signed for us:
Third choice central midfielder:
Normally, this would never be something to be excited about. A bit like a double chemistry lesson on a Monday morning. But Lokonga’s different gravy. With an impressive international debut for Belgium the other day, Sambi looks to have displaced Mohammed Elneny like a more reactive metal displacing a less reactive metal from a compound. Yes, that’s right, you’ve just read a Chemistry simile.
Anyway, whilst Elneny’s a lovable player, he’s not the most exciting. Every action of his looks to be overly cautious, and Lokonga bucks that trend with forward dribbles and precise forward passes. Sambi called himself a ‘defensive playmaker’ in an interview a while back, and I look forward to seeing how he matures into that role. He still needs to improve defensively, but there’s bucketloads of potential there.
I’ve linked an article I wrote before we signed Sambi, and like a proud mama hen, I’m happy to see him do so well for us:
Our new number four:
Splashing £50mil on CB was always going to draw interest. Some of it bad, but most of it positive. Ben White’s a “t'rrific player” if I may say so myself, and we’ll hopefully be able to see him alongside a physically dominant centre-back in Gabriel as soon as the international break is over. Tie that in with Tomiyasu at RB, and we’ve got ourselves one hell of a defensive back-line that’ll be able to put ‘Teta’s building-out-from-the-back philosophy into action.
White’s played alongside Kolasinac, Mari, and Chambers in his first few games for Arsenal, with a gaping hole in midfield in front of him too thanks to Partey’s absence. I think it’s fair to say that with a defence of Tierney-Gabriel-White-Tomiyasu, another underperforming season under Arteta and Edu will be met with scorn and outrage from the Arsenal fanbase.
Here’s an article I’ve written on the potential of the Gabriel-White partnership, and how both players, whilst differing in terms of style, complement each other brilliantly:
5 - ‘Øh-Dear-Gaard’ or ‘Wøe-degaard’?
I think I’ll have to agree with the former, in that sarky little subheading I’ve come up with. Adding a traditional Number 10 to the side was a necessity this summer window, and Ødegaard’s permanent re-introduction to the squad has been welcomed with excitement by most fans. I’ll put my hands up; I, in my naive and misguided hope, wanted us to sign James Maddison, but the £70mil pricetag was a bloody joke and Ødegaard was impressive for us during his loan spell prior to that injury.
We all saw how good Ødegaard was with his fancy throughball assist to Saka against West Brom, and his exploits with the Norwegian national team, of which he’s captain of, is proof of what a quality player we’ve got on our hands. A fantastic ability to find space, pick out dazzling passes, and effortlessly dribble past opposition players reminds me of another player we signed from Real Madrid a while back. “Dani Ceballos!” No, of course I’m on about Mesut Ozil. Why would you think Ceballos?
The signing of a ‘traditional’ Number 10 enables Emile Smith-Rowe to thrive on that left side, and terrorise the left half-space. With ‘The Smith’ playing out on the left, and Saka inhabiting that right flank, Aubameyang’s qualities as a dangerous poacher and rapid centre-forward should mean that he’ll be back to his goal-scoring best in no time.
I’ve been Jahid (@JahidFullStop) writing for We Love You Arsenal! Cheers for reading. I hope you enjoyed this piece, and I’ll see you next week for another pun-filled article! Ba-bye!