‘Jesus took Arsenal to the next level’
I’ve often argued that developing sides don’t need four or five new faces to take them to the next level. It often only takes one world-class player to take a club forward.
Jesus is that player for Arsenal, so there’s no point sugarcoating how much he’ll be missed.
For Arteta’s sake, I hope the more positive reports suggesting the Brazilian striker will return at the end of January are true.
If so, then there will be no need to sign another striker. But aside from favored starting XIs, there is still a danger that Arsenal’s resources will be depleted by March and April.
An early exit from the Carabao Cup was probably a blessing in terms of the title race, but appearances in the FA Cup and Europa League could complicate matters.
“Don’t make the same mistakes as Daniel Levy”
Arsenal should learn from the mistakes of their north London rivals when they were in a similar position under Mauricio Pochettino and Harry Redknapp.
Both Tottenham teams had great chances to win the league in this part of the season.
In January 2012 and 2016, Spurs were genuine contenders, one quality signing away from continuing their momentum.
Redknapp’s side slumped to finish fourth, well behind Manchester City, but Pochettino would lead Leicester City to the Premier League with more board support. Daniel Levy favored the long-term rather than the here and now, and Spurs consoled themselves with the idea that, despite losing out to Claudio Ranieri, other title bids would follow. The reality is that – as a club – they have squandered their best chance in the decades since they were champions.
Although their long-term planning has taken them this far, Arsenal will not want to look back with similar feelings in six months, if only.
Not everyone will agree, but English football needs Arsenal to maintain their challenge against Manchester City, just as it has been important for Liverpool to make the Premier League competitive in three of the last four years.
If City win the league again, they will be champions in five of the last six years. It hasn’t all been processions, so it’s not entirely fair to compare the Premier League to those abroad where one club dominates each season, but the result will start to feel a little too predictable.
Those working to improve City have always borne the responsibility. Arsenal did it. They’ve come a long way, but from top to bottom the club must do everything they can to complete the journey over the next six months before new obstacles come in their way.