Arsenal’s results have started gradually improving since Mikel Arteta took over from Unai Emery in December. Much more seems to be in place than before. There are clear ideas being implemented on the pitch, with every player working as hard as he can to fulfill the task given to him. However, it is the job of every manager to take constant looks at the squad at his disposal and ponder possible improvements; what needs to be strengthened, who are the players potentially not up to the standards required, would there be enough depth without them, and who could possibly take their places.
There are plenty of youngsters trying to make a name for themselves within Arsenal Football Club, whether that be in the first team squad itself or during a spell out on loan somewhere. Whatever the case may be it’s seemingly never been more difficult to break into the Gunners’ starting XI, with one man who can vouch for that being Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The Englishman recently took part in an interview with Arsenal.com, during which he opened up about his progress as a player and what he is hoping to achieve in the season ahead.
On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal host Brighton at the Emirates Stadium, in potentially a vital Premier League clash for both teams.
Arsenal head into this clash on the back of a 3-1 win over Valencia in the Europa League semi-final first leg. However, prior to their clash with Los Ches, the Gunners had suffered three straight defeats in the Premier League. The poor run of form has left Unai Emery’s team fifth-place in the top-flight table, two points behind fourth-place Chelsea.
The Gunners have conceded at least twice in those aforementioned top-flight defeats too, including in a 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace in their last home league outing.
It’s often hard to measure the success or quality of a footballer at the age of 21, regardless of what some fans may have you believe. They’re often going to be developing and progressing for a few more years yet, and when they reach the age of around 25, you can probably get a good idea of how their career is going to turn out. So then, to all of the Arsenal fans who felt the need to criticise Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ performance against Huddersfield at the weekend, we’d be curious to know what it is you do on a day to day basis.
Arsenal have beaten Burnley by 3-1 in the 18th round of the 2018/19 Premier League season, courtesy of goals from Pierre-Emerick Auubameyang (14′, 48′), and Alex Iwobi (90′). The solitary strike for the visitors was the work of Ashley Barnes (63′). The Gunners are still in fifth place, but now they’ve equaled Chelsea’s point tally as the Blues suffered defeat at home to Leicester City.
But the result aside for a moment, there were some interesting things to take from this game. Let’s take a look.
The media storm surrounding Raheem Sterling in the last few days is something we’ve seen time and time again in the past, and unfortunately, we’ll continue to see it. The English forward has had to deal with this kind of thing his entire life, and the fact that it’s carrying over into 2018 – and likely 2019 – is disgusting. Alas, he isn’t the only man in the game who has had to deal with something like this, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles making a surprising revelation regarding the matter.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed that the Gunners Spanish defender Nacho Monreal will not feature in the next two weeks for the north London team. The Spaniard is reportedly suffering from a hamstring injury and he will not return to training until next month. The news is a blow ahead of a potentially tricky trip to Bournemouth for Emery’s team.
Monreal hard to replace
For me, Nacho Monreal is one of the most unsung players of recent seasons. The Spaniard has produced impressive consistency for the Gunners in recent seasons, not matter whether playing as a full-back or a makeshift centre-back.
Arsenal currently have seven players on their injured list, and they’ve provided an update on their recovery progress via the official website. The season has entered it’s part when the schedule is jam-packed, and having as many players available as possible will be of vital importance for manager Unai Emery.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan injured his right ankle in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League opener last Thursday. Having missed the Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday, he is currently being assessed ahead of the Carabao Cup game against Championship side Brentford on Wednesday.
According to the BBC, Arsenal’s Bosnia and Herzegovina full-back Sead Kolasinac will miss the first eight-ten weeks of the Premier League season through injury. The former Schalke star sustained the knee injury in the Gunners International Champions Cup clash with Chelsea on Wednesday.
The estimated timescale would see the Bosnian missed eight top-flight matches, two Europa League games and the third round of the League Cup. The news is a blow to the player and Gunners boss Unai Emery, who now has a dilemma on the left-hand side of his defence.
While many Arsenal fans are currently getting caught up in the excitement of the summer transfer window, and rightly so, there are still some issues that need to be resolved closer to home. The likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are both still trying to sort out their contract ordeals at the Emirates, and it’s clear to see that Unai Emery has a specific vision regarding what kind of players he’s interested in keeping on the books at the club as he prepares for his first season in charge.