A second dreadful day in the office for Mikel Arteta where questions will rightly be asked of his in-game management. After taking the lead against Brighton, his players managed to flunk out again and lose to 2-1 to a side that hasn’t been able to score all season.
A lot of fans are rightly looking at the subs he made late on that looked confused and woefully naive.
The themes of Arteta with this squad so far have been: 1) Fairly solid 2) Bereft of creativity 3) Poor in-game management
We saw all three of those on display today. Arsenal controlled the game against a side that is pretty good in possession, we create limited chances we should have done better with, we took the lead with a piece of exceptional skill… then we let the game go to shit.
Everyone switched off to a pre-planned corner straight out of the fantasy training ground. Then, the man that wiped out Leno early on the game scored late on when we drifted off in the 95th minute. Abysmal, distressing, very, very sad.
Was the reffing absolutely shit? Yes. But it’s not an excuse. You have price that in. This is the Premier League.
Were Brighton overly physical? Yes. But come on, this IS the Premier League. We cannot continue to moan about this and play the victims all the time, we’ve been doing it for 15 years. The character of the players was perfectly summed up when Maupay caused a horrendous injury to Leno and the only person to give him shit was… Leno, who took a moment out from excruciating pain to give him shit. Where was Auba? Where were the 8 players around the ref demanding justice? It was pathetic to watch. No fire whatsoever.
Our midfield continues to be a problem. No control, power, pace or vision. Dani Ceballos was terrible, constantly slowing the pace of the game. Matteo doesn’t know what he wants to be in life, he’s a clogged, he offered very little. When the engine of your team is that bad, you have no chance.
The season is finished, but I kind of hoped this squad would be able to give a little more than this.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes. We have players contracts that are expiring, 4 of them, and that is a problem. We cut players pay by 10%, that could be a factor. We have players who have no security around their future. Then we have Mesut Ozil, our best player, as a grey cloud again.
Outside that, nothing seems to work on the pitch. We have no balance, we lack power, the intensity of pre-covid has disappeared, there’s no creativity… and look, it’s the same with Ozil in the side, his contributions to the team recently have been as midtable as our general output.
Also, we lack leadership. It’s so apparent. No one stood up today, bar Saka. It’s a team of soft boys outside that.
So where do you go from here?
The kids aren’t good enough to go it alone.
The senior players aren’t up to it and lack character.
The blended mix of the two hasn’t worked for three managers in a row now.
It is not a good time to be heading into the transfer window with very little money to make a difference.
The rock bottom I spoke about the other day might come faster than we thought.
Here’s to another shitty weekend courtesy of Arsenal.
Have a good one, go get drunk, let’s talk next season xxx