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What can Arsenal do to improve over the summer?


Now the dust has settled on Arsenal’s 2018/19 season, many fans will be looking toward next year. The season just gone was something of a frustrating one for many, with Unai Emery’s side looking good in parts but finishing the campaign with nothing to show for it. However, there were certainly signs of better things to come. A run to the Europa League final coupled with a solid league finish leaves Arsenal fans with some cause for optimism next year.

That is reflected to some degree by the odds bookmakers are already offering for an Arsenal league victory in 2019/20. Currently, they are being quoted at odds of 28/1 to clinch the Premier League trophy which leaves them around 6th in the overall betting. For some, this may prove a tempting bet to take on. US Arsenal fans in states where gambling is legal can even head online now to do this. New Jersey is one of the leading lights here – NJ online casino sites and sportsbooks have been legal for a while compared to other states.

Before putting any money down, it would be worth seeing if the manager addresses the key concerns detailed below during the offseason.

Tighten up at the back

 Perhaps the major glaring weakness obvious to many football fans is Arsenal’s lacklustre defence. That is particularly true at centre-back where players like Mustafi are just not of sufficient quality. To improve the team over the summer, Emery must sign at least a couple of top-class defenders to shore up the backline. That will stop them leaking goals and to become much tougher to play against.

Stick to one formation

Something that many think will improve Arsenal next year is for the manager to stop tinkering with how the team is set-up. In 2018/19, Emery was maybe guilty of changing formation and personnel too much. Many believe this led to confusion amongst his players and a lack of stability in the team. It also left little chance for partnerships between players to develop. The 3-4-1-2 seems to be the best formation for Arsenal at present and Emery could improve the team by deciding to stick with this over the summer.

Deal with the Ozil question

Mesut Ozil is a really divisive player for some Arsenal fans. It was apparent last year that he had troubles with the manager and did not have a great season. Six goals and three assists are not good enough for a player like him. When on song though, his creativity and passing can really take Arsenal up a level. Therefore, it would seem that Emery must find a way over the summer to make him happier and into the team to help the Gunners succeed next year. If he cannot do that he might need to sell him to finance new players coming in and also to avoid the drama seen around this player last year.

Invest in the whole squad

One thing that many fans think can be achieved over the summer months is for serious investment to be made into the whole squad. We have already noted defence as a key area but in truth many positions need to be looked at and improved with new signings needed in many areas. That is not just replacing under-performing squad members – Arsenal are losing some players due to retirement or for failing to make it into the Champions League next year. The goalkeeper is one example, with Petr Cech retiring. Although the transfer budget may be relatively small, Emery must clear out the dead wood and bring in some new faces over the summer to improve the team.

Work with the players

With what will be a fairly small transfer budget in Premier League terms, Emery cannot completely buy his way out of trouble. Even with a couple of new defenders and a few other players coming in, he will still need to improve those already with him in many positions. He must work hard with his current squad to improve them and make them better players overall. That is especially true for the younger ones who may have a big part to play next season. It is not just footballing skills that need to be worked on – Emery must find a way to remove the mental block about playing away from home.

Arsenal look forward to an even better 2019/20

While things may not have panned out quite how Arsenal fans hoped last season, there is plenty of room for hope looking forward. If the manager implements the above changes over the summer and when heading into next season, then it could be a great year for the club. It could see Arsenal having a real go for the league title or perhaps claiming a coveted Champions League spot if not.

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