Ferdinand ‘reserves judgement on Arsenal’ but Man Utd legend is confident newcomer will shine

Date published: Friday 5th August 2022 11:33 - Lewis Oldham

Ferdinand discusses Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand is “reserving judgement” on Arsenal after how they “fell away” last season after looking “promising” under Mikel Arteta.

The 2021/22 campaign looked set to be a torrid season for Arsenal after they lost their opening three Premier League games.

But they overcame early adversity to become one of the surprise packages last term. They benefitted from not being in Europe as they pushed for a place in the top four.

All or Nothing: Arsenal is an important doc that must be appreciated – and so should the players

The Gunners were the favourites to finish fourth with a couple of games to go. But in typical Arsenal fashion, their flakiness spoiled their party.

Mikel Arteta‘s side lost two of their last three games to end up fifth. To make matters worse, it was their rivals Tottenham who pipped them for a Champions League spot.

Arsenal are now expected to go one better this season and a positive summer transfer window has set them up to do that.

The likes of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira have signed for the Gunners, who are replenished ahead of what will be a hectic campaign.

Ferdinand is wary though that Arsenal need to be more consistent if they are going to kick on:

“They’ve been busy in the transfer market, they’ve had some good additions,” Ferdinand told The Mirror.

“But I’ll reserve judgement on Arsenal because they always look promising and then they fall away. If they can find consistency, then they’ll be a threat and they’ll push up the league. But it’s about consistency over a sustained period of time, which they’ve not been able to get too.

“They may now get that with the manager being there the time he has been, getting his philosophy into the team. They’ve looked good in pre-season, but pre-season wins don’t mean nothing when the season starts.”

Ferdinand has backed Jesus to hit the ground running at Arsenal, though. He joined them from Man City for around £45m.

He thinks Jesus “will breed confidence” in being Arsenal’s main forward:

“I think getting the best out of Jesus is making him feel like the No.1 striker, which he will be there,” Ferdinand added.

“He’s the No.9 now and that will breed confidence. I’ve always liked him anyway, but at City the No.9 role – getting the start on a regular basis – has been a problem for him.

“A lot of players need that continuity of performance and game time and he didn’t get that at City. But he has very good attributes and I think, already, he knows how to put the ball into the net.”


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