Paul Merson says Arsenal must show they have learnt from past mistakes in terms of transfers and playing contracts, but the rebuild at the club is in full swing.
It was a busy January transfer window as Mikel Arteta continues to shape his Arsenal squad. Six members of the first-team squad, including former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, left the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners return to Premier League action on Thursday as they take on in-form Wolves, but Sky Sports pundit Merson believes theyl are in a good place with their exciting young squad and better times are ahead.
Read on for the Magic Man’s column in full…
Arsenal’s rebuild is in full swing…
Arsenal have had a clear out. They didn’t get European football for the first time in I don’t know how many years, and they’ve put their foot down.
If you keep on doing the same things, you get the same results. That’s the same for anything in life. That is what Arsenal have been doing for too many years now, and finally, they’ve drawn a line in the sand.
They changed it all up by getting rid of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and other players, who are not going to get you anywhere near the top four of the Premier League or even winning the league.
It now might take time, but they have started now and that’s a massive bonus. They have properly started the rebuild now.
‘Consistency the key for the Gunners’
Arsenal bought really well last summer. There isn’t a single player they bought in last summer that has flopped. They have all been successes and they’ll now be working behind the scenes for next summer where they will look to go again and get the players they need.
This season let’s see. They only have 17 games left and that is on the whole, one game a week. They’ve just got to get some consistency.
We are only talking a few weeks ago about them playing Manchester City off the park.
Three weeks later and all of a sudden, they can’t score at home against Burnley and bar the last minute they never looked like scoring.
So, that’s the inconsistency and over time these young players will learn how to be more consistent.
These players now know they are going to be playing. These young players will be better for another 17 league games and next season instead of being nine-out-of-10 one week and five-out-of-10 another, we’ll start seeing seven-out-of-10 and eight-out-of-10 more regularly.
That’s all you need. You need consistency and then you have players that can win you games. At the flick of a switch.
‘Arsenal must show they have learnt from past mistakes’
I think things are really positive for Arsenal at the moment. What they’ve done cannot be seen as anything but good for the club.
Now, if Alexandre Lacazette goes and gets 10 goals before the end of the season, they can’t get lazy and just give him a new deal worth £250,000-a-week, thinking it might be his season next season. However, for me, Lacazette has had his time at Arsenal. Whatever he does between now and the end of the season, he’s had his chance at the Emirates Stadium.
What Arsenal now need to start doing is working on not letting happen what has happened too many times in the past when as an Arsenal fan, you are watching these bright young stars in action, and then all of a sudden you see in the press that they’ve only got a year left on their contracts.
That cannot happen anymore. They’ve got to keep on topping up players’ contracts. They have good young players, and they need to keep on top of their contracts. They can’t get lazy and have players run down their contracts and eventually leaving on a free.
They need to show they have learnt from the mistakes of the past and get these players tied down so that they are playing their best years at Arsenal.
They have got a good, young squad and if you can add another couple of top-quality signings for next season, I think there are happier times to come for Arsenal. Positive times are around the corner.