Arsenal

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Premier League

Round 38

Arsenal 3 - 2 Watford
2020-07-26 16:00 More Reports
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Arsenal

In


Nicolas Pepe (att) Lille; William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne; Gabriel Martinelli (mid) Ituano; Dani Ceballos (mid) Real Madrid – on loan; Reiss Nelson (mid) Hertha Berlin – end of loan;

Out


William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne – on loan; David Ospina (sp) (gk) Napoli – loan made permanent; Petr Cech (sp) (gk) end of career; Stephan Lichtsteiner (sp) (def) released; Aaron Ramsey (sp) (mid) Juventus; Denis Suarez (sp) (mid) Barcelona – end of loan; Danny Welbeck (sp) (att) released; Takuma Asano (att) Partizan;

Arsenal showed very little improvement in the first season past Wenger’s era, with new coach Emery unable to find consistency and to resolve issues that have been with the Gunners in recent times. Ozil continued to decline and the German seems to be no longer a major factor, Emery also struggled to fit both Lacazette and Aubameyang on the pitch at the same time until the latter was moved to play wide on the left wing. This is expected to be the case again, with Arsenal building a very strong front line if nothing else. The recent big-money transfer of right winger Pepe means that Pepe-Lacazette-Aubameyang front 3 is likely to cause havoc regularly. Ceballos was loaned in to replace Ramsey in the heart of the midfield, where Xhaka remains a key figure, while young Guendouzi should be getting more and more involved with every passing month. Arsenal’s major weaknesses last season remained the dreadful away form and the pathetic defending, with no transfer moves made so far to resolve the latter. In fact if as expected rebelling captain Koscielny leaves the back line will be weakened. This means that only if the Gunners find a miraculous way to become more solid defensively they could realistically challenge the best teams in the land. Scoring goals at the other end shouldn’t be a problem.

Target


Top 4 is the target and another year without Champions League football will be simply unacceptable from Arsenal’s point of view.

Season Review
2019/2020

№8: Arsenal

Arsenal endured another very difficult season that saw them sacking Unai Emery in November and replacing him with Mikael Arteta in late December. The displays and results definitely improved after Arteta’s arrival and despite the disappointing league position, triumph in the FA Cup final over Chelsea still saw the Gunners qualifying for Europe for the 25th consecutive season! The improvement under Arteta, especially after the COVID-break, gives reasons for optimism, but the truth is that Arsenal again lacked defensive stability and this has been hurting the team for over 10 years now. The goal-scoring machine Aubameyang was the one thing that Arsenal could rely on all season. Another positive from the campaign was the progress made by several very talented teenagers - Wilock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli and Nketiah all impressed and Arteta was very happy to trust them on plenty of occasions. Defensive frailties, sloppy individual displays in crucial games and endless issues with injuries were all serious weaknesses that affected the campaign. The Ozil problem also remained unresolved with the German star frozen out by Arteta, but still receiving his huge wage and preventing Arsenal from seriously strengthening the squad. Xhaka had a very mixed season that saw him losing the captain's armband in October after an ugly disagreement with fans, but then improving vastly under Arteta and finishing the season very well. Similar can be said for at least 5-6 other regulars, who had mixed seasons. With very limited financial manoeuvrability and yet another year without Champions League football, Arsenal are not expected to strengthen significantly this summer. However, with Arteta's ability to integrate his youngsters, the Gunners will be hoping for much better next season and their goal is to challenge for top 4 finish.


Player of the Season: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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