It seems ridiculous to even consider Mikel Arteta’s position after just two defeats, but it was the manner of the losses that is deeply troubling and there are rumours of training room divisions that could explain the lacklustre performances. Arsenal are short and until he can complete at least one, possibly two further transfer windows, their progress will fluctuate, that’s assuming Arteta remains in his post beyond Christmas.
The Kroenke’s (Beavis and Butthead) are said to support a long term plan by Arteta and there is evidence that they should, but if the performances aren’t forthcoming and Arsenal somehow seem stuck in a low gear around the tenth position around Christmas, the pressure of the fans could start to tell and force the owners into a massive and risky rethink.
I’ve lost count of how many times it’s been said that Arsenal have no leaders but Arteta needs to find one to help him in his quest to re-establish the tired-looking club. Tierney will be ready in a season or two but Arteta doesn’t have time to wait, he needs an influencer on the pitch, but he also needs to learn how to allow the players to express themselves rather than be shackled to a restrictive set of tactics or game plan.
A great many fans think the season might not begin until the fifth game of the season against Norwich, but if possible, Arsenal need points before the Canaries visit or they may find the hole they’re in getting significantly bigger. It remains a mystery just what the real problem is, but it feels as if Arsenal, regardless of personnel, are a pushover with little resistance in a scrap.
Arsenal aren’t hard to beat. The plan is a simple one, just keep them pegged back, rush them in possession, double up in defence and restrict the time and space on the ball. Intensity is key and the ability to apply sustained pressure as Arsenal try to establish their usual passing game. That’s just the recipe for clubs outside the top ten, inside the top ten will be worse because of the competition for European places.
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One can be slightly more optimistic for October, but Arsenal lack the strength and quality to bully their way into contention and that’s one problem Arteta needs to resolve quickly and before Christmas. If Arsenal can locate their missing spirit, they might make a good comeback but even with the additions, they look short.
We were hoping to see a reaction against Chelsea after the Brentford drubbing, but it was more of the same except for two or three players. Romelu Lukaku dazzled for the Blues as the Gunners lost 2-0, two defeats from two games. Arteta needs to show some signs of improvement very, very quickly.
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