Post by: @KingHenrythefif
Summer gone, deadline drawn, job done, Arsenal now look to have finally secured the long craved significant and expensive investments in arguably the most sensitive positions in the team, for the better part of the last decade.
Despite being met with mixed feelings, these long anticipated early and late pieces of business by the Emirates hierarchy can largely be regarded as a positive step from the Management, who in the last couple of weeks of this summer’s transfer window, seemed to express a more ambitious aim towards eclipsing the steady heights of the last few years, on the basis of Cohesion of Real Elitism (CORE) in the whole squad; a group deemed well capable of making history in such a potential milestone season (discussion for another day), despite being still only at infancy of the new 2016/2017 campaign.
Hence, the sort of ambition the club is now focused on, is embedded in the following dots Arsene and his coaching crew have been able to connect, in an effort to maximise the productivity and resourcefulness of the aforementioned CORE.
Citing a personal bias for central midfield supremacy, I have always supported the claim that a team is only as good as its midfielders. Of course this doesn’t tell the whole story of this Arsenal team but the fact that Arsene has the chocked centre circle options of Grant Xhaka, Santi Cazorla, Mohammed Elneny, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin, speaks for itself.
Just this year alone, Arsenal have gone on to purchase long term possession and ‘pressing’ targets, Elneny & Xhaka, which also quite satisfies my curiosity in understanding the ilk of midfield engine(s) the manager had been trying to add to the squad. This ex-Basel of Switzerland duo have added another dimension to Arsenal’s balanced build-up from midfield, which only Santi Cazorla looked capable of executing on a consistent basis.
Apparently, Arsenal’s ambidextrous playmaker now has more than one company to share the expert knowledge of possession and control with; and when you add the intelligent engine of Aaron Ramsey as well the reliable brawn of fellow tackling screener – Francis Coquelin into the equation, it then paints a broad picture of how much Arsenal have progressed from the once ageing, inconsistent and unfit midfield options of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky & Abou Diaby. (no dig at any, just facts for the relevance of this piece).
Despite being served with the fascinating prospect of witnessing how things unfold in central midfield, the struggle for power across the final third and upfront is without doubt going to get sticky, albeit in a beneficial way for all parties. Virtually all viable options for the wide and central positions possess the natural ability of either power or pace, with the Alex-trio (Sanchez, Chamberlain & Iwobi) providing a bit of both.
The latter, youthful duo of English and Nigerian Internationals respectively still have their best years ahead of them, affording the pair the time to horn their substantial potentials and stand them in good stead to make that desired shift to a more central role, which Arsene has also hinted on a couple of occasions.
Evidently, first names and central roles aren’t the only binding similarities between both lads. The duo, albeit nowhere near even being close to the finished article, have got a pretty unique range of varying qualities, basked and masked in a field of verve and vigour, capable of raising their individual versatility to an uncharted level, not least because both are powered with a blend of vision, drive, direct running, skill and a keen eye for goal. The most striking of these attributes lies in the fact that both Chamberlain & Iwobi are pretty much gifted with the natural ability to do and become everything.
With both also having the privilege of being tutored by a world class attacker in Alexis, it is almost guaranteed that they will be schooled right till the very last detail by the Chilean, who himself doesn’t seem satisfied with his current individual and collective laurels and looks like one who’ll do everything humanely possible to win his own friendly testimonial, if the chance ever presents itself!
Now with things expected to be tighter and more shrewed in defence, Ashburton expectations are once again silently beginning to grow steam among Goonersphere, with majority of the fan Base thrilled about the fact that Arsene appears to have finally eaten his cake and had it, with the smart purchases of Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi for a combined bid still well short of the £50m record fee Everton received from Manchester City, for England’s most expensive defender, John Stones.
Add Granit Xhaka’s acquisition into the new financial ‘defensive equation’ at Arsenal and you still get a combined fee lesser than the Premier League and world record bid used to lure Paul Pogba back to Manchester United from Juventus. Now this is by no means a sign of envy at two of England’s most expensive summer arrivals (who by the way, are trailblazers in their own rights), but it just goes to show how much wealth has been tapped into by Premier League clubs, especially those at the top of the BPL money tree.
With purchasing power in the same mould with success in recent Premier League history, it also has to be emphasised that while Arsenal were losing their best legs to the Manchester clubs a couple of years ago largely for financial reasons, it definitely now appears to be a lot more even these days, thanks to the calibre of world class deals the club has negotiated for, in the aftermath of the painful (contractual) sales of attacking pair, Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie to 2012 & 2013 Barclays Premier League Champions, respectively.
It is now expected that the club matches the impressive competitiveness they’ve recently shown off the pitch, with a similar trend of ambition on the pitch, which is really where the team looks the most qualified to challenge till the tail end of this season.
Following years of dithering and a staunch refusal to pay well over the odds, Le boss did ensure this summer stood out from any so far in this decade, with squad completion being very much prioritised in pre & post Euro 2016; hence giving rise to the purchase of Arsenal’s most expensive Center-back, Defensive midfielder and Centre-forward respectively; as all three arrive with trailblazing price tags that could certainly turn out to be bargains of the new A-list quality at the Emirates following the world class additions of Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez (ironically Arsenal’s last three goalscorers); the trio regarded as pioneers of the new Arsenal.
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