Healthy competition for places in our squad is something we’ve searched for, for a number of seasons.
It seems that we finally have the squad depth we need to get back to where we used to be, near the pinnacle of the Premier League.
Of course, the Villa loss showcases that depth means little when neither motivation or the correct selection is not there – but it is a definite big step in the right direction.
A fight for a spot in the first eleven will inevitably bring out the best in a player. Resting on your laurels can’t summon that extra 5% that is needed to truly push a player.
Our recent Europa League match against Molde showed that we have finally achieved the numbers – and quality – we needed.
In defence, we had the returning David Luiz come in for Gabriel Magalhaes and Mustafi replaced Rob Holding. While Mustafi may not be everyone’s cup of tea, with Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari to return, our central defensive numbers are in rude health.
Right back? Bellerin is on fire and with AMN and Cedric being able to deputise effectively, we are all good here.
Ditto on the left, with Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac.
It is midfield though, that we are showing strength in numbers. Against Molde, we had our second choice pairing in Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos – Who would have thought that at the start of the season, we would have Thomas Partey and Mo Elneny as our first choice midfield?
Let’s not forget the youth factor too, with Emile Smith-Rowe waiting in the wings to get his chance.
On the flanks, Willian, Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and the versatility of AMN can offer us the options to beat any stubborn defence and up top, Auba, Laca, Eddie and Balogun could well be enough to fire us to glory. Throw in Gabriel Martinelli too, and it shows how blessed our squad is and what a contrast it is to two or three years ago.
All we need now is those players to fully grasp the Arteta system and we have everything we need.
Sounds so simple…