Arsenal returns against the Bees

Hello, Gunners around the World!!

It’s a beautiful new season.

The 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off Friday night In London as new boys, Brentford City, who are in the top flight for the first time since 1947 and under coach Thomas Frank, will host Arsenal at the Bees home.

It was rough for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta in his first full season as the Gaffer with underwhelming performances. For the first time in over two decades, the North London giants finished outside the top four and failed to qualify for a European League, a run that has been successful for 25 campaigns.

Plenty of fans worldwide have thrown in the towel on the Coach, with some seeking replacement, but it is incredible that the board and club owners Kroenkes still do believe in Mikel Arteta, and why not? He is a promising young coach who has delivered two silverwares already for the club and holds much trust in the youthful development style of Arsenal.

The 2020/21 season saw Arsenal lose star players like Mesut Ozil, who now plays for Fernabache after a long time being sidelined without a just cause or reason from the coach, finishing 8th in the Premier League could and achieving 61 points 5 more than the former season {2019/2020} and not enough to shove them into the Europa Conference League.

Arsenal recorded 13 defeats last season, which is unacceptable considering the size of this Arsenal team and most especially losing seven at the Emirates, a place called fortress by the fans, with inconsistency becoming consistent with the team’s defensive tactics that failed to work out for the Gunners.

In fairness to the Gaffer, the form in the PL has surprisingly increased since Christmas, with only the Manchester sides picking up more points than the Gunners during that period; if only this could be regarded as a sign of progress.

Arsenal began creating chances when a creative midfielder was injected into the team, with Emile Smith Rowe becoming the emergency pillar of the team, assisting and subsequently scoring goals, mostly when teamed up with the Chili Pepper Bukayo Saka and the arrival of Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid which may be a little late a solution. Still, to weigh the critics of the first half of the season, the latter approach should also be praised.

On Domestic cup: Arsenal couldn’t qualify for the finals of the FA Cup considering that they were the cup holders and their defense of the title was abashed after they had won it with Mikel Arteta the previous season and to end that way was disappointing.

Rotation in squad saw weaker sides playing the domestic cups with games like Southampton seeming like Arsenal deserves to be eliminated for not respecting the tournament enough

The Carabao cup saw Arsenal face strong teams and won victories over Leicester City and Liverpool. Still, Manchester City was a test too strong for Arsenal as the gunners were beaten 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium and eliminated from the competition.

Continental Cup performance: Arsenal were lit all through the group stages of the Europa League, and hopes were high that after two successive final qualifications, the gunners could finally clinch the trophy if they qualify for the third time until meeting former Manager Unai Emery and his Villarreal team who finally gave Arsenal the exit.

Arteta started the first leg encounter against Villarreal without a striker, a decision which would haunt the team as many fans lost their respect for him after that because it was enough slap that Arsenal was out of the Champions League race. The Europa win was and would have been their only way to get back into the prestigious league as all eggs were in one basket, but bad decisions from the coach and lack of commitment from the players cost the club and its fans the hope they’ve clinched on all season.

In dire circumstances come light in the dark tunnel, and Arsenal had the luck of Bukayo Saka, who proved himself to be over his years carrying the gunners alongside Emile Smith Rowe for the entirety of the season, with his form raising questions if he is just 19.

Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka were tremendous, too. Even if criticized in recent seasons, it will be untruthful not to state that they have been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers all season.

Club Captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has been rather unconvincing since signing his record deal with the club, having played 26 games {3 as a sub} 2484 minutes but scoring just 10 goals for the season. While plenty have given up on him, they should remember he had carried the team for two seasons and given them two silverwares also, while being rated to Willian should be laughable.

While it is known that when teams underperform, the coach gets the boo, if being honest, fans should acknowledge that the team needs an overhaul as it is disingenuous to say that Arteta doesn’t have what it takes to build a good Arsenal team.

Our New 10

Brentford vs Arsenal 1

on what would represent a successful league campaign for Arsenal…

Our goal is to get the best version consistently that’s going to bring us closer to winning football matches. That’s what I want from the team. If we do that consistently in every single match, we’re going to be in a good place, but that’s something we haven’t done, consistently give the best version. That’s something we must control and we must do, and I think if we’re able to do that, then the results will be the consequence to that.

~ Mikel Arteta

THE BREAKDOWN:

ARSENAL VS BRENTFORD:

It is buzzing to know that football is resuming again, and with it comes the fans back to the stadium en-masse with stadium doors now open to the public, and the emotions will be full till the final whistle.

Frank Thomas began his reign as Brentford coach in 2018 with a promise that his side will be coming back to the top flight and this was achieved last season, since 74 years ago after their 2-0 Wembley win over Swansea on May 29 saw them qualify for the Premier League thanks to goals from Ivan Toney and Marcondes Emiliano.

Brentford gathered a nine-game unbeaten home record in the last end of the Championship season and is the 50th team to play in the PL and the 10th London team to qualify for the league. It is still on record that none of the 9 London teams before them did win their first game in the competition.

It will also be a different season for Arsenal fans who have witnessed their fall out of the European qualifications a pride which have been consistent in the club for 25 years, Fans could have hoped that things have changed during the market and break, but a resumption to football action saw the gunners beaten by Hibernian, Chelsea and Tottenham and now, since May 1947 where the gunners played Brentford city which ended 1-0 in favor of the gunners, Mikel Arteta and his team will travel to the Brentford Community Stadium for the opener of the 2021/22 season.

PRE-SEASON FORM:

BRENTFORD: W/W/D/L/W/W

ARSENAL: L/D/W/W/L/L

TEAM NEWS:

BRENTFORD:

Clubs have tried to snatch striker Ivan Toney who scored 33 league goals last season from the club, but with the promotion to the big league, he will stay, and Frank Thomas is sure that he will be fit to start against the gunners.

David Raya, who was linked with Arsenal, will be in goal, and his defense will involve Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock, and club new signing Kristoffer Ajer.

Josh Da-Silva will not be facing his old club due to a hip problem, and aside from him, all other players are fit to start.

ARSENAL:

Arteta has been fired with an injury hit to midfielder Thomas Partey who will be out all of August with an ankle injury sustained in a pre-season match against Chelsea.

Gabriel Mangahaes is still out with a knee problem which saw him withdraw from the Olympics, and Rob Holding is short of fitness which means new signing Ben White will pair with Pablo Mari at the back four.

Eddie Nketiah remains sidelined with an ankle issue even if he doesn’t seem like he would challenge for a start-up position. New signing Albert Sambi Lokonga could ace past Mohammed Elneny for a start in midfield. Hopefully, Arsenal will add to their midfield problems by signing Leicester’s Maddison.

POSSIBLE LINEUP:

BRENTFORD:

Raya; Jansson, Ajer, Pinock, Roerslev. Janelt, Onyeka, Norgaard, Henry; Mbuemo, Toney.

ARSENAL:

Leno; Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney. Xhaka, Lokonga, Pepe, Smith-Rowe. Aubameyang, Lacazette.

PREDICTION:

Brentford are under-dogs and should not be cast away; they have fast attack tactics and always seem to want more goals.

Prediction: Brentford 1-2 Arsenal. {Aubameyang to Score}

COYG!!!

Match Preview by Adeyemo Sola