Arsenal claimed the FA Cup for the 14th time, a historic number for numerous reasons, but it’s important that the club doesn’t settle.
Arsenal is the FA Cup winner for the 14th time. I will admit, after seeing the draw for the semi-final, I never had any hope of saying that this season but here we are, and after watching the team lift the trophy I can honestly say that I have a little bit of hope going into next season and beyond.
For once it doesn’t feel far-fetched. That’s all down to the work done by Mikel Arteta. In the seven months since he’s taken over its been nothing short of phenomenal, inheriting a fractured team and getting them to play as a solid cohesive unit for the most part and cutting out the gung-ho defending.
There is still a lot of work to be done and it hasn’t been perfect, but with the FA Cup win yesterday, moving forward we now have something to build on.
With our previous three FA Cup victories, we believed wrongly that we had turned the corner and were challenging for the top honours again. These were just false dawns and our league form has regressed badly as we have essentially become a cup side.
This is not good enough for the big egos at the club and for a club of our stature. Getting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tied down has to be first on the agenda and I’m hoping it’s something that is pretty much a formality.
Mikel Arteta has been speaking with confidence over the last few days that he expects Aubameyang to stay and yesterday’s victory will hopefully show that he is at the right club to be successful.
Another man who needs to be tied down is Dani Ceballos. He has been a revelation at the club since the restart and if it wasn’t for Aubameyang’s heroics yesterday, he would have rightfully won the man of the match. He seems to have finally settled at the club.
Despite yesterday’s victory, I am not going to look back on this season with much fondness. I’m sure we will get the usual congratulations from Stan Kroenke for winning the FA Cup but this needs to be followed up by full backing for Mikel Arteta. The majority of what happens before next season will depend on what finances are available to improve the squad and despite yesterday’s victory it should be the last time we see some of the players in an Arsenal shirt.
Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, and Lucas Torreira are just a few whose time has come to an end and we need to be looking at better. Mikel Arteta is aware of this and has identified the players we need going into next season to take us back to the level we need to be at.
Right now, we have a manager who has the talent and the intent to take us back into the elite levels of the game. Their needs to be some big decisions over the next few weeks on whether everyone else at the club is on the same level as him.
I’m not saying wads of cash need to be thrown at Arteta, but a couple of quality signings in key positions should be the very least he is offered. By doing that it would at least show that they are willing to build on our current trajectory and not settle for stagnation.