When Arsenal beat Manchester United final month for his or her first league win at Old Trafford in 14 years, the north London membership appeared to have turned a nook after two straight home defeats. Mikel Arteta’s facet had misplaced to Manchester City and Leicester earlier than the win over United. Those three factors appeared the springboard Arsenal wanted to enhance their league type. Having gained the FA Cup over a pandemic-hit summer season, issues appeared to fall into place for the former Premier League champions.
Yet, right here we’re seven weeks later with Arsenal in a full-blown disaster, having managed simply two factors from their final seven league video games. The Gunners—4 wins and eight losses in 14 video games—have managed 5 factors out of a attainable 30 from their final 10 Premier League video games. How abysmal Arsenal have been in the league could be gauged from their scoring statistics—three objectives in the final seven and 4 from the final 10 video games, two of these coming from the penalty spot. A yr into his time period, there are already requires Arteta to go.
As a Sky Sports graphic throughout Saturday night’s 2-1 loss at Everton confirmed, Arsenal have been the worst workforce in the league after the October worldwide break by way of objectives scored, capturing accuracy and shot conversion; the second worst by way of photographs on course.
Summer signing Willian maybe sums up Arsenal’s type. Having began off with three assists in opposition to Fulham, the winger has contributed little to the assaults, managing one shot on course in the league; he has additionally been closely criticised for sometimes failing to offer defensive cowl to the full-again behind him.
“Normally when a team is in this position it is battered every week, and it’s not the case. We’ve been better than the opponent every single week but we are not winning football matches, so we have to realise that,” a defiant Arteta stated after Saturday’s loss.
“When we generated the chances, a lot of situations at the end ended up in chances. At the end, it’s the last pass, the last dribble, the last shot, and what we need is a bit of luck. We hit the bar.”
While Arteta’s claims about dominating video games “every single week” shouldn’t be fully factual there is no such thing as a arguing his admission about the underwhelming ending. Individual errors haven’t helped both. When Arsenal had been on the ascendancy in opposition to Southampton at dwelling, a unnecessary second yellow card for Gabriel pressured Arteta to go defensive and salvage a degree. In the earlier recreation in opposition to Burnley, a second of insanity from Granit Xhaka—he grabbed a rival participant by the throat—that resulted in a pink card value Arsenal the recreation.
Defensively too, Arsenal have continued to wrestle. They have managed simply three clear sheets, all away from dwelling. As of Saturday, seven groups in the league had conceded fewer objectives than the Gunners this marketing campaign. Numerous Arsenal’s present troubles although are right down to their assault.
THE AUBA SAGA
After final season, Arsenal prioritised the contract extension of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over a brand new signing. The most outstanding attacking signing was that of Willian, 32, on a free switch from London rivals Chelsea. Arsenal acquired a key midfielder in Thomas Partey and an important defensive signing was Gabriel, however some notable positions had been ignored.
Since the sidelining of Mesut Ozil, the membership has missed a inventive midfielder in the same mould. The membership’s technical director Edu just lately admitted that at a supporters’ discussion board. “It’s quite clear that we need a player with creativity in the middle; we don’t have that in the squad right now.”
Arsenal have a superb mixture of attacking gamers—some skilled, a number of younger weapons and gamers who supply the supervisor choices to make use of completely different mixtures. However, it’s clear Arteta has struggled to accommodate all the greatest ones on the pitch. Aubameyang, as an example, discovered himself moved broad to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette over the previous couple of months. Lacazette although has been inconsistent whereas Aubameyang’s type has dipped alarmingly.
PEPE FLOP SHOW
Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal’s most costly signing, too has struggled for an everyday beginning place. Youngster Matteo Guendouzi being frozen out over his angle and subsequently despatched to Hertha Berlin on mortgage doesn’t make for a superb studying on Arteta both. The French midfielder has earned reward in Germany for his revival this season and will have been a helpful possibility for Arsenal presently.
So, is it time for Arteta to go? The 38-yr-outdated Catalan tactician in his first main teaching function has made his justifiable share of errors however it’s no secret Arsenal’s issues transcend a number of managerial errors. For starters, the membership’s switch technique over the previous couple of years has been extra spontaneous than deliberate. Arsenal have signed costly attackers with out figuring out match all of them in the squad and have did not prioritise drawback areas.
Signing ageing gamers on substantial wages and with out a lot resale worth too has been a theme for some time. A slew of boardroom adjustments in current occasions haven’t helped Arsene Wenger’s successors—Unai Emery and Arteta—by way of continuity.
The instability and decline seen at Arsenal is an indictment of the Stan Kroenke possession. While fears of Arsenal going the Leeds United method—the latter is again in Premier League after 16 years—could also be exaggerated, it might discover itself additional adrift of its largest home rivals if there isn’t higher route, stability and ambition at the highest echelons of the membership.