Arteta must be braver and more ruthless if Arsenal are going to win the title


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.

Nicholas Oyoo

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  1. I agree, Marquinhos should have replaced Nketiah, with Martineli moving in as CF, Saka to the left and Marquinhos on the right.
    Nketiah and Odegaard seemed to be the weak links,
    We could have replaced Odegaard with Elneny, moving Xhaka upfront and Elneny and Partey covering.
    Just my opinion.

    1. Are you high? Elneny for Odegaard? Maybe Arteta could’ve brought on Marquinhos but I disagree that Nketiah was a weak link.

  2. We have a 30mil bench warmer that could have been given a few minutes to try and make something happen.

    Maybe Arteta feels he is not upto it, but that is then a 30mil waste for a bench warmer.

    The crowd was good though, sounded electrifying.

  3. I beg to differ.Martinelli, who has been a stand out for me this season, looked jaded and he is the one that should have been made way for Vieira not Marquinhos.Nketiah had a good game imo and it took a fine save from Pope to prevent him from scoring after he turned well in the box.As to the writers assertion regarding our Bench being weak, that is not entirely correct as in Tierney,Tomi and Holding, we are well covered defensively.Our lack of strength in depth up front is clearly evident, particularly with ESR unavailable.

  4. I think Arteta was too scared to lose and settled for the point or he would have brought in an attacking player to change things up. We controlled possession and they can’t score if they don’t have the ball.

    Not bad, 1 point is better than 0.

  5. We have as many potential coaches at Arsenal as we have fans! And each of them know the job better than the man who is trusted with, and paid to do it.
    Please let Arteta do his job. It’s no time for experimentation. The man has his trusted first eleven and knows when a replacement is needed

  6. Doubt Vieira could withstand the physicality Newcastle had on the pitch, maybe gaffer thinking the same?

    I lost a lot of respect for Howe after the match, and the tactics he imployed.

    Reminded me of why I dislike Stoke City and their antics. Unfortunate that he chose this avenue rather than trading punches and making for an exciting game.

    He stalled us, fair play to him, but such an ugly and uninspiring display and tactics really turned me from Howe.

    1. It is the points that matter and they got the job done, this is what you want from the manager. Sacrificing for a single game for a better future/outcome at the end of the season may be a much needed sacrifice. It shows the manager is able to adapt to who they are facing.

      They are not and won’t be the 1st team to it to and when this happens we need answers.

      1. I look forward to seeing how we handle spurs and united if they ploy these tactics against us.

        And we know one of them will be gifted a soft penalty at the very least.

    2. I understand your sentiments but would Arteta have done any different if he was in Howe’s shoes? I certainly wasn’t expecting Newcastle to be in such a prominent position in the league and it looks to me as though he doesn’t care how they stay up near the top, just as long as they do.

      Like you, I thought it made for a terrible spectacle

      1. Fair point SueP, but I don’t think Arteta would have employed the type of time wasting tactics that Howe used. How many times did the Newcastle players sit down and stall play? The antics of Newcastle assistant throwing the ball when it was unnecessary?

        Arteta seems one for mind games, but not one to go against the spirit of the game and employ the tactics we saw from Howe.

        Arteta parking the bus? Sure we saw that last year. Stalling game by players? I remember him pushing Partey back onto the pitch, getting on Martinelli for sitting near the sidelines.

        That is why I say Arteta would not duplicate those tactics from Howe, or muddy the game with the Stoke-ish behavior.

    3. Durand Odd that you lost respect for Howe after the game.
      I had the opposite experience , having seen how well he set his side up to defend and how hard they worked Consequently, I then had MORE , not less, respect for what I see as a fine manager. But then, perhaps unlike you, I never expected Newcastle to play an open attacking game against US.

      THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN CRAZY , SO HE DID NOT DO IT . Hence,I respect his judgement more now than I did before.

    4. You have to remember Eddie Howe got relegated with Bournemouth trying to play attractive football. He is maturing as a manager. Arsenal played sexy football for the last decade of Wenger’s reign without success. It’s not great for the viewer but he wants the points because he is playing for the future. 5 years down the line if he remains successful he can buy the best players in the world and everyone will forget what it took to get there.

      1. Bournemouth got relegated because of lack of investment, small club, if he played defensive, they still would have got relegated, some clubs are yo-yo and will always got down come up, go down etc. Football is about entertainment and making fans happy, it;s what you pay your money for, if we became boring, predictable and won things I wouldn’t go to most games, The Emirates this season has been electric because of our style of football and manager

  7. It just shows how far we have come this season, when another top three team comes to defend.
    I am certain we will not play that way in the return leg and then we can start questioning MA’s judgement.

    In my opinion, we should have had at least one penalty and had more protection given by an inept official, ably backed up by those using var.

    Zinchenko did not help Martinelli during the game and was a reason why the young Brazilian looked so out of sorts in my opinion.

    I’m sure MA will give as many players as he can a rest in the fa cup and we will carry on, after this blip, playing the game that has seen us lead the PL.

    Two thoughts : I do wish MA would calm down a little and I hope we will see two major signings in the next few days.

  8. Am in agreement with corporateMan in post above, in my opinion we don’t have that game changer on the bench.

    If we had experimented and loss the conversation would have been different today.
    Throwing Marquinhos in at the deep end make no sense in my opinion , giving him the run in probably our toughest game to date is a clear indication why we are not in the job.

    Easier opportunity will present its self where can make a more gentle introduction.

  9. Newcastle were totally outplayed by Arsenal,but if the officials don’t remain impartial you don’t win. Thems the breaks in football,it happens too often! What you don’t do is panick and lose the game. We go again and will probably win!

  10. Arteta knows his players and he did not think Marquinos or Viera were ready to play, and he is right. The problem is our thin squad, with huge gaps of quality between the first and second 11.

  11. A question to all who say our bench wasn’t strong enough for changes. How come Newcastles was strong enough to make changes?
    People are saying Arsenal who are over 3 years into a process and had a 30mil player signed in the summer and deemed not good enough to come on. But Newcastle who were next to bottom last season and are just about a year into their process (and had significant injuries) can bring players off their bench away from home to change things and we cant. Incredulous!!

    1. Yes, Vieira is a poor buy. Let’s say it as it is. He may turn out good in the future but certainly not what we need now.

  12. It seems we are underrating the opposition. Newcastle are no weak team. Any wrong change to the team could made us lose the game. It was a physical game and the only way to get any point was to keep possession while also playing our most physical players. Marquinhos is not ready. Vieira would be too prone to dispossession because of his lack of physicality which will in turn put is at risk of counterattack.
    Perhaps the worst business we did in summer was purchase of Viera and maybe we are currently regretting. A 30 million player should have the confidence of the coach to come on in games like this. I will excuse Marquinhos because we got him for just 6 million.

    1. Tell me what clubs you have managed or coached, anyone we have heard of?……… no one but hey you seem to be the expert with your great opinion…….. That’s sarcasm by the way in case you get carried away thinking it’s praise

  13. I strongly disagree with what I see as an odd and minority view from the writer of this article.
    MARQUINOIS is plainly not ready to sub ANYof our forward players in a match of this intensity and quality. I could scarcely believe what I read, TBH!

  14. I was surprised Vieira didn’t come on – he’s the sort of player who might pick a killer pass or score from very little. He would have caused a change in the way we were playing, though, which could have gone either way. I’m not so concerned about his lack of physicality, it’s part of his game, and I think he’s used to it.

    I do think arteta wanted to win the game, but was (understandably and probably correctly) more concerned about upsetting the balance and losing the game. A draw against them is not a bad result – we can’t win every game, and we were up against a good side.

  15. Whenever we as fans goes detail on how Arteta should conduct his job, we have already invited the forgone venom back to the Emirates. Arteta spends time with the players on the training ground. Instead of demanding what Arteta should do, maybe an in-depth analysis on why Arteta did it should be more constructive and informative. This is just lazy journalism.

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