A bit about Arsenal
Formed in 1886 originally as Dial Square – turning into Royal Arsenal soon after. Changed name to Woolwich Arsenal whilst in Woolwich become just Arsenal in 1913 after moving stadium.
13 League Wins (3 Premier Leagues.
14 FA Cups (Last win 19/20 season)
2 League Cups – 1987 & 1993
1 UEFA Euro League
1 European Cup Winners Cup
Play at 'The Emirates' Stadium – 60,704 Capacity
Premier League Heavyweights?
Obviously Arsenal have more history than just the premier league however arguably their most successful spell has been during the Premier League era. Especially during the reign of Arsene Wenger which included 3 Premier League Win and most iconically 'The Invincibles' season.
During the premier league era they have also had some of the best players to grace the league – Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Robin Van Persie, Robert Pires, Ashley Cole etc.
The glory days seem to be slipping away with the club finishing 8th outside the European places in consecutive seasons – before this Arsenal had fallen down to Europa League qualification for two seasons after qualifying for the Champion's League for 19 successive seasons which represents a sharp dip.
Understandably the passionate fans of Arsenal are not happy with the sharp fall – understandably frustrated with management, the players and the board in equal measure.
So What is happening then?
A mixture of behind the scenes poor decision making at both board and recruitment level is causing negativity with the fans as well as the poor performances and results the team are getting. It is hard to pinpoint one specific area as it is a multitude of all these things.
Arsenal were the highest spenders in the transfer window but lost their first 3 games of the season without scoring a goal or really looking like they were really competing.
Pressure began to mount on Mikel Arteta despite not being helped with a breakout of Covid within the squad at the season start as well as perhaps two of the toughest teams to play in the first three games.
Two 1-0 wins against Norwich and Burnley has taken Arsenal off the bottom of the league and removed some pressure though the performances have not been massively better and if VAR hadn't intervened in the Burnley game that could have been a further disappointment with a drawn game.
An amazing victory against North London rivals Tottenham have boosted them up to 10th though question marks remain especially after a 0-0 draw with Brighton where they were not at the races and were fortunate to leave with a point.
A Look at the team
Arsenal have a relatively young squad with an average age of 25.
They have two experienced forwards and whilst last season and the start of the current hasn't been the best for him Aubameyang remains as one of the most lethal forwards in the league and if he can return to his best can easily reach 20+ goals and boost Arsenal both in real life and in the game.
Potential – if there is something Arsenal are hoping for it's that the squad will come good with the potential and understandably there are several rated talents though so they are hoping for fortunes to turn with these prospects:
Ben white has cost the Gunners £50m or there about after two impressive seasons with Leeds Utd and Brighton respectively, they are hoping his trajectory keeps going and he becomes a mainstay of their defence for years to come, they will be hoping to bed him in with Gabriel, signed last season.
Saka and Smith Rowe have come through from the academy and have both proven in the last season they are vitally important to the cause having been given lower squad numbers for the current campaign.
Arsenal will again look to Martin Odegaard to recapture his great form from the second half of last season where he was on loan – turning the move permanent was high on the to do list and now he is there they will need his capable creative spark.
There likely is a difference of opinion with the fans about each of these but the squad contains several players whom either are not cut out for the level Arsenal are aiming for, have let the club down or perhaps just not a fit for Arsenal.
I'm not a fan but I think Xhaka is a hothead and has had too many chances, the defence overall does not have enough strength and has let them down far too often for the last few seasons.
Pepe is a talent but something just hasn't clicked too often when he has had a chance, it does look like Arsenal are working better with transfers but there is still work to be done.
So Why Manage Arsenal in FM22?
- Practically a fallen giant – not having won the league since 2003/04 and falling away from European football with a not so great start to the current season – meaning taking them over could be a rebuilding job and rise from the ashes in one.
- So are you able to restore pride back to the North London club and take them back to firstly European football for the first time in 2 seasons and further still can you then win a fourth Premiership crown?
- Can you then sustain it and rise Arsenal to the pinnacle of Europe and win the Champion's League for the first time?
- Will you look to regain the form of captain Aubameyang, will you work a 442 and fix the partnership with Lacazette, or can you work with the younger guns?
- A rebuild might not be quite as simple, as trying to shift certain players (Xhaka) might be easier said than done especially for a good price though many fans might be glad to sell him for whatever they can get.
- The team lacks leaders truthfully, so will experienced reinforcements be the key to get the team back challenging for honours?
- Secondly albeit the target is still success, Arsenal before the start of the season had cause for optimism due to the nature of their dealings in the transfer market. The biggest spenders with over £100milion spent on Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Lakonga, Nuno Tavares, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
- All of these players are under 24 and arguably could be considered inexperienced not just in the premier league but in general playing terms, but there is much room to grow.
- Arsenal also have a couple of quality looking youngsters from the Academy in Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe, so can you harbour the talents of this new wave of young talent and ripen to reap the rewards with Arsenal and claim a new wave of glory – because apparently you can't win anything with kids?
- If you are like Antonio Conte and would rather use ready made stars or perhaps you like making clubs rich? The chances are in FM22 the Transfer budget will not be too large for Arsenal because of their spending this summer so there likely won't be much room to change the squad quickly.
- Well if you prefer to make money/profit. Arsenal would ideal because of the potential of the players signed, get the right blend with the experienced players and their values will rise meaning sales and more money to get those more expensive established stars. Can you have a decent first season and sell those players for profit and build up your finances.
- Wire the world correctly sign more prospects and you'll be richer than Man City in no time!
So that's why I think Arsenal would be a good save in FM22, perhaps you've given them a try with the update in 21 or you are planning to do this in 22, maybe you've been convinced?
Let me know how you get on with the Gunners in your FM Save!