ARTETA MUST BE BRAVER AND MORE RUTHLESS TO FINISH THIS SEASON SUCCESSFULLY Nicholas Oyoo
Arsenal have finally surrendered their perfect winning streak at the Emirates Stadium, thanks to a resolute Newcastle United that came to the Emirates with just one intent in mind – to achieve what no other team has achieved in the Premier League this season and take something from the Emirates.
Newcastle United are the best defensive team in the league for a reason, Eddie Howe has done an incredible job. This season, Newcastle have beaten Chelsea and Spurs and have drawn with Manchester City and Manchester United from among the top six teams.
It certainly is a wake-up call to Mikel Arteta on how the teams coming to the Emirates will now be approaching the match-up from now forward. The ‘Howe’ will be drilled into players minds in the Emirates changing room and some managers will fancy an odd ‘steal’ by holding out and maybe getting that unexpected goal and running away with something, if not everything from the Emirates.
It also portrays the manner at which Arsenal will now be treated, like the Manchester City of the very recent seasons in the EPL. With the season numbers looking so good for Arsenal after so many years, staying at the top may need some bravery and ruthlessness.
This can certainly have an impact on Arsenal ambitions. For a team with such ambitions as Arsenal, their young manager Mikel Arteta (40 years Old) and on his first full managerial stint, needs to develop the ruthlessness of ensuring that all that can be done tactically will be done, to win the game.
We cannot find any fault with Arteta on the front of wanting to win almost desperately, but sometimes your actions will instill these needs to the playing unit better than any other way.
For instance, on the account of a very thin bench power, Arteta had enough to drive this lesson home further.
When the game had reached the 70th mark and there were no scores, Arteta could have turned to the bench and invited Marcus Vinicius Oliveira Alencar also known as Marquinhos, the 19-year-old right winger to try his luck.
In a match that has become as cagey an affair as what had become of the league leaders Gunners, and the third placed Magpies game, that happens to be the game between two of the meanest defenses of the league this season, it comes down to dynamics, and different players present different dynamics and different dimensions.
It’s a lesson Arteta will learn that sometimes your actions could turn around a match, and you may need to be brave enough to take it when the chips are down.
Bringing in Marquinhos for Eddie Nketiah could be the better option, with Marquinhos either asked to directly replace Eddie at the frontal of the attack or moving into Gabriel Martinelli position allowing his Brazilian team mate to move up front could be the trick.
The first option – Marquinhos for Nketiah is the less risky of the two options. With the attributes of close control, dribbling capabilities, and being stockier of the two between him and Nketiah, Marquinhos would bring into play a significant different dimension that could force errors from Newcastle’s Fabian Schar and Sven Botman at the closing stages, forcing them into decisions they haven’t been taking in the match.
The second option could be a bit trickier as it would imbalance the battle on the Arsenal’s left wing between Trippier and Martinelli, which Martinelli was looking to be winning more frequently late on. Noting that Marquinhos is best capable on the right wing could mean that Trippier may be the one who gets an advantage. But still, a dribbler by trade, Marquinhos may not be overawed by the more experienced opposition and could even bring on a surprise or two from this position when Arsenal are in desperate need for one.
Removing Nketiah at this moment could be controversial in the view of some supporters of Arsenal, but at the Bench for the last few minutes Nketiah would get the opportunity to refocus his mind and the realization that someone else can be played in his role might be good to boost him further upwards. To the rest of the squad, it would signal that the boss is open to trying anything possible tactic-wise to win the game. That’s the attitude of winners.
If it worked and Arsenal scored, the squad would be inspired and their trust that this is the time would be boosted.
I therefore don’t buy the argument that there were no options from the bench against Newcastle. Marquinhos could have been given the opportunity 15 minutes from the end.
Looking at his statistics from multiple sources, Marquinhos has played twelve times as a Right Winger and scored four times and assisted twice.
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