First poor performance under Mikel

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What a depressing weekend. Spurs beating City capped off a very miserable day that started with a grim draw at Burnley.

This was the first really bad performance under Mikel Arteta. The players didn’t look like they were at the races and our defending, though largely resolute, relied more on luck than good technique.

The main problem for me was our insipid approach in the final third. No one seems to have the guts to play through the lines outside David Luiz. We had a lot of possession, but two shots on target to show for it (13 shots off target). Mesut Ozil just isn’t creating quality chances like he used to and there’s continuation of the balance issue we had under Emery… Lacazette and Auba don’t work well together in a front three.

It is odd that Lacazette keeps landing minutes. His confidence sinks a little more with each passing game. Against Burnley, someone with no physical prowess is always going to be eaten alive. His hold up play was subpar and his offerings to the attacking gods were limited. It was also a rare quiet day for Gabriel.

The real problem for us came when Saka picked up an injury and we had to drop Granit Xhaka into defence again. There was no outlet on the left and we had no one with the confidence to whip dangerous balls into the box.

LT came on at halftime to give us a little more bit, but he’s not really an attacking threat. Matteo had a bit of a stinker if we’re honest, he played a very meek game. Sometimes I think he’d prefer to be fouled because it means he doesn’t have to risk doing something that’ll progress the attack. His default was to pass sideways or behind him. He’s Denilson with better hair. That midfield needs someone that wants to move forward, or someone that can burst through the lines with sheer force of will. When the midfield lacks power and ambition, you get stuck in a rut of purposeless possession.

Mikel’s subs weren’t up to much either. The game was crying out for a Dani Ceballos or a Nicolas Pepe, but neither were called upon. That’s 3 managers in a row that have had misgivings about those two. Makes you wonder.

We did have our chances, Auba pushed a header wide and he fluffed his lines when he was played through by a beautiful Luiz ball. Another day, he’s taking those and we’re having an ugly win conversation.

Defensively, it has to be noted that Mustafi was a beast today. He won 6/8 of his aerial duels and he made 7 clearances and 2 interceptions. Not bad for a player that had to admit he was shite on the .com a month ago.

The usual suspects are jumping to call the Arteta hire a mistake. Again, I repeat, this mess was never going to be solved quickly. No manager had a magic solve for a club with so many problems. The manager will make mistakes while he works out what the right path is, today he made a few, and he’ll continue to do so. What we should look for are the positives. We kept a clean sheet, the team worked hard, and our defensive structure has taken grip far quicker than we’d hoped it would.

Chance creation wasn’t really an area I thought we’d struggle with. You’d think a Pep disciple would have us purring going forward, but it’s yet to happen. The plan seems to be: create a stable base, then move onto balancing solidity with some flair. That’ll need time. Hopefully a trip to Dubai will help the manager work on the next set of objectives… then we can destroy Newcastle 9-0 when we return.

We need some wins, 6 for the season is truly embarrassing, I have faith though… we have good players, their quality will shine when the ideas start to click.

Right, see you in the comments. x

320 Responses to “First poor performance under Mikel”

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  1. Nelson

    Now that Qatar has expressed interest in Ozil, there is hope that we can trade Ozil this Summer. Since Qatar will host the World Cup 2022, they may even hire Ozil to advertise the event since Ozil has one of the biggest social media followers amount football players. It would be a win-win situation.

  2. Ernest Reed

    The reality is that this team is no longer good enough to compete at the level that many of you believe. Arteta is not the problem but rather a victim of a collective group of players that has done in three previous managers through bitterly indifferent play.

    I am more than willing to give Arteta a wide berth to try to build a competitive team, as i gave Emery a wide berth (Freddie was a quick and dirty hope and equally was done in – not going to rate him). This has been in the making for many years through systematic neglect and failure to address core problems on defence and midfield.

    Its going to take years for this team to find itself in the mix again, they are essentially hopelessly lost and with a novice manager still finding his feet. If you place things into the appropriate context, Arteta is the right person for a rebuild. Management is going to have to seriously assess the collective mess that they have and make serious decisions on where they really want to be. On this i have great reservations as they too will have to take a serious look in the mirror at their own performances, which border on highly questionable.

    Arsenal are not Top 4 or 6 for that matter. They are not yours or your fathers Arsenal. What they are is neglected and thats not going to change anytime soon. Get used to where they are because thats what they are now, a mid-table juggernaut.

  3. Nelson

    “Arsenal are not Top 4 or 6 for that matter”

    Sheffield United is sitting in the 6th spot. I don’t think they have a better squad than Arsenal. We have to find out why our two strikers are so off form and have to get Pepe to integrate with the team. We have signed those three players with such a large sum. Not many mid_table teams have signed players more expensive than those three.

  4. Globalgunner

    Arteta may have changed the mentality of the team but not the style. He is also guilty of the same visual shortcomings that led his predecessors to ruin. Playing the same old non performers. At least Freddie had enough foresight to drop Ozil. Not that Ozil did not play ok yesterday. Its just that he offers so little. Yes he runs about a bit more nowadays and looks like he might give a fk, but what else?. Allied with strikers who seem to be under a jinx.
    My biggest gripe is with our pedestrian midfield. Xhaka is a non event and Guendouzi just runs around a lot and falls just as much. They offer 0 attacking threat..

  5. Spanishdave

    Global spot on.
    We all knew the midfield Arteta picked was doomed to failure.
    Why does he do it ? He is making the same mistakes.
    The midfield is poor and does nothing to back up attacks, and our attack should not include Lacazette, bench him.
    Arteta is not impressing me in the slightest.

  6. Globalgunner

    Everton appointed the new man the same time as Arteta was appointed. Then, they were almost in the relegation zone. Now they are above us, with Walcott and Iwobi. Jeepers!

    In that time we have barely moved in the league table.

  7. raptora

    Everton have a better squad than ours.

    Or that’s what a lot of people will try to make you believe lol.
    That the squad we have is shit. Worse than half the league.
    Worse than Leicester, Wolves, Manure, Sheffield United, West Ham…

  8. Eddie

    I hear the sound of the I’ll informed running towards Le Grove to wave Arteta Out banners. Six weeks into job that many described as exceptionally difficult are now calling time on Arteta. Embarrassing.

    I hear Bamford is joining in, but now saying he never rated Emery.

    Too many people changing their positions constantly when caught out but trying to act the big man. Or in Bamford’s case the Big Susan.

    Keep the faith and try to understand Pedro’s analysis.

  9. Lego Hair

    Our performance dropped off once Saka was injured we had no outlet and moving Xhaka from the CM left us with much less control but we still had the best 3 chances in the game, sitters in fact. Burnley had one that they should have scored with. the rest of the game they were just pumping hopeful crosses in a playing percentages. Our defence was solid and wasn’t bullied at all.

    People wondering why the 3″4 Torreira didnt start against a team that specialise in aerial bombardment.

    The comment about the grass wasn’t even an excuse to why we didnt win but know nothings love isolating comments and taking them out of context to try score cheap points.

    Love how predictable some people are when we don’t win. It’s embarrassing.

  10. Lego Hair

    Not a good performance at all but the hysteria on here is a sight to behold.

    And grasping on to current league position as something to beat the new manager of 5 weeks with? Hahaha ok then. Most people can see what a difference he’s made, let’s see what we look like after a summer window and a full pre season.

  11. Pierre

    Ernie ,
    “The reality is that this team is no longer good enough to compete at the level that many of you believe.”

    Well , they were good enough 9 months ago when we were 3rd in the league , another 120+ million spent , so what’s your explanation for the regression in so short a period .

  12. Danish Gooner

    I really do feel for Arteta,he is way in over his head.So many of these players have one or two good games in them here and there but not one of them can sustain a great season.I said it once and i will say it again Emery were sent to the slaughter because to many of them are here for the paycheque and nothing else,Arsenal have become a good starter club but not one of the players really care about if we finish first or last.Some of the players last night infuriated me Auba.Laca and Mesut showed why they shoudlnt keep being at this club,disconnetced and very little interested,the same can be said of Laca and Mesut he is a story in himself.Those three should be our fire brand or saving grace but they showed nothing palyers combined on more then 700 grand a week so meek atrocious and a disgrace the very best in this world improvise when they cant find a way through .Every respect to Burnley a team of 11 cloggers but they were there for one point and they got it.One Ian wright or ONe Henry would have put this team to the sword but the more Arsenal paysfor these so called superstars the more they disappoint.Mikel you are in for a very serious test of your abilities but you must strong arm someof the players becausetheyare coasting on million dolllar salariesand frankly it is a disgrace.

  13. G8

    Emery started well and towards the end he completely lost it, the players have to be accountable as well..too many individual errors costed us games and points.
    and that penalty at totts, had auba scored, could have practically put us comfortably above them in fourth /third place and in the champions league

    I am convinced that petr cech along with Koscielny and AMN costed us that Europa final..they were really awful and pathetic.

    Overall it was very close yet so far …
    This season started the same way it ended last season and got worse Emery had to go.

    I fear this job would turn out to be too big for Arteta though..hopefully not..