It feels as if the momentum of the current crisis at Arsenal has a life of its own and with each poor result, the noose tightens. At the heart of the situation are rumours that several key players are no longer on board with Arteta’s tactics or methods and there are now suggestions of simmering tensions behind the scenes.
Certain players are said to be forming close associations at the expense of team unity with Mikel Arteta looking increasingly isolated by the day. The inexperienced Spaniard is in unknown territory without a reference point for this type of continuous failure.
His decision to change personnel, formations, and tactics have led to Arsenal becoming immensely hard viewing with zero ability to fashion goals from open play. With one of the best-looking attacks in the Premier League, Arsenal can’t buy a goal. The defensive improvements have also started to unravel, with the Gunners shipping goals at one end whilst being unable to score them at the other.
The summer was an ideal time to refresh the middle of the park in the knowledge that the rift between Mesut Ozil and the club had virtually ruled him out of selection. Arteta was allegedly informed that the intention was to keep the player out of the squad and without a suitable replacement, this season was always going to be difficult to navigate.
The Spanish boss is now scrambling around for a solution but maybe victim to his self-doubts which could be impacting his ability and decision making. Looking at the side, it’s clear that something needs to be done with so many players underperforming and looking tired.
When players come out to play at the Emirates with a bowed head, dropped shoulders and a glum face, you know there’s a problem. Aubameyang was one of the happiest and energised characters in the squad but during the Burnley defeat, he looked deeply troubled and dissatisfied, wishing he was anywhere other than a damp North London.
There are now whispers that Arteta has fallen out with at least two senior players in recent weeks, one of those players being Brazilian defender David Luiz. It’s unclear why they are at odds or why there is a division, but there are said to be obvious tensions. Disagreements on the training ground have disrupted preparations and split the camp further with Arteta furiously trying to stop the whole thing from imploding.
How different it all is compared to the end of last season and the beginning of this. There was an air of optimism and harmony but after a string of poor results domestically, that’s disappeared extremely quickly and again, Arsenal are in the midst of the ever-growing crisis.
Arsenal are now in real danger of free-falling into the relegation zone with a list of tricky fixtures ahead including Southampton and Everton. Performances are one thing but points are another and if Arteta can’t take four points from those games, his recent successes in the Europa League will be a thing of the past as Arsenal’s owner and board reassess the position.
Arteta was on a hiding to nothing from the moment he took the job and his inexperience was always going to be a millstone around his neck. The simple fact is that Arsenal failed to act swiftly over the last three years, courtesy of a chaotic hierarchy and they are now suffering the consequences of an ongoing crisis.
At least 8 players shouldn’t be there and not enough effort was made in the summer to move them on resulting in Arsenal’s transfer plans being put on ice. Yes, they bought players but they never solved the main problem in the middle, even with the exciting addition of Thomas Partey.
Social media was awash with fans calling for Arteta’s sacking after the Burnley defeat and things won’t get any easier leading up to Christmas. Unless Arteta has a complete rethink, his departure may be inevitable.