Arsenal have had a mixed season so far with a change in management and some varied results.
Arsenal finished outside the European spots and performed far below expectations, but have fared well in the FA Cup and against some of the bigger sides. There are, still, however, some big issues that have to be addressed. Here is a look at some of them:
One of the most glaring problems with Arsenal over the last 10 years or so, has been the weakness of their defence. For one of the ‘Big Four’ they have one of the worst defensive records in the top half of the league.
The leaky backline has been at fault for Arsenal dropping points and has been one of the main reasons why they have gone from being title contenders, to sitting outside of the Champions League spots.
They have missed out on Champions League football, as well as the financial boost that comes with it and have seen their ability to bring in top-quality players reduced as a result. There is clearly a lack of leadership on the pitch and their defence can be bullied.
Arsenal do seem like a harder team to play against under Arteta, but they still have error-prone defenders, such as David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.
The fans will be hoping that the addition of the promising William Saliba will be the start of a new era; although many believe his lack of experience may be an issue and would like to see a marquee-signing in the mould of Virgil Van Dijk.
With the recent injury to Bernd Leno, Arsenal’s frailties at the back were once again exposed. Leno has been one of the outstanding performers for Arsenal this year. He looks like the real deal, and who knows where the club would be if he hadn’t saved them on countless occasions.
His recent injury meant that Arsenal will have to finish the season with deputy goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. The Argentine has been at the club from a young age and, up to this point, had failed to break into the first team.
A string of strong, assured performances has eased any doubts fans may have had and it appears that he has what it takes to succeed. Arteta will be happy that he may not have to dip into the transfer market and will only have the task of keeping both keepers happy and competitive in the upcoming season.
Discipline and injuries
Arsenal’s injury record is legendary in the Premier League. They are a team that tend to pick up injuries and injury-prone players very easily. Over the years talents such as Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby have seen promising careers ruined by injuries. Arteta is a meticulous manager and you would expect him to be working overtime to make sure his players have the best conditions to be successful.
Discipline has recently become a problem at Arsenal, with a string of silly red cards and conceded penalties getting in the way of progress.
In a recent game against Brighton, Matteo Guendouzi was caught in a scandal after having an on-pitch altercation with Brighton’s Neil Maupay. Arteta subsequently dropped him from his match squad and disciplined him. It remains to be seen whether he stays at the club or whether he leaves.
If Arteta wants to strengthen, he won’t have a lot to spend. It is rumoured that he will have to sell to buy and may have to concentrate on securing loan deals or free transfers. Many clubs will be in a similar position; a lot will depend on the wages and quality of football a club can offer.
It appears there is a great deal of work for Mikel Arteta to do at Arsenal, if he wants any chance of challenging for silverware and the Premier League title next season. It will be an interesting year for all clubs, with less money expected to be available in the market. Expect things to change quickly though, as Arteta doesn’t seem the type to hang around!
But regarding some of his current players, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for example, Arteta certainly has the desire to extend his contract as he is one of the strongest components of the team, scoring 22 times and delivering 5 assists for his teammates. No surprise fans often bet on his performance and the odds are usually high regarding PEA. To be sure to have the right information in real-time during the games and place their bets as soon as it becomes interesting for them, indeed, fans usually keep an eye at the lastest news at LegalBetting, where there can be found all types of tips on form and the best odds for football games.
It will be interesting to see how the players perform in the FA Cup final this weekend. One thing is for sure, hard work will be done on the training pitch, both from the starters and the substitutes. As we have already seen, Arteta has started work on getting the best out of what he has and improving individual players.
Aubameyang and Ozil
Two of the most talked-about players at Arsenal are Aubameyang and Ozil, both with only a year remaining on their contracts and both in different situations. Both the Arsenal fans and the manager are desperate to keep hold of Aubameyang and are willing him to extend his contract at the club. Meanwhile, the common consensus seems to be that it would be a good idea to sell Ozil.
Aubameyang has been Arsenal’s top scorer every season he has been at the club and is currently club captain. Ozil is the highest-paid player at the club, who, at times, shows moments of brilliance but has been far from consistent. Arteta will want to resolve the situation with both players before the next season begins.