Are Arteta’s tactics to blame for Arsenal throwing away leads?

Are we progressing tactically under Arteta?

My main gripe with Arteta’s appointment was that he had no experience of management. At a time when Arsenal were in turmoil, surely an experienced head was needed? To some extent, I like some of what Arteta has done so far, especially in regards to discipline. What I didn’t realise however, was that the Gunners have now lost 15 points from winning positions since the Spaniard took charge, more than any other Premier League team in that period. How worried should we be with that stat?

As mentioned in my previous comments/articles on Arteta, it’s far too early to make an overall judgement on his performance. Arteta only took control mid-season, he inherited the worst Arsenal squad in over 30 years, and all whilst the club were/are going through a massive transitional period. Tough times for anyone, especially an inexperienced manager. That said, one can, and should perform appraisals of his performances.

Are we on the right track, what can be improved, what areas is he excelling in, etc.? Just like any new employee would have to do. I won’t go over many of the other points of Arteta’s reign so far, both positive, and negative, as I have already done so previously discussing this topic. I just want to focus on the dropping of points, and our approach when losing, and how worrying this could be?

It should be expected that Arteta will make mistakes early on, given his inexperience, but his in-game management is concerning me slightly. Previous to the Spurs defeat, many of us have been more than a little confused with some of his substitutions, but he’s obviously struggling to lock down games when winning as well. Against Wolves we were so compact throughout the game, yet it was the opposite on many occasions against Spurs. Where’s the consistency?

To be fair, one could argue that there’s not a lot he can do with our terrible defence (Kola gifting Son the equalizer), but on the flip side of that argument, why does Arteta keep picking some of our worst defenders? Why was Kola even starting, when Holding was available? Even worse, why did he want Luiz around for another year? Has Arteta actually been impressed with Luiz’s terrible performances, especially in the big games?

Tactically, I am worried thus far. We struggle to hold on to leads, and we’re definitely not adventurous enough when behind. When you’re losing, especially towards the end of a game, you might as well throw the kitchen sink at the opponents. Yet it was another timid finish, where we offered almost nothing in attack in the last 15 mins after going behind to Spurs. I have noticed this quite a lot under Arteta, and it worries me because that is more of a tactical issue, than a lack of quality players. He doesn’t seem to addressing these issues in my opinion. Now and again, he does get it right, as we saw at Wolves. That was tactically spot on, but I am not seeing enough progression in this area overall.

I do expect things to improve once Arteta can get in the players that suit his system, and he does have limited options right now, but I do feel we need to see some solid tactical progression in the first 2/3 months of next season, otherwise the pressure will start mounting.

What do you think of our tactical approach under Arteta thus far? Are we progressing in this area?



  1. What do I think about our tactical approach under Arteta thus far? Far, far better than under Emery.

    By the way, City’s European ban has been overturned.

  2. Here they come the doom merchants with their masterful hindsight ,weird how we never see this article writer or his like when things are going good ,one defeat and here they come ,slowly crawling from out their rocks ,let me guess the writer had this article lined up ready to go for our next defeat.
    I personally can’t take anything serious what this dude writes after telling us all for months that Emery was the second coming ,how did that turn out .
    I would suggest leaving the football to the professionals and for you to sit back down in your armchair and be a silent critic.

    1. I agree with you Dan, not as bad as Konstantmoan who only posts articles when there is something to knock Arteta and the players about.
      Anyway, I still say we will finish higher than spurs but it does look like we need to win the FA Cup to get into Europe.

      1. Lol. . I had to laugh at all the comments under Konstantin’s article.
        The fans of this club are too depressive. A single loss in five games, a derby loss at that and they all crawled out of their cave ready to moan and piss around.
        Seems Konstantin will always be that way

    2. @Dan kit

      Right on queue, here comes the online troll that has to attack literally everything I say, and constantly lie, even if it’s set in stone as a fact! Latest lie, “Emery was the second coming”, and I never anything positive about Arsenal apparently! Why don’t you try telling the truth at some point, or offer some kind of rational thought to the debate instead of trolling? I know that’s probably above your IQ level, but go on, give it a try.

      1. So I see atleast 5 fans on this article agree with what I have said .
        Enough of the online troll comments , you wrote an article and I responded without getting personal why do you have to .
        Let’s not forget my comment about Ozil being better than courtino on Saturday and your response ,or is that ok for you to attack my comments but not the other way round .?

        1. Mate you attack anything I else, and NEVER offer any form of input when you disagree. All you do is moan. If I am always so far off the mark, why don’t you easily break down my arguments then. I’ll give you simple one now. It’s very hard to find positives when looking at Arsenal over the last decade (something you always attack me for), so why am I so off the mark when looking at Arsenal then?

          1. I don’t need to break down your arguments,because the simple fact is they always come down to the same two topics,Wenger destroyed us and Ozils wages .
            You always try and turn your opinions into facts but then attack people that have opinion different to yours When you don’t like the answers coming back bashing your comments or articles you call them a troll .
            At the end of the day you wrote an article and I thought it was crap so why waste my time breaking anything down because you are always right .

          2. Ok that’s a start, we’re getting some where. You obviously disagree with Wenger destroying Arsenal, and you obviously feel Ozil is worthy of his wages. Those are great topics to discuss.

            So why do you think Wenger did not play a huge role in our regression? Remember the facts before you answer. Wenger was 100% responsible for what went on on the pitch, and training ground, and had a huge amount of sway off the pitch as well.

            And why is Ozil worthy of 350k a week? Which I think I am right in saying, that he’s the most expensive midfielder in the world.

            So instead of doing what you usually do, which is to insult, and berate, try and give a concise argument for once.

    3. Oh stop it Dan, you and I knew they were all waiting to crawl out of their cave😂😂😂
      I loss in 5 games to our local rivals in a derby game and they’re all here with doom and gloom with that endless negativity they constantly spread.
      Oh boy, brace yourself, we’ll be seeing more depressing articles if we lose to Liverpool and City next who we all know would be winning anyway.
      Brace for impact 😂😂

    4. Dan I think I recently told you that some people were waiting for the team to lose with their articles/comments already prepared!even after our win against SW Wolves ,credit wasn’t given to the team, negative comments appeared after the draw against Leicester(looking for a scapegoat)what did you expect after a loss?this is their opportunity to say “we told you so..MA is not up to the job..this/that player is not good enough…” I am no longer surprised a very sad state of affairs indeed!

  3. Nice read TMJW, as always anticipated an article from you with insight rather than something to occupy space. In 17 games if 4 losses and 6 draws are good enough for a section of the fans, then we are in serious trouble. Blame the players, but did not Emery miss UCL by a point and had a European finals, the first since 2006 with these players? Things went for a slide due to the ugly player power and some fans sided with the mercenary/ies rather than the coach and today this is where we have reached. Had we and the board to support Emery, definitely we would have done better. Some went on to mock his English, poor stuff. Mikel is happy to stay in the job as long as he gets his wages. This man has no clue how to dump non performers. If he finds Luiz good enough for another year, Mari who played a few games against feeble opposition and Cedric a Southampton cast off as the future, then we are in serious trouble next season. Brand me negative or doom merchant or grave digger -it hardly matters, cause I see the club going down. One step forward, two steps back.Reality will dawn only when we reach the 17th spot and struggle to survive. Still, some will agree that a year or two in the Championship would not be bad, just as some more than happy to be out of Europe. And I would not wish Stan to splash the cash, as I know the same will be spent on buying trash at inflated transfer fees or rewarding some non performing asset with a mega buck contract extension.

    1. I remember you praise this set of players after wolves game. Are you a chameleon? In less than 3wks you have 2 different stories to tell .
      Keep your #Artetaout banner till end of next season, it’s ridiculous and unreasonable now. 17games, 7wins, 6draws, 4loses are above average performance. It’s a pass

      1. I repeat, Bellerin, Cedric, Mustafi, Kolasinac , Luiz , Xhaka, Socrates are average to good players but are never world beaters and these players will never win you titles or cups. This is my opinion on them and has never changed. To win titles, we need great players, ruthless die hard characters committed to win. You may find it funny I call them good, the reason is that they are full internationals so they cannot be that bad. They fall in the bracket of average to good, and I am not of those type to be carried away with a win or two. I was among the first to question Arteta, and my stance remains unchanged except that I am impressed in the manner he is handling Ozil situation. Rest all fronts I see Arteta as a failure, another “Yes Sir” man, hope I am proved wrong. Results do not lie.

  4. Let’s take a step back and assume we didn’t extend Luiz contract , who do we use in our 3cb system? Your argument on not pushing for goal at last minute is up for debate as we seen arsenal winning goal against Sheffield and wolves.
    I agree the intensity seem to dropped in the 2nd half and especially towards the last 15min, this is one of the adjustment process, couple with packed fixtures of every 3 days. You may argue we had more time for rest than spur, but remember spur players were used to nonstop high pressing game under pochetino as against arsenal lazy parthern under the previous 2 gaffer, am sure MA and his team are working hard to turn this team around into a real hardworking team, it wouldnt happen overnight,.
    Between MA and Mouriho, MA has done better since taken over, better than what the ‘special’ one has done with spur or Anceloti with Everton, those were the 2 managers we overlooked to sign him

  5. Since moving to three at the back, we are harder to beat. The issue are the dreadful individual mistakes and strikers not been clinical to give us 2 or 3 goal leads. Against Spurs yesterday was a very good example. I can see vast improvement under Arterta and we will get better,once we can get some consistent defenders

  6. We keep mentioning how the defense needs to be strengthened but everyone seems not to notice that there is no link between the midfield and attack Dani & Xhaka do combine well in the middle but none of them creates enough chances for the attack and the wing men are hardly doing so, I honestly think we need a creative midfielder to be starting games.

  7. Even if Arsenal can qualify for the cl or europa ,they have no realistic hope of winning either trophy.Year in and out ,the gunners get humiliated in the cl. Its just to make money for the owner.
    Tactically ,MA has breathed fresh air . However his defenders have regularly let him down.Until the defence can improve ,Arsenal will be hovering from 5 th to 10 th in the table

  8. Tactics were alright, we were dominant for 70 minutes, they used a wrong pass, managed to high press the defense at times but we kept dominant most of the time. Yes Luiz is a little slow for high backline but he should be protectedvand most of the time it worked. After the 70’s min, we dropped physically and MA did not use the substitutions or adapt to the lack of stamina. We cannot play 90 mins at that tempo against a team with Spurs quality without substitutions in a match every 3 days schedule.

    1. I would say Mourinho let us have the ball though, and we didn’t create a whole lot. It wasn’t a case of us out playing them with brilliant, incisive passing. It was mostly slow sideways, and backwards passing. Most importantly though, what were the tactical changes in the last 15 mins after we went behind? Lloris had nothing to do. Their defence barely broke sweat. And that’s not the first time either. Like I say, Arteta has a terrible squad to work with, but is showing enough tactical flexibility with games? Remember how Lampard completely switched things up even before halftime at the Emirates, and how Chelsea then went from a weak position, to absolutely dominating the game, and then winning it. I cannot think of when Arteta really did that.

  9. The gunners are th e top tream to concede goals from set pieces.Why?
    If you compare size and height wise ,Arsenal are below average. At one time during Wenger’s time,the gunners were the shortest in the epl because he wants to play tiki tika.The epl is in England where size and brute strength counts.
    We have lacked guys like Petit and Veira.
    We need guys of such size other wise the
    gunners will continue to be brushed aside in a tussle.A bull maybe teancious but give me a
    mastiff anytime

  10. In 17 PL matches played under Arteta, we have dropped a staggering 15 points from winning positions! That shows a clear pattern, much as we may blame defenders, etc. Prior to that, in 18 PL matches under Emery and Freddie, we dropped 6 points from winning positions. Surely, there is a case for debating Arteta’s tactics in the areas of: Time and selection of substitutions [ I’m at a loss to understand how Willock changes any games!!!], formation change, etc.

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