Arsenal are still a long way from where they want to be.
This was the claim issued by Mikel Arteta this week and, given the performances on the pitch over the last month, it’s impossible to disagree with this. It also serves as a reality check to some fans who were hoping that Arsenal would be dead certs for the top four this season after our strong end to last season.
Now whilst that statement doesn’t mean that top four will be beyond us this season, it does serve as a reminder that maybe we shouldn’t expect to much too soon and even more patience will be required that initially thought.
Every Arsenal fan wants nothing more than to see the club ‘back where we belong’. Of course, it’s been a really stressful few years with few highlights, so you can understand that we are all a little impatient, because boy…have we been patient.
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But at the same time we have to remember that Arteta is an inexperienced manager only two months into his first full season and still finding his managerial feet. Therefore, maybe, it’s unfair to lay so much pressure on so early into his career when you consider how much of a mess the squad was in when he took over.
Arteta has improved the squad by bringing in his own players, but the bulk of the team is still full of players who failed consistently over the last few years.
We tried and failed to move a lot of these players on during the summer and, while they are still there, it’s likely that we are still going to be producing poor performances. Some of this will fall on the manager who has been rightfully criticized for some of his decisions, but this is expected and understandable when you consider his inexperience.
For the last couple of years we have been told to ‘trust the process’, I will hold my hands up and say I don’t know what the process is and if I’m being really honest I haven’t seen anything different to suggests that things are starting to click into gear.
It’s obvious the club believe in this statement however, although it’s unclear how long we will have to wait to see the process come to fruition.
I’m not going to bother with clichés such as ‘good things come to those who wait’ as the reality is that we could go through another couple of years of poor football before the board decide it’s not working under Arteta. Then we’re back to square one.
One thing that is abundantly clear is that whether you trust the process or not, we are going to require something that a lot of fans are seemingly running out of, and that is patience.