Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have the summer to reflect on how his opening season in charge of the Gunners has gone. He will be frustrated our side haven’t been able to finish the year with silverware, however, there are some positives for us to take.
Here is a look at three things the Spaniard will be most pleased about from the 2019-20 campaign on the pitch.
We have had some fantastic goalkeepers at the club over the course of our history. David Seaman and Jens Lehmann are just two who have shone between the sticks since the turn of the century. Bernd Leno is quickly establishing himself into that same category.
Leno has been one of the most consistent keepers in the Premier League this season. This has been particularly impressive given that the German has had very little support in front of him so he has often been the last form of defence.
The 28-year-old, who arrived in North London from Bayer Leverkusen in 2018, has a strong case for being Arsenal’s Player of the Season along with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It’s rare for a keeper to win this award so it says a lot about the campaign the German has had.
This is one position Arteta can be quite confident he does not need to improve over the summer. If he can acquire a solid centre-back, we can improve our defensive record next season.
Not Losing Often
Although our league position may suggest otherwise, Arsenal have not actually lost too many games this season. Their issue has been draws.
Arteta now needs to challenge his players to convert many of those draws into victories next season. This may mean the Gunners boss being a little more attack-minded, especially when there is a deadlock with 20 minutes to go.
Arsenal are 100/1 in the Premier League betting to finish in the top four at the end of the campaign. If we do fail to qualify into Europe, it will mean we can solely concentrate on domestic football. With extra focus on the league, we will have a great chance of boosting the win column in the table.
When Arsenal splashed out a club-record fee of £72 million for Nicolas Pepe, there were a few eyebrows raised about the deal.
Pepe has since proved that he is an exciting talent who is getting better with every game. His return in his opening season has been quite good. He has scored seven goals and assisted nine times.
Whenever a club spends such amount of money on a player, there is always added pressure on their shoulders. Pepe has done well to overcome that and is certainly going to be a major part of Arteta’s rebuilding programme.
Expect to see the Ivory Coast international improve next season too. With this debut Premier League season under his belt, he now knows what football in England is all about.
It has been a tough couple of years for Arsenal fans, but let’s hope the club can start making progress again next season by building on the positives of the last couple of months.