It’s a sad week for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal football club
Humans are creatures of habit: a morning coffee and a quick read of the daily headlines before they pile into a hot London tube. Watching the continent’s best teams face off in the Champions League before seeing Arsenal travel to Belarus was now part of it.
It’s a sad week.
After facing Norwich in the Premier League last time around, this part of September was supposed to be action packed midweek. This is not the case. For the first time in 25 years, Arsenal are not playing in Europe. He doesn’t hold on well.
As Arsenal enter their first season in 25 years without Champions League or Europa League football, the week is sad and empty just waiting for Burnley
Failure to qualify for a continental competition last season, there is a void over the days to twiddle your thumbs for the next national meeting; a damning indictment of the rate of decline.
Antonio Conte won the title with Chelsea when his side lacked Europe. It was seen as the silver lining of Arsenal’s failures. Securing the title has never been realistic, but what the extra time on the training ground and the removal of travel across the continent could have on the team offered a silver lining for a relatively successful campaign.
So far not so good.
What Mikel Arteta can accomplish with his squad now that Premier League sides embark on separate campaigns will only be felt later in the season. Taking advantage of a once unfathomable situation not only for Arsenal but for the rest of Europe will play a decisive role in its future.
No one watching from the terraces sees it as positive – yet. Arsenal and European football go hand in hand at all levels. Whether it’s a blessing in disguise or not, it won’t be known until the group stages are in full swing and Tottenham come back from NŠ Mura in Slovenia looking leggy while Arsenal are in. a bunch of fresh daisies.
Arteta will be torn apart. His methods are not yet bearing fruit and the additional training sessions will / should do wonders to fully involve his players. Likewise, he was captain of this club in the Champions League. He understands prestige.
From a fan perspective, this can only be temporary. Of course, the younger generation will have been spoiled by the annual Champions League fixtures, but that’s all many have ever known. All age groups are left slightly hollow.
The manager has never had a more welcome opportunity to right himself and the club. He played his part in the decline, despite having received a time bomb when he took the reins, and with a huge investment planned to reverse the crisis, the week-to-week improvements cannot be mistaken.
The fans are suffering.
Hearing the Champions League theme is already cutting deep. Not being involved at all puts an incredible emphasis on what’s going on in the Premier League, even more so than before. Arteta needs to give the fan base something to hold onto, to look forward to. Otherwise, those weeks will only get longer.