If Arsenal are to have any chance of qualifying for Europe next season, Mikel Arteta needs to stop the rot that has crept in since injuries took a grip on his squad.
After three consecutive defeats, his young squad is on the ropes and things don’t get easier from here on in. Tomorrow, the Gunners head to Chelsea, on Saturday Manchester United visits the Emirates and then we face a tricky trip to West Ham. It really is ‘squeaky bum time’ as that puce-faced Scot used to say.
So how difficult has the last couple of weeks been for the boss and his young squad?
“Very difficult,” he said. “At this club it’s only about winning, and they were three different games, but with the same outcome.
“We are extremely unsatisfied with that, we know that, we’re hurting, but at the same time we know how we lost and what we merited from those games are not reflected in the amount of points that we taken.
“We have to understand why we lost those games as well, but there is nothing to look back on. Everything is still to play for, our ambition is still intact, our desire is still intact. We know the challenge ahead and we’re going to go for it.”
In some respects, Arsenal’s situation could be a lot worse right now. Thanks to those clubs around us in the table also fluffing their lines in recent weeks, we remain within touching distance of the top four.
Of course, to turn our Champions League dreams into a reality, we need to start scoring goals. While the Gunners have dominated the last two games and created plenty of clear cut chances, we’ve struggled to put the ball in the net and it’s clearly taking a toll on the confidence of the collective.
“Our efficiency in front of goal, and what the teams have produced in our own box with the amount of chances they created, there is no relationship there at all,” reflected Arteta.
So what does he do to lift the mood? “[Be] Very clear with why we have lost the games and then give them more support and confidence and be behind them because it is what they need and what we are going to need altogether between here and the end of the season.
“When things go well it’s easy. It’s all about ‘we’ but when things don’t go that well, maybe it’s about ‘him’. I hate that and I’m the first one to try to apply myself to do that, defend our players, protect them and let them be who they’ve been because they’ve been pretty good to be fair.”
If you’re looking for a good luck omen ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge, according to Opta, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) league meetings with Chelsea (W5 D6), since a 2-1 home defeat in December 1974.
Now that’s a record to cling to.
Get Van Persie out of retirement. Can’t be worse than some of other striker options 🙂
If we’re going down that road then I’d rather have TH14 and DB10.
Hopefully Laca is back.. He hasn’t been scoring (over 21 hours since his last goal from open play) but he was linking the team together well. Otherwise our options aren’t great. Pepe upfront is possible as he does score though not so good at linking play.
I’m not optimistic for the next few matches (given the quality and losing records of the three teams we’ve most recently lost to) but hope I’m wrong.
Laca is back…?
To do what….?
Chase shadows all match, two yards behind everyone else? Give possession away and then go to ground whinging at the ref? Getting in Martinelli’s way when a chance crops up?
Hopefully he is NEVER back. EVER.
Who was playing upfront through our successful period when we got up to 4th in the league?
I completely agree with the last Arsecast: the fumbling of the January transfer window is behind this. But I do believe that Arteta and Edu must carry a major portion of the blame. I still think Arteta’s lack of experience is a problem. If they didn’t have the money in January (yet they went for Dusan Vlah?) he should have found a way to patch things up with Auba. And how can anyone justify getting rid of Chambers when we were so clearly in need? Not good.
Maybe true on Auba, but we must remember that he produced almost nothing for more than a year and was on 350k. Meanwhile Laca did pretty well the first months of his absence so it seemed affordable to clear out the wage bill and spend that extra money in the summer. Still. Auba as a sub instead of Nketiah is a nobrainer. Perhaps they put too much hope on Nketiah stepping up in case Laca would lose form. He hasn’t stepped up and now Arteta and Edu look naive. (If we end up with Nunez for 70m, it will look… Read more »
And Auba straight away went on a massive scoring run with Barcelona. The talent is still clearly there, this highlights back Arteta’s inability to work with certain players – and this is definitely an age factor. He keeps around his yes men per se and ship off anyone who has a different opinion. To add, he lets all these players go for next to nothing, that’s a massive loss on initial investments. Next in line is Pepè, I’m quite certain of it.
Aruba’s Barca scoring spree just shows how poor his efforts were for us for the last 12 months of his time at Arsenal. He may seem like a sunny nice guy but how quickly he began banging them in in Spain is a big fuck you to Arsenal and more than likely Arteta!
We must also remember that Auba was given that contract by Arteta. Arteta had three options in the summer of 2020/21: He could have sold him – he didn’t. He could kept him for the remaining year and let him go on a free – he didn’t. He could have given him a massive contract and make him the clear go-to guy at striker, changing the system to work for him – he didn’t. None of these options is obviously wrong, all had their pros and cons. But Arteta chose the fourth option: Give him the massive contract but not… Read more »
Top top post. Best post I’ve read on this site in ages.
Chambers fate was sealed when he missed that header against Brentford on opening day
I can imagine us beating Utd. And drawing against West Ham.
In confused as West Ham is United.
All those who thought it was ‘great that we didn’t panic buy in January’ – all those who were bidding Auba farewell with abuse.
Fill. Your. Boots.
I was sorry that Aubameyang left as he did, not abusing him; I felt the same about Ozil. I don’t know what happened in either case, and neither do you. What I do know is that is does no good to constantly re-litigate either situation for months or years on end.
It is, in my view, even worse to reopen these issues when the team are struggling but never acknowledge, when we are winning and challenging for top four, that those same decisions may have played a part in the success as well.
Aubameyang pretty much hung up his boots after signing his new contract, 18 months of mediocrity led to the club cutting its losses so I don’t blame them for moving him on, but surely there was at least one striker who we could have brought in on loan last January?
I would have taken Giroud back. Considering the amounts of crosses we whip in now
Deschamps knew the truth. I’ve enjoyed Laca at times, and to give him credit he was pretty great the first year or two, but I do look all the way back and think we should never have bought him. Auba and Giroud I imagine being a more ballanced pair than Auba and Laca.
Yaya Sanogo is looking for a club. Just saying.
Yeah, tell that to Barca fans.
I’ll be holding fingers, thumbs, toes and maybe my eyes for three points from tomorrows game.
Maybe go all in with a 433 formation, and instead of sending all our players upfield with the ball, keep the formation tight and counter… Unless we are behind on goals, then just throw all our subs at them, literally.
Dont know why Torerra was banished if Im honest. Would have been nice to have seen him as back up for Thomas.
Totally get banishing the “bad eggs” but no suggestion Lucas was that. Same applies for AMN. A great utility player in my mind despite his struggles at Roma.
It breaks my heart Auba not being there but clearly bridges were burnt. Was there not a recall on Balogun? The squad just seems so depressingly thin with those 3 injured.
Pepe surely should be having more minutes ? He jsut need a run of games imo.
Torreira wasn’t banished, he wanted to go. He never settled in England, he had personal tragedy, and wanted out.
Thank you, the narrative has been rewritten that Torreira wasn’t good enough. People forget “Torreira Good”
Wouldn’t mind seeing Martinelli up front tomorrow.
He’s great out wide but I see a born striker, shades of Fat Ronaldo.
We’ve got depth out wide with Pepe, ESR, Saka etc
I know we are not in the training sessions to see what happens, but my personal view: You are not a world class manager if you play Eddie and put Pepe on bench. Whatever is your reason, it looks shit to me.
I’d go further. You simply CANNOT get rid of world class players such as Ozil and Auba, without replacing that quality like for like – and expect to carry on regardless.
It’s like using flour and water instead of proper wallpaper paste – eventually your expensive Regency stripe is going to collapse, because you’ve not done the fucking job properly.
Arteta can talk and talk and talk some more. Talk all he wants.
The fact remains; HE HASN’T DONE HIS JOB PROPERLY.
Ozil was a long, long way from world class when he left. Hadn’t been close to that level for at least a couple of seasons.
Same with Auba. I really liked him, but his last 18 months were an increasing struggle.
Point about replacing is valid though. Odegaard came in for Ozil, but nobody for Auba was a big, big mistake.
Well, no need to use those formerly world class ones to the point that they worth less than a penny. They could have sold Ozil and Auba with a reasonable price, rather than putting them on bench or stands for such a long time. Yes, its true that you cannot afford selling for zero and buying for millions.
And I’m not the one who chases all news here and there, but the number of players who could not play for him seems too many. Maybe more than the whole Wenger era!
Fair points. I would say, however, two things. First, Ozil. With creative, skilful players, such as Best, Brady, Hoddle, Beckham – and Ozil, the pace leaves the player as he gets older, but the skill is always there. Consequently, I still maintain that Ozil could have still done a useful job, had he been employed by a manager who was intelligent enough to employ a system that allowed for variation of tactics. Ozil’s strength was his distribution – he made the ball do the work. He didn’t have to chase about like a tit in trance playing a heavy press,… Read more »
I’d suggest Willian & Ceballos were Ozil replacements given the amount of time they spent rotating through the 10 position during our flirtation with relegation. Odegaard replaced those two unmitigated failures. Sure Ozil was no longer world class but he was comfortably creating more chances per 90 minutes than any other player in the squad in the previous season. Auba might be past his best but his banging in the goals is an indictment on Arteta. Pepe will be next to be frozen out. I also recall Ian Wright saying as much after Auba was moved on. I’ve been thinking… Read more »
Blogs – what’s you view on HFB for a million back in Jan… I for one cannot see any downside?
I’m sure the desire is intact. They seem to be taking good care of it.
It’s probably wrapped in cotton wool and locked in a safety deposit box somewhere, as it was nowhere to be seen on Saturday.
He’s starting to come out with his sound bites again.
He was doing that all January. I wonder why….
Klopp talks about joy. We talk about efficiently and challenge.
I know where I would rather work.
On a more serious note, we don’t have three players who can match Pogba, Ronaldo and Fernandes for quality (all WC/EC winners) in our match day squad. We have potential but we don’t have those three “exceptional” world class players. And even so we’re above those cunts so imagine how bad it could be.
Given results around us what are the odds we ‘do a Steven Bradbury’ into 4th position?
I really despise Chelsea football club. Shit club across the board. They’re better than us at this point, which will make it all the sweeter if we manage to defeat those miserable clowns.