Arsenal are stuck in a rut. 3 FA Cup winners’ medals in 4 years aside, what have they actually done? In the past thirteen years they have one Premier League silver medal (2016) and three FA Cups (2014, 2015 & 2017) and haven’t finished in the Champions League places the past two seasons.
They need inspiration.
They need success.
They need someone who’ll spend money.
Luckily, I’ve got a copy of FIFA with plenty of virtual pennies and an encyclopaedic tactical knowledge. So we go back in time to 2016 (alright, fuckers, I’ve not bought a FIFA since FIFA 17 so we’ll have to use that) as well as the 1930s to the beginning of the FIFA World Cup.
Italy were the first team to win successive World Cup trophies with their revolutionary 2-3-5 formation, taking the traditional sixth forward and playing them as a half-back midfielder. Michele Andreolo (1938) and Luis Monti (1934) acted like a more offensive Franz Beckenbauer.
This needed a completely new team, of course. Could you imagine Granit Xhaka or Mohammed Elneny playing the all-encompassing half-back?
The back-to-back World Cup winning sides of 1934 & 1938 of Italy.
TRANSFERS | £336.5million spent, £103.35m sold
IN: Dele Alli (£45m), Julian Draxler (£50m), Kylian Mbappe (£17.5m), Gianluigi Donnarumma (£10m + part ex.), Jonathan Tah (£33m), Youri Tielemans (£20m), Leon Goretzka (£30m), Hirving Lozano (£12m), Corentin Tolisso (£29m), Niklas Sule (£30m)
OUT: Mesut Ozil (£60m – PSG), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£17.5m – West Ham), Aaron Ramsey (£23m – Roma), Petr Cech (part ex. – A.C. Milan), Mathieu Debuchy (£7m – Everton), Danny Welbeck (£17.5m – Schalke), Francis Coquelin (£7.25m – Atalanta), David Ospina (£8m – Bournemouth), Kieran Gibbs (£4.6m – West Ham), Gabriel (£11.5m – Juventus), Mohamed Elneny (£7m – Stoke)
The quartet of Tolisso, Alli, Draxler & Sule came in on transfer deadline to fill the gap left behind by Mesut Ozil & Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s combined £77m switch. One went to PSG, the other went to West Ham – match them up if you can.
Yeah, I spent a lot of money. So what. Yeah, the team’s not well balanced. So what. “Oh you’re spending money like it’s FIFA.” It is.
It’s not realistic. Imagine if Arsenal took this formation up to Newcastle or Sunderland – they’d get demolished. Stick three forwards on that back two and they’d get demolished. The reason Italy won these World Cups was their calibre of players was vastly superior and everyone played 5 or 6 up front. Their revolutionary three in midfield allowed them to overrun teams like USA, Spain, Austria in 1934.
The Arsenal team for the 2016-17 season.
ARSENAL 3 | Ozil (2’), Wilshere (52’ 65’), (Tah sent off 72’)
LIVERPOOL 1 | Firmino (73’ pen)
Humiliated Liverpool inside 70 seconds as Liverpool’s back four was static against our front 5 of Lozano – Cazorla – Ozil – Mbappe – Alexis. We didn’t have our proper front five out and we were demolishing the tactical genius of Jurgen Klopp.
For all the money spent in August, three non-signings got the goals – Jack Wilshere with a couple of R2 finishes from the edge of the box.
We finished with one defender as I couldn’t be bothered to make a sub from my shite bench.
ARSENAL 2 | Ozil (14’ pen, 49’ pen)
Too busy with transfer dealings and it was late so I simmed this (sorry mum)
ARSENAL 1 | Cazorla (88’)
LEAGUE CUP ROUND TWO
It’s Bury in the League Cup, so ofc I simmed, I’m not that dedicated
ARSENAL 2 | Sanchez (8’), Oxlade-Chamberlain (55’)
Last sim as it was close to deadline day, had to push that Ozil-Alli-Draxler triangular deals through, you can’t play a 6-min aside match with that sort of transfer behemoth on your mind
AUGUST MANAGER OF THE MONTH bitchez
TABLE | after three matches
Arsenal , Sunderland , Swansea , Chelsea , Tottenham , Man City