Ivan Gazidis has finally walked through the back door of the Emirates for what will likely be the last time, joining AC Milan in the process as their new chief executive. While the saga didn’t actually go on for that long in the public eye, it certainly turned a lot of heads throughout the course of the last few weeks. Some people feel as if this is a really big moment for the Gunners and the history books, but others, correctly, realise that Ivan Gazidis didn’t actually do that much or accomplish all too much throughout the course of his time with the club.
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Every team wants to be playing Champions League football. If they try and claim that they don’t then they’re lying to themselves, because being able to compete amongst the best clubs from around the continent – and the world – should always be viewed as a privilege. Of course, the qualifiers allow for all different kinds of teams to edge their way through to the group stages and beyond, but here in England, it’s a little bit trickier to ensure that you get the chance to show what you’re made of in the competition.
It is fair to say that Arsenal boss Unai Emery is pretty well acquainted with the Europa League, having won the competition on three occasions with Sevilla.
It is a competition that the Gunners will have to get accustomed to if the north London side cannot break back into the Premier League top four in the near future.
A useful competition
The competition is much maligned, as it is UEFA’s secondary European competition behind the much more high profile Champions League. Obviously, Arsenal wants to be in the Champions League and that is one of Emery primary aims, getting back into Europe’s elite competition.
Look, we don’t like being negative or disparaging to former players of Arsenal Football Club, because there’s just no point in doing so. Every single man and woman who has pulled on that famous strip has contributed something towards the lineage of this football team, whether it be for good or for bad. Sure, we can debate how effective or impactful they were during their time here, but we should never go as far as to openly criticise them when the issue has been put to rest.
There’s not much more than needs to be said when it comes to Arsenal’s actual start to the season, because it’s there for everyone to see. They were outplayed by better sides in the first two games and narrowly edged past three that they should be beating easily. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Regardless, it’s interesting to note the direction they’re trending in as a club – even though we want to focus on one position above all the others – and that’s the goalkeeper.
I have found myself on a number of occasions talking about the make-up of the Arsenal central midfield, mainly the lack of playing minutes for summer signing Lucas Torreira. For me, the Uruguayan was the sort of central midfielder Arsenal needed in the summer.
Showed his qualities against Newcastle
Once again, on Saturday at Newcastle, Torreira found himself on the bench with Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka starting in the centre of the pitch for the Gunners.
At half time, it was obvious that young Guendouzi was not having his best game, which happens to young players developing their game.
Arsenal made it three consecutive victories in the Premier League at the weekend, overcoming the challenge of Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Some will argue that this is a game they always should’ve been winning, but getting the job done and beating what’s in front of you is more important than any ‘talk’ before the game. So, while it may be easy to dismiss this is an ‘okay’ victory, we should really be applauding the fact that they’ve picked up nine points from their last three league encounters.
Arsenal were able to extend their winning streak in the Premier League to three games at the weekend, defeating Newcastle United 2-1 in what was an intriguing encounter. For the most part, the Gunners played well and controlled the pace of the game, but they were still left to worry in the final stages about the possibility of a late Newcastle equaliser. That’s not a position they should’ve found themselves in, but the state of their defence is a different story for a different day.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal are among the clubs monitoring the situation with Manchester United’s Eric Bailly.
Bailly signed for United in the summer of 2016 after a successful spell with Spanish side Villareal lasting a year and a half. Before that he played for Espanyol. He has made a total of 60 appearances for the Red Devils so far and had been praised for a while as their best defender.
However, after United’s shaky start to the season, he has fallen down the pecking order having put in a few questionable performances, and manager Jose Mourinho is now favoring the duo of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof in the absence of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo. Bailly’s place is currently on the bench.
As you probably know already, Arsenal beat Newcastle United at St. James Park on Saturday by 1-2, courtesy of a spectacular free-kick by Granit Xhaka and a cool finish by Mesut Ozil. After defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in the two opening games, West Ham, Cardiff City, and now Newcastle have fallen in a row. But this game had some nice surprises in store in terms of individual performances.