Mikel Arteta is the very mannequin of a contemporary supervisor: trendily dressed with not a hair misplaced, a person with a plan for each Arsenal event. For all of the world he seems like the brand new Pep Guardiola, his mentor at Manchester Metropolis. Identical depth, identical seek for perfection. However after profitable each the FA Cup and the Group Defend in his first 9 months with the Gunners, doubts are starting to creep in that the Arteta medication might not, in spite of everything, present the moment treatment Arsenal’s followers envisaged. In brief, the honeymoon could also be over.
Up to now this season, Arsenal have gained 4 and misplaced 4 within the Premier League, leaving them three factors worse off than when Unai Emery was in cost at this final season. This isn’t the beginning Arteta had in thoughts as he takes purpose on the prime 4 and qualifying for the Champions League subsequent season. Arteta himself admitted that the Gunners “have an extended option to go”.
It appeared as if the workforce was actually beginning to click on, particularly after a tactically good show in a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Nov. 1 ended a five-year look ahead to an away win towards a Large Six membership. But only a week later, Arteta’s gamers regarded jaded and clueless within the face of an enthralling show by Aston Villa, who coasted to a 3-0 win on the Emirates Stadium.
Certainly, the limp show was a close to carbon copy of the earlier dwelling sport, when Leicester Metropolis sat again towards a largely toothless assault and gained all three factors with a Jamie Vardy breakaway objective close to the top.
In each video games, it typically appeared that you would learn a chapter of a ebook within the time it took Arsenal to construct an assault. So many passes, so few incisive ones. The workforce is averaging beneath 9 pictures per match, one of many worst outputs within the Premier League.
At occasions the workforce has regarded over coached as if the gamers try to recollect all of the traces within the tactical plot hatched by a supervisor who might have to permit his gamers extra freedom. An X issue is lacking for the second.
Particularly, the type of the captain and star striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, is trigger for concern ever since he signed a profitable new three-year deal value about £55 million. Final yr he scored 22 targets, inserting him second behind Jamie Vardy for the Premier League Golden Boot. This season? Aubameyang has two within the league, with one in all them coming from the penalty spot. To make issues worse, he hasn’t scored at dwelling but, both.
There is no such thing as a doubting Aubamayang’s high quality. He has exceeded 25 targets in all competitions for the final six seasons, however for the second he’s chopping the determine of a misplaced soul out on the left of the assault. May a transfer to a extra central function pay dividends?
Aubameyang has not been helped by a weak provide line, with new signing Willian struggling to make an impression and Alexandre Lacazette trying off the tempo, too, with no objective in his final six appearances. The Gabon worldwide, whose 5 targets helped defeat Manchester Metropolis, Chelsea and Liverpool in the summertime, did so with the workforce sitting deep and countering shortly. However in video games when Arsenal have needed to play on the entrance foot this season, he has been unable to prosper.
The midfield has a brand new look with £45m Thomas Partey and a resurgent Mohamed Elneny most popular to the cup-winning duo of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos within the final two league video games. However of these 4, the stress is on Ceballos to be the move picker who can unlock a defence, and he’s one other one who has probably not fired thus far.
In fact, Arsenal do have a World Cup-winning creator on their books in Mesut Ozil, who has mainly been despatched to a footballing model of Siberia by Arteta for causes that haven’t been totally defined. Ozil has not kicked a ball for the membership since March, regardless of his £350,000-a-week wages.
However the thought occurred greater than as soon as watching the struggles within the final two dwelling video games: Would Ozil’s craft and talent to discover a killer remaining ball have made a distinction? Definitely, his inactivity is making it virtually inconceivable to dump him. Who pays prime wages for a participant with 10 months of rust to shed come the January switch window?
One attacking midfield man who has starred and scored within the final two Europa video games is Joe Willock, however he can’t even make the bench within the Premier League. Arteta might need a rethink on that one if his assault continues to misfire. Striker Eddie Nketiah and the current teenage England debutant Bukayo Saka are different causes to imagine Arsenal’s kind can decide up.
However there may be one other concern right here: Have been Arsenal proper to promote their cup-winning keeper Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for a modest price of round £20m? Martinez has regarded little wanting sensational after stepping in for the injured Bernd Leno after the June restart. He performed brilliantly in each Arsenal’s summer time trophy triumphs and was picked forward of a fit-again Leno to play towards Liverpool within the Group Defend. That was his final sport for the Gunners. All fairly unusual.
Subsequent up for Arsenal is a visit to Leeds, whose gung-ho attacking fashion may play into their fingers, permitting them to flourish on the break. It is a perfect alternative to win and alter the unsure temper about which manner the season is heading. Arteta’s reputation score was off the charts with Gunners followers at the beginning of the marketing campaign. He’ll know solely too effectively how shortly the stardust may be blown away if this massive membership continues to languish in mid-table.