Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9.

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Arsenal need to get back where they belong

Arsenal are one of the teams who have fallen from their usual place in the English football system over the last decade or so. The Gunners were one of the powerhouses in the Premier League from the mid-90s up until the mid-2000s, to go with their historical successes, and this had been built upon the genius of their French manager Arsene Wenger. Wenger may have only won three Premier League titles with the Gunners, but it must be remembered that these came during a time when Manchester United were the predominant force in England, under Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson and Wenger’s rivalry is the stuff of legend, and it would frequently be United and Arsenal who would be competing for the title every season during that decade. The arrival of Chelsea, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, as well as Manchester City a few years later, combined with Arsenal’s expensive construction and move to their new stadium, meant that the Gunners faded as a title challenger during Wenger’s final years in charge. Now, however, with former player Mikel Arteta at the helm, it looks as though there are finally some green shoots of recovery for Arsenal fans to look forward to.

Under Arteta, the club have made a lot of progress on the pitch, winning last season’s FA Cup, kicking off this season by beating Liverpool in the Community Shield, and putting together a discernible system and style of play. He has also been backed by the club hierarchy, who paid £45 million on transfer deadline day to bring in the Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. The 27-year-old was Arteta’s primary target in this window, and his signing shows just how much support the Spaniard has in the Arsenal boardroom. Partey, along with fellow new arrival Willian, from Chelsea, will add a lot of experience and quality to the Arsenal team, and he should go straight into the first-choice lineup once he is familiar with Arteta’s tactical demands. The midfielder won the UEFA Europa League and Super Cup during his time in Madrid, while also being a part of the team which lost the 2016 UEFA Champions League final to arch-rivals Real Madrid, and so he does have experience at the top end of the game, which will help this relatively inexperienced Arsenal squad.

Off the pitch, Arsenal have been making progress as well. The ongoing pandemic has meant that club revenues across football have taken a nosedive, with fans not being allowed into stadiums at the moment, and for the foreseeable future as well. This has reduced matchday income to zero, while commercial revenues have also fallen since sponsors are staying away from committing money to sports at present. Thus, it is vitally important for clubs to look for any way to maximize revenue, and so the news that Arsenal have signed a three-year deal with cryptocurrency-based betting provider Sportsbet.io to be their official betting partner is a welcome one. Some of the key points are that Sportsbet.io will work to provide unique solutions and opportunities in the betting markets for Arsenal fans worldwide, while also using the club’s dominance of the women’s game to push the game in Estonia, which is where the company operates from. This is just one example to show how cryptocurrencies have become quite popular in the gambling space, with best casino providers accepting cryptocurrencies as modes of payment and withdrawal. This has been especially prominent during the pandemic, with online gambling becoming more popular and cryptocurrencies also coming to the fore a lot more as well. 

The last few months have seen a lot of interest in online gambling and betting, especially due to the lack of live sports, and so it is important that football clubs move to recapture those lost audiences now that football is back. Arsenal have made a lot of strides forward, both on and off the pitch, in the last 12 months or so, and the signing of Partey is another big step ahead in that respect.

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