Mikel Arteta joining Arsenal midway through the 2019/2020 season was a breath of fresh air.
As the results took a turn for the better, Arsenal’s rebuild seemed promising. But after ten fixtures into the new season, Arsenal’s struggles are looking worse than ever.
Although hard to believe, and swallow, Arsenal are currently seven points adrift of the relegation zone and are joint third for the most losses this season so far. Something fans and critics did not expect. I don’t think anyone was expecting Arsenal to compete for the League title this season, but sitting in 14th and just three points ahead of 16th placed Brighton is embarrassing.
Arsenal has now played ten fixtures (W4 D1 L5) and with more defeats than wins, worry at the club is starting to set in. It is the worst start to an Arsenal Premier League season in thirty-nine years.
With only ten goals this season, the problem in London is pointing towards the lack of creative efforts and goals scored. Funnily enough, Arsenal has scored more goals (12) in their four European fixtures than they have in their 10 Premier League meetings this season, and 50% of their current goal tally was achieved away from home.
Well, what can we take from this? It’s a damn shame that Arsenal’s goal-scoring efforts haven’t translated into their domestic fixtures and they’re performing better away from home. Their schedule has been challenging and let us be honest, Arteta has never been gifted with a budget that can completely transform the Arsenal squad. We should look at this squad as a slow build, but also recognise that Arteta cannot continue to experiment game to game. Find something that works and stick to it.
Three Home Losses Back to Back
Leicester, Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton have each collected three points from Arsenal consecutively, and all fixtures should have favoured ‘The Gunners’ at home. Perhaps Arsenal are jinxed versus the West Midlands three, but a 0-1 loss to Leicester, a 0-3 loss to Aston Villa followed by a 1-2 loss to Wolverhampton should alarm the new manager.
If Arsenal is not far away from that relegation zone before Christmas, then Mikel Arteta’s job will not look promising.
The manager himself opened-up about the situation: “It’s something that the day I decided to be a coach I know that one day I will be sacked or leave the football club.
“I don’t know if it’s the day after I sign my contract, in a month, a year, or six months. I never worry about it. My only concern is to get the best out of the players, give the best possible service to the club, and become better and better.
“I know, I repeat, in this profession, one day I will get the sack or leave, but I don’t know when that is going to happen.”
The Schedule Ahead
The current EPL odds have lost faith in Arsenal, but I am not so quick to judge. Underperforming Willian could be blamed, Aubameyang could have the finger pointed at him or we could tell the manager he is a complete failure. But the problem has been a team effort, the lack of interest and enthusiasm on home turf has been collective.
The 1-2 loss to Wolverhampton was an uninspiring outing for the captain Aubameyang, whilst midfielders Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka may as well have worn invisible cloaks. The back-four also looked completely puzzled against the Wolverhampton attack.
Arsenal will face London rivals Tottenham in their matchday 11 fixture, and with their current away record garnering the majority of Arsenal points this season; hopefully, confidence is reinstated. A fearful Jose Mourinho has led his Spurs squad into 1st place of the table, and another loss for Arsenal could see them drop into 16th place.
A clash in Europe against Rapid Wien will take place before the local derby. Still, we should expect the Arsenal b-team to play the field as Arsenal has comfortably qualified into the Europa League final sixteen. With this luxury at hand, Arsenal could capitalise on Tottenham squad who have yet to qualify in their Europa group stage.