It had been a terrible start for Arsenal. Three defeats, nine goals conceded and bottom of the table. We could make excuses for why they lost but now is not the time to linger on the disappointing start but to start strong after the international break. Arsenal have fairly easy fixtures before facing Tottenham. Now is the time to build momentum.
With the international break, we have the return of key players that will improve the squad. Partey and Gabriel will help and bring stability to the spine of the team and the Gabriel/White partnership can start to build. With the upcoming fixtures, Arteta can slowly start to integrate new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu into the team. With Xhaka’s brash action during the Manchester City game it can allow Sambi Lokonga to start the next few games. If he performs well enough, it will force Arteta to play him over Xhaka, which I think most fans would prefer.
I think the most important thing right now is for the players to get in the right frame of mind before our game against Norwich. Most of the players should be embarrassed with their past performances. They need to realise that the longer they play like this, the more their stock and the club’s stature goes down.
For Mikel Arteta, he needs to change his approach towards the players and the game. We have all seen how his man management has frozen out promising young players and he is tactically inept when facing certain opposition. He needs to work on including all of the players into his plans and forcing them to be their best. When players make mistakes that cost the team, they should be forced to give up their position until they can work their way back in. Players need to understand that when you underperform or cost the team, your position is at risk.
Players need to feel that if they are not up to the task, the players on the bench are and ready to take their place. There needs to a winning atmosphere amongst the players that they cultivate by themselves. They need to believe it and push to be the best.
When they are a goal down they need to keep their heads up and push to equalise, push to win the game and build on that mentality. Now there is no excuse.
These are the players that Arteta wanted and now is the time for him and the players to prove themselves.