Is There Really A Process To Trust At Arsenal?

The mantra at Arsenal now is ‘trust the process’. On the back of 17 years of not winning the league title, 4 years of not playing in the UEFA Champions League and finally failing to make European places entirely last season, there should genuinely be a process to be trusted. The Gunners are only still tagged a top-six side based on reputation. The post-Wenger era is particularly not going well. In the little time that Wenger left, Arsenal have had three people at the helms and are on their second substantive manager. A section of the fans are already regretting that they called for Wenger to leave. While things are not going well under the present Manager – Mikel Arteta, there have been calls by the Manager and the club management for fans to trust a certain process. Should they really trust the process?

The post-Wenger years are not going to plan

The first question is, what is the process? In truth, there are no clear evidences of a process.

Style of play

For a process, there should be a style of play or signs of a style of play. At Arsenal presently, it is not the case. One of the reasons Arsenal hired Arteta is probably due to an expected style of play. Being a former player at Arsenal and having spent time under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, Arsenal fans expected to see an exciting style of play, that has not been the case. The style of play has not been defined, at times they have been defensive and counter-attacking, at other times they labour to be expansive. The excuse has been that the team does not have the players to play an expansive style but even majority of the players they are linked to in the transfer market does point in the direction of a style.

Arsenal management and fans are expecting an expansive attacking style with Arteta in charge

Recruitments

The recruitments in the past few years does not point to any process. There seems to be lots of trial and error and merry-go-round in player’s recruitments. Some of the so-called promising players they have signed in the past few years have become surplus to requirements and there are already plans to replace them with new promising players. Reports linking the Gunners to Brighton and Hove Albion defender – Ben White has refused to go away and it appears there is a genuine interest in the English defender. This is the same club that has spent big money on the likes of Calum Chambers and William Saliba as promising defenders, with no logical results yet.

The Gunners are heavily linked to Ben White

There are also reports of a bid for Abderlecht promising midfielder Albert Lokonga, few years after investing in promising midfielders – Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, who have both become surplus to requirements. The aforementioned are just some of the merry-go-rounds Arsenal have been doing in the transfer market. For a process, there has to be deliberate investments in quality footballers.

Coach

When trusting a process, there should be a manager that has the track record of a process. At Liverpool, they trusted a process and came good but it was with Jurgen Klopp, a manager that has the track record of a process. Arteta has shown signs that he could end up becoming a top manager, especially in leading Arsenal to FA Cup glory in his first season, but getting Arsenal back to the top may be asking for too much. It looks like the club’s management wants to trust Arteta to do the job but the problem is they may have gotten deeper into the abyss before they realize they need a more experienced manager.

The FA Cup success bought Arteta some time

Arsenal’s drop has been gradual and consistent and can’t be said to be a co-incidence. From contesting for the title, to becoming a top-four side, to becoming an Europa League team, to completely dropping out of European places. Arsenal’s management must realize they are in a dire situation and should take dire actions, but their approach in the transfer market so far betrays that. Arsenal fans can’t trust the process because there are no signs of a process.

Arsenal’s Win or Saka’s Goal, Which Was The Fluke?

Arsenal returned to winning ways in the Premier League for the first time since November. In that time they have failed to win against the likes of Burnley, Aston Villa, Southampton, Wolves, including a run of not winning home matches, which included four straight defeats at home. A run that has seen them stuck in the relegation zone, closer to the bottom than to the top. However, they broke that duck when least expected with an impressive win against Chelsea. Have the Gunners turned the tides or have the win against Chelsea was just a flash in the pan?

Kudos to Mikel Arteta for making some big calls or calls he was forced to make. Youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli started and added more spark to the attack. Would he have started them if Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang was hundred percent fit or if Willian was available? It was glaring it was the call Arteta should have made earlier but he stuck with the misfiring Aubameyang and Willian alongside the likes of Nicholas Pepe and Alex Lacazette. That it took Arteta long to make or be forced to make the bold calls should be a cause for worry.

There have been calls that the sidelined Mesut Ozil should be called back due to an inability of the team to create chances. Their goals and chances created stats are embarrassing and one that should not be associated with Arsenal of London, maybe Arsenal Tula. They scored three against Chelsea and could have scored more but they still struggled to create clear cut chances. This is easy to argue against. For their ‘dominance’ against Chelsea, two of the goals came from set pieces and the third was a speculative shot many have argued was not intentional, even if it was intentional, it won’t be successful nine out of ten times. The young players played with more energy and pressed Chelsea impressively but is it sustainable?

As we have seen in some of their wins and in some of their struggles, they tend to always move the ball out wide due to an inability to break down teams through the center. The first penalty came as a result of coming in from the flanks. While coming in from the flanks may not be bad, most times their final balls are always poor. We saw that against Chelsea, until Chelsea gave them the breakthrough with the penalty. The second goal was also Saka trying to run in from the flank before he was hacked down for the freekick that led to the second. It was a game in which Edouard Mendy in goals for Chelsea made numerous saves. Apart from scoring the penalty, Lacazette barely touched the ball in the opposition’s box as he regularly dropped deep to link up play. It worked against Chelsea but in truth, we have seen it all before and many teams have set up to nullify it. It was not a tactical ingenuity that Arsenal fans can get overly excited about.

Three goals up and seemingly comfortable, Arsenal found a way to be Arsenal still, they allowed Chelsea back into the match. It was almost three- two and an edgy finale had Bernd Leno not pull up a penalty stop. Their next two matches are against fellow relegation strugglers Brighton and Hove Albion and West Brom. If they are able able to get maximum six points in those matches, Arsenal fans can bring out the sticks of the drums, not the drums yet. But very few Arsenal fans are confident going into the matches still. Brighton have become a sort of a boogey team, they did the double against Arsenal last season. Sam Allardyce is in charge at West Brom, he has a good record against Arsenal.

Arsenal should still see this as a crisis period and do good business in January instead of waiting till the summer, since they have decided to stick with Arteta. Like they did in 2011 after an 8-2 defeat against Manchester United, when they went into the transfer market to do emergency business – that brought Arteta to Arsenal, they should do same in January. The team needs lots of quality. The quality of the players can cover up for some of Arteta’s flaws while he continues to learn the ropes. The win against Chelsea might just be a flash in the pan, there is still lots of work to be done.

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No Need To Panic – Arteta

Arsenal Youth Corper Coach Mikel Arteta has said there is no need to panic as he defended his players effort in their defeat against Burnley. Despite suffering their fourth straight defeat at the Emirates and languishing in fifteenth position on the Premier League table, Arteta chose to remain positive.

‘I wouldn’t say it’s panic,’ he said. ‘I can see in training the way they try and the energy they put in and it was the same tonight.

‘I can see leaders but again we lost the game. We gave the opponent the chance and football is all about winning games.’ Arteta said.

Arteta also said the incident that got midfielder Granit Xhaka sent off was unacceptable.

‘Yes it is unacceptable to do that action but it is because they are so willing to do more, fight more, and on this occasion Granit overstepped the line. We cannot make that mistake because it’s the wrong approach for us.’ Arteta said.

Arsenal’s search for a win continues as Aubameyang scored at the wrong end in the 73rd minute to condemn the Gunners to another defeat, their third in a row.

How Tottenham Destroyed Arsenal in 10 Pictures

When Mourinho saw Arsenal were Tottenham’s next opponents…

Oh! My favourite meal

How Mourinho prepared for the match

When they had a coach I beat them, talk less of now that a youth corper is in charge

Arsenal fans when they see Harry Kane and Son Heung Min numbers

Massacre loading

Arsenal fans when they heard ‘Partey after partey’ will be playing

Small hope still dey

How Arsenal fans held vigils going into the game

God, let Kane see Holding and see Maldini, put sense inside Willian bushy head...

How Arsenal started the game

We are the Gunners, we mean business, come on

When Tottenham went on the counter

Na premium beating una go chop

What Arsenal offered in the second half

Beautiful nonsense, possession with no substance

Arsenal fans at the end of the match

Which kain life be this, L every week

When an Arsenal fan was woken up at 3:00 am this morning

Have they scored a third goal?

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Why Arsenal Should Stick With Arteta

Five defeats in ten league matches do no make for good reading. It is already a year from when Arsenal sacked Unai Emery due to a run of poor results – no win in seven. One year down the line, it does not look better. The Gunners have not won in three league matches and the football is also not looking good. However, between when Emery was sacked and now, there have been some sprinklings of quality in the shape of a FA Cup and a Community Shield. Some big wins could also be considered as positives, one being their last league win, away at Manchester United. It was their first league win there in 14 years. As the results and performances continue to get bad, why should Arsenal stick with Arteta?

Arteta has already delivered a trophy

In getting Arteta, Arsenal should know what they are getting into – an experiment. As experiments go, you have to keep on trying but you must have some level of trust on the man doing the experiments. To have employed him in the first place, they trust Arteta. His success in the FA Cup and the manner in which it was achieved has also bought him more trust and time. It is obvious from the results and performances that Arteta is trying out different things and trying to discover a suitable style for himself and the team. Should Arsenal have a coach that is yet to discover himself in the first place? Events have overtaken the question, the deed has already been done.

In his first set of matches, it was clear he was coming with his Manchester City idea learnt under Pep. He wanted the team to play expansive football, pass the ball around quickly and win it back with intensity. Against Chelsea at the Emirates, the Gunners looked very good in the first half with Mesut Ozil rolling back the years with a virtuoso midfield performance. However, they ended up losing the match as they could not maintain the tempo. After lockdown, defeats against Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion made it clear he had to change tactics and focus on the team defending better. He shifted to a three at the back and concentrated on defence. The team looked much more compact though they still came short in the Premier League, finishing eight, ten points from fourth position. It was in the FA Cup that the style really worked as a solid defence was the bedrock of their wins against Man. City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final respectively.

Arteta has gotten some big wins

There were signs already that the team will struggle when they come up against defensive teams. At the time, Ozil had already been frozen out of the team. While the team could be cut a slack in their league defeats against Liverpool and Man. City, their defeats against Aston Villa, Wolves and Leicester were down to poor performances. Arteta has struggled to find an attacking play that works. They barely create chances talk more of scoring. They can be said to be better defensively but the defensive performances in the aforementioned defeats were as poor as it used to be. Apparently, as the team struggles in attack, they are gradually losing the defensive shape too and the team is dropping in confidence, just as in Emery last days.

With the problems highlighted. Why should the Arsenal management trust Arteta to solve it?

With the two major styles he has adopted at Arsenal, it shows he is a coach that has something to offer attacking wise and defensively. What is needed is balance, which may take some time to achieve.

Achieving balance will also require getting more quality players. Even more seasoned managers like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp never stopped stuffing quality players. In the attacking third, it is obvious Arsenal are lacking in real quality. In Aubameyang, they have a proven goalscorer who has been affected by a lack of supplies and a drop in confidence on his part. Apart from Bukayo Saka, who is still young and has been putting in a decent shift, the rest have barely come to the party. Nicholas Pepe continues to look like a waste of funds as he has clearly not brought what a 72 million Pounds signing should bring to the team. Willian looks like a player well past his best years. Lacazette continues to drop in confidence. Ozil is frozen out of the team. The rest are youngsters, who should be fillers for now, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah. It is obvious Arsenal need to inject quality in these area. At the base of midfield, Thomas Partey already looks like a quality addition. Their defence looks decent enough, especially with the performances of Gabriel Magalhaes. Finding the right balances and combinations is what Arteta should work on.

Arteta has said he needs time

Like Arteta suggested, even the more seasoned manager Guardiola was given time at Manchester City. The first season looked bad but he was backed with more funds till he was able to achieve what he wanted, they stayed with him because they trusted him. Not to also forget that Guardiola inherited a winning team compared to the team Arteta took over. Arsenal have every reason to be patient and trust the process with Arteta. He has shown that he has the winning mentality, the tactical nous and the drive to succeed, all he need is time and more support.

I Know I Will Get sacked At Arsenal – Arteta

Arsenal’s Spanish gaffer Mikel Arteta has said he is not scared of getting the sack at Arsenal. Arteta is beginning to come to terms that managing a team is different from carrying cones in training as assistant manager. He has however accepted that he might just be doing his internship at Arsenal.

Arteta is facing the heat at Arsenal

“The day I decided to be a coach, I know that one day I will be sacked, or I will leave the football club.

“I don’t know if that was the day after I signed my contract, in a month’s time in a year’s time or six months – so I never worry about it.

“My only concern is to get the best out of the players, get the best possible service to the club and become better and better.

“I know, I repeat to you, in this profession one day, I will get the sack or I will leave, but I don’t know when that’s gonna happen.

“We have to improve, it is clear it is not near good enough for this football club, and we have to change this dramatically.” Arteta said.

Arsenal have drawn just one of their last three Premier League matches. They have scored just one goal in those matches. It dose not get easier as the Gunners face a North London derby next with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham presently top of the table.

Arteta Can Make Arsenal Title Contenders With These Three Players

Mikel Arteta has been getting plaudits for a good job at Arsenal. Just under a year at the helms, he has won the FA Cup, the Community Shield and has made Arsenal a much more difficult team to breakdown. Arsenal’s win against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend was their first league win on United’s territory since 2006. It was also their first away win against a top-six opponent in five years. However, Arteta’s style seems like one that will deliver in the Cup competitions but one not sustainable enough in the league. What does Arteta need to do to get Arsenal to the level where they can compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool? This writer believes this players are the difference between ‘almost’ and ‘there’ for Arsenal.

Arteta has shown he is the man to take Arsenal forward

Dayot Upamecano

Arsenal presently have like seven senior center-backs on their books, but it is more of quantity over quality. One of the reasons Arteta has gone for three center-backs is to cover up for the deficiencies of his defenders. Gabriel Maghalaes looks solid and seems like a defender that can serve Arsenal well for years. It seems Arsenal can play a back four in matches were they have to be more expressive if they have an assured partner for Gabriel. Rob Holding, Gabriel Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi have been impressive in patches but they can’t be trusted enough. Holding still looks like the best option if he can find some consistency.

William Saliba has not played yet and is unpredictable. Like Gabriel, Dayot Upamecano will slot straight into the team and a partnership with Gabriel will be solid.

Upamecano has proven to be a World class defender

Upamecano already has years of first team football at a young age of 22. He has starred in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig and was pivotal as the German club got to the semi-final of the Champions League last season.

Houssem Aouar

Arsenal’s pursuit of Aouar is well documented. The Gunners were said to be interested in the French midfielder but could not reach a deal with Lyon at the summer.

They should however return for the French midfielder. In some matches and at some stages in some matches, they will need a different type of midfielder that can unlock troublesome defences. In probably their most disappointing defeat so far this season, a 1-0 home loss against Leicester, it was clear they need variety in midfield.

Aouar will fit in well at Arsenal

Since it seems Mesut Ozil will never play for the team anymore, Auoar will make the team closer to becoming title challengers.

Wilfred Zaha

The Gunners have long been linked with Zaha and were said to be pursuing the Ivorien before they shifted attentions to his compatriot Nicholas Pepe.

Zaha could join Pepe at Arsenal to devastating effect.

Pepe has not really had the expected impact. However, at 27, Zaha is getting to the peak of his career and Arsenal may be the beneficiary of the talent Alex Ferguson spotted years back. He has become more of a goals threat with 5 league goals so far this season. Even when he is not scoring he is a handful for Premier League defenders.

Whichever way Arsenal plays, he slots in. He could slot into the left hand side of Arsenal’s attack, allowing Aubameyang to play more centrally. His pace means he is equally as dangerous on the left as Aubameyang has been, when the team plays on the counter.

As we have seen in Crystal Palace, he could also play on the right as well as centrally. He will make Arsenal’s attack really dangerous to handle.

These three players will be the icing in what is looking like a solid team. If they can go all out to splash the cash, the North London team long wait for another Premier League title will be over.

Guendouzi Closes Arsenal Chapter

Matteo Guendouzi has given hints that his time is up at Arsenal and the young Frenchman appears resigned to a permanent move away from the London club.

He joined Hertha Berlin on loan from the Gunners during the transfer window having fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta.

And the language used by Guendouzi when speaking about his time at the Emirates seemed to give hints that he considers that chapter of his career over.

‘I played over 80 games there and had a good, intense time there.

‘I learned a lot there in terms of sport and grew up there. It was two good years for me.

‘I also had a very good relationship with Mesut Özil, and Bernd Leno, both of them told me a lot of good things about the Bundesliga.’ the 21-year-old said.

He is yet to make an appearance for his new side having contracted coronavirus during international duty with France Under-21s and suffered with fitness issues.

He joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2018 for £8million, he made a bright start and established himself in the side but he fell out with Arteta this year.

Arteta admits to Saliba mistake

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he made a mistake by leaving William Saliba out of his 25-man squad for the Europa League.

The Spanish manager only has Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes as fit and available centre-backs ahead of the game against Dundalk, with David Luiz joining Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari on the sidelines.

Fellow central defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Saliba are fit but neither can be called upon after being excluded from Arsenal’s European squad, and in the case of the latter Arteta admits he is an option he would like to have had available.

I feel really bad for William Saliba,’ Arteta said. ‘Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.

‘I was hoping that Pablo would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don’t have Pablo and we don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play.’ Arteta said.

Saliba joined Arsenal from St Etienne last summer but is yet to feature for the Gunners, appearing on the bench just once this season.

Five things you should know about Runnarson; the goalie Arsenal have lined up as Martinez’s replacement

Emiliano Martinez’s exit at Arsenal is imminent. Even though the Argentine was not first choice at Arsenal, his departure leaves a void. Matt Macey is too untrusted to be sole backup for Bernd Leno.

Unknown Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runnarson had been touted as the replacement. Who is the ‘Rubberman’?

Runnarson is the son of Rúnar Kristinsson, a former midfielder who is the only player to have more than 100 caps for Iceland.

He has five caps for Iceland and was part of the 23 to Iceland’s first World Cup party in 2018.

Rúnar was player of the season for FC Nordsjælland in the 2017/18 Danish Superliga.

He has been reported to be a technical goalkeeper, comfortable with using his feet.

He currently turns out for Dijon in the French Ligue 1.