Arsenal did not have dream window but Arteta has bolstered squad for run-in

The second half of the Premier League season begins now. Mikel Arteta has organized his chessboard, changed and refined a few pieces, and knows exactly what to play with.

After completing the transfer work in January, what he does, especially with Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe returning to fitness, is something deeper than the first XI, who will pray to the gods of fitness, will be more or less available for all games.

When Arsenal drew Newcastle United in the first meeting of 2023 on January 1st, their bench consisted of a goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders of study with a total of four league starts between them this season, and the only forward Nathan Butler-Oyedeji He was one of the 19-year-old who in the Pope John Cup He was impressed and just went on loan to Accrington Stanley. They now have a stronger base from which to pick, vital players have more cover, and the ability to grow things healthier.

Time will tell if he is good enough to sustain a title challenge, and at least open the door to the Champions League. Last spring, Mikel Arteta revealed that his ideal squad included three goalkeepers and 22 outfield players. It is still some part short of that total. However, they strengthened their arsenal.

A frustrating window required flexibility. Their primary focus was on players who can be useful both now and in the future. It was a dream ticket to provide an impact this season, and also an integral factor of 10 to the level of ambitions of Arsenal. The bigger targets — Mykhailo Mudryk and Moises Caicedo — were players who, in theory, could do both of these things.

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In both cases they need a way, so it is no great surprise that they turned to the proven Premier League nous. Due to the peculiarity of the situation in which Arsenal find themselves drawn in the middle stage, it is not surprising that Arteta is tempted to recruit smart players in this league, intelligent enough to know what is needed and without much need for adaptation. . Jakub Kiwior, the left midfielder from Spezia, is in a slightly different scenario. But Trossard and Jorginho are expected to play competitively one day.

Trossard has already shown that with a big cameo to help Arsenal beat Manchester United and a fearless attacking display in the FA Cup at Manchester City. Jorginho is on hand to take off Thomas Partey’s package, with concerns that the game is at such a critical juncture. The Ghanaian has not started the Europa League or Carabao Cup campaign and has only featured in one Premier League gameweek double this season. Hence the schedule is more intense, so the option to crack was imperative.

In the summer of 2021, at the beginning of the rebuilding process that had taken them to this point, Arsenal brought in seven young players, with the eldest being Ben White, 23. Of them, only White came directly from the Premier League, with Aaron Ramsdale. We played at that level last season. So when they added another seven early seals, four of which arrived with plenty, what to expect in this particular division. It may be a slight accident – after all, in the universe of the alternation of Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Trossard and Jorginho, it could have been Dusan Vlahovic, Lisandro Martinez, Mudryk and Caicedo. But as for the naval times, it shows that the other strength, the gambit reaction, is extremely clever. They can only hope they feel the same way about Trossard and Jorginho come the end of the season.

The arrival of Zinchenko and Jesus, and their influence across the board with the ambition of fusing the boundary, changed the game felt much more widely than the pitch. Arteta confirms how powerful the mix can be. Experienced players win hearts with youth, and the will of youth makes the experienced live.

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There is something about the tried and tested, as a tool to elevate Arsenal, to push them, which Arteta sees as helping the short-lived youth to achieve their goals.

Mohamed Elneny’s injury put pressure on Arsenal to deliver a quick release to cover for Partey. Jorginho’s ability to fill the gap is something Arteta feels comfortable with. Some players need some kind of author. The moves are exceptions, and they have some justification – the list of senior players from Chelsea in the autumn of their achievements is not enough reading. He never worked as successfully as he intended, going back to William of Wales and the bad memory of the indelible title challenge, while he, the captain, tried to leave the pitch in his mind before the end of an intense game at Birmingham City. .

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Old wounds do this to the fingers. But in an age when the confidence and absolute popularity of fans has injected so much power into the riding season, they will have to try to put some worries behind them and judge only on the present, not on the past.

That January was quite a tumultuous one. Seven points from nine in high-octane matches against Newcastle, Tottenham and United’s Manchester United tied the FA Cup in a way that cemented their confidence against anyone, even if a mixed team came out at Manchester City, and transferred enough sagas to almost break the internet. . It seems like a different age for fans to examine his arsenal of gym equipment and shoes from Mudryk’s Instagram posts.

If the moral window of this shipyard, in addition to the need to maintain health, is not focused every day in a state of higher development, we must learn not to gain access to the garden path through internal communications. . They drew a few weapons from others and themselves. There are methods of currency which they do not have, and which they have found unprofitable.

In the end, however, they didn’t do it last January. They may not have had their fantasy windows, but they didn’t leave a gigantic gap in the squad.

Arteta and the players before, the employee who before that, some time for me.

(Top photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images)


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