Arsenal project under threat after Newcastle United takeover
- Credit: PA
The takeover of Newcastle United poses a threat to football as we know it, but through a more immediate and narrow lens it poses a huge threat to Arsenal’s current project.
The injection of money into Newcastle from the Saudi-led consortium puts greater pressure on Mikel Arteta’s plan not only to succeed but to succeed quickly.
We have already seen the ease with which Manchester City and Chelsea took the jump to being title challengers, Liverpool have already built a successful team over the course of six years, and it is only a matter of time before Manchester United enter that top group.
Already Arsenal’s task of re-establishing themselves in the top four looked difficult - now Newcastle are poised to capitalise on any mistake the Gunners make.
The positive way to look at it is that Arsenal have hope.
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Arsenal are assembling a group of young, talented individuals, from coaching staff to players, with the potential to replicate Liverpool’s journey.
That is not to say Arsenal will win the Premier League and Champions League in the next few years, but there is at least hope of progress, and if Arsenal can enter the top four, the extra revenue provides an opportunity.
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However, unlike the experiment of Unai Emery, Arsenal have no room to falter.
A bad transfer window or two, more winless months, further contract issues and Arsenal could squander their chance with Newcastle inevitably on the rise.
On the plus side, Arteta has shown progress and that he can handle pressure.
Last year after a woeful half season, he led a staggering turnaround.
After the poor start to this season, he answered by winning the next three games and becoming Premier League Manager of the Month.
Arteta is by no means perfect, and he has a long way to go before he is the finished article as a manager, but he mirrors the development of Arsenal’s current project and has the determination to see it through.
Arsenal’s project may not succeed, and Newcastle may leapfrog the Gunners, but there is at least hope for Arsenal to return to the top.