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?