Since Mikel Arteta took over the reins at Arsenal, he has held great stock in getting everyone to trust the process.
Seemingly understanding from the get-go that this wasn’t going to be an overnight job, the Spaniard has been taking measures to rid the squad of its bad apples and those players who are just not of sufficiently good quality to be pulling on the red shirt.
Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and, on Deadline Day this January, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, had all been dispensed with after falling foul of Arteta’s strict behavioural code.
Whether or not the players themselves agreed with the decisions made by the manager is largely irrelevant.
Arteta has brought the age of the squad down significantly with quality additions from the Academy, however, it’s a lack of action in the most recent transfer market which appears to be leaving many Arsenal fans questioning whether, in fact, he’s gone too far in this window.
Alongside Aubameyang, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun, Sead Kolasinac, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers were all allowed to leave the North Londoners, but none of them have been replaced.
It’s forced Arteta to approach the second stage of the season with just 18 first-team players, and only a couple of recognised strikers.
Whether the manager’s attempt to cleanse the dressing room is a master stroke or a terrible attempt at progression, will only be seen over the course of the next six months.
Arsenal have to finish inside the top four in order to qualify for the Champions League. Anything less could be a travesty, their awful start notwithstanding.