After a season, the disappointment of which has been understated in my view, Arsenal get a chance here for everything to start over again. Finishing with some promising form last season, but still only in 8th, & not only dropping out of the Europa League, but out of European football altogether. Here Arsenal get a chance to turn things around. A new page of the rebuild chapter, or Same Old Arsenal?
Some fresh faces in Ben White from Brighton, Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, & Nuno Tavares from Benfica – representing some honestly positive signings. The two from Belgium & Portugal very shrewdly made, and the newly England international an overpayment for an apparently very well specified need. All three could feature but we will likely see White & Lokonga both playing 90 each.
Mikel Arteta splitting opinions, as all high-engagement topics do, is seemingly set on his 4231. Don’t be surprised to see him marshalling a double #6 midfield base, and a Kieran Tierney higher than anyone over the space of the pitch in our build-up phase. The aim – as it was before – will be to keep the ball, and keep it on the deck during the build-up, except with the added element of raked long balls being readily made across the pitch to “create superiorities” from new additions Ben White & Sambi Lokonga.
The obstacle – a Brentford side fresh off a playoff promotion with Leeds ex-captain Janssen, & hot prospect danger-man the highly coveted Ivan Toney, still only given a less than 50% chance of taking any points at all by Scott Willis’ (@oh_that_crab) game simulation model – a 51.1% chance of a win for Arsenal’s redmen, & a small but significant 23.3% chance of a complete upset. But most importantly of all…
Welcome back to the Barclays, ladies & gentlemen.