Arteta pinpoints how Arsenal need to improve in the New Year

Arsenal has enjoyed a successful start to the 2023-24 season. They now lead the league with 40 points after 18 games. There was concern that they would lose their top spot if they lost at Anfield on Saturday; the Reds would have displaced them at the top of the standings. However, in a hard-fought game, Arsenal made sure to depart Anfield with a point.

The goal is that they will finish the year on a high by beating West Ham on December 31. In 2024, the objective should be to maintain first place and be crowned league champions in May. However, Mikel Arteta has identified an area in which his team needs to improve in order to be effective in the second half of the season.

The Arsenal manager wants his squad to be clinical, noting that they have been as dominant as they wanted to be, but haven’t buried certain chances they should have had to change some results that didn’t go their way, such as the 1-0 loss to Villa.

The Boss told Football.London: “Yeah of course there are certain things that we have to improve. Especially killing games. With the amount of dominance that we’re showing, sometimes the results have been too close and we’ve had to dig in to maintain results. That’s it. Nothing else.

“But we have sustained that level with five key players out. We lost five very, very important players for us for many months and the team still showed that level. That’s something we have to maintain, which is the quality in the squad and how willing they are to do what they do every single day.”

If Arsenal can improve their clinical play, I don’t see how they can’t win the league. Believe it or not, 2024 could be Arsenal’s year, especially if we do freshen up the squad with a new striker in January….

Daniel O

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      1. Yeah, on the 31st we go to Craven Cottage which imo will be a more difficult challenge than beating the Hammers at the Emirates on the 28th. We should win both, that’s what bothers me.

      2. Yeah Ken, Daniel O needs to edit his articles before posting. In the previous one he mixed up the name of a player (Osimhen) with the club he played for (Napoli).
        Dan (Smith) also gets his facts wrong.

  1. Absolutely we dominated Aston villa, Brighton and Liverpool 1st half back to back and could have easily come away with 9 pts instead of 4 and be comfortably at the top. Created loads of big chances only to finish with 2 goals from set pieces and a late counter.

  2. Sometimes football Managers need to step back and analyse their own performance in terms of the perceived weaknesses of their team. Arteta has done well to cope with the absence of 3 key players in Partey,Timber and Tomi, but his reluctance to trust players like Trossard, Nelson and ESR and his failure to rotate our front three has been disappointing, and the fact that the performances of Martinelli and Saka have tailed off recently is not surprising.We have become very predictable in attack hence our failure to create many chances to kill off teams.It would be silly to be too critical at a time when we are top of the League but I do hope our Manager shows more imagination in his selections particularly in our front three.For example a front three of Jesus, Havertz and Saka might be very effective and would at least give the opposition some food for thought.

    1. Admittedly MA does need to rotate a little more, and especially give Nelson a chance. However, Trossard has started many games this season, and it’s been a mixed bag from him. ESR is never even available to be given a chance, and Vieira has been very poor when given a chance.

      1. I wouldn’t say trossard has been inconsistent relative to martinelli, Saka or odegaard. I think he’s had one bad game (his first go at the cm role?) and a couple of quiet ones? Odegaard, martinelli and Saka have had off days as well – I think rotation might help keep them fresh.
        Agree with you on Nelson – can’t remember him being particularly bad since the start of last season. Understand he’s mostly competing with Saka, but i can’t understand why he’s had *so* few starts.

    2. I quite agree with you, we need to rotate more especiallynow that we have some players back from injury, Elneny/Ethan could partner Rice, Jesus could play RW with Havertz as CF, Nelson LW and Trossard as AM.

    3. I think you are relying too much on emotions yet stats says otherwise. We are creating more scoring chances but we are failing to put the ball on the back of the net. I challenge you to go back to our stats even against Aston Villa and Newcastle we didn’t make use of the chances we created. For me the Boss is right we need a proven goal scorer up front who can score a lot more goals. Every team is predictable but all you need is consistency from every player. Man City has always been predictable but managed to win the league 3 consecutive years

  3. I think to win the league, he needs to see why his system/tactics, seem to break down under pressure. it seems a good system, while we are able to dominate but it does look iffy when we come under any pressure. we dont score as many goals as we should, we dont create too many clear chances for a possession team. And we cant at times look really wide open. The situation where Liverpool attacked us with a 5 on 2 situation, was really worrying, should never ever happen to a top team, and highlighted some problems, in bright lights, that have been occurring at times all season. Not for the first time in the last few seasons, under wenger and Arteta, we are top in the new year. But like the last time we were top and recent times, our system has let us down. Lets hope, it gets sorted

  4. Daniel O.
    I would think that clinical finish in front of goal by a striker or winger, and to not proflgate in froth of goal to not take his chances and bury them as accordingly.
    Depends on who the striker or winger is. And the level of clinical finish in front of goal that he has in himself.
    Can a striker or winger gives the clinical finish in front of goal that he doesn’t have in himself? NO! I don’t think he can.
    Therefore, for Arteta to see a remarkable improvements on the quality of the clinical finish in front of goal in his Gunners team. In the 2nd half of the season. So that Arsenal will not come short in their Epl title win challenge this season.
    Arsenal will need to sign a new top quality striker next January transfer window. Who if signed,SHOULD bring something different to the Arsenal team offense in terms of regular clinical finish goals scoring in front of goal . I would suggest to Arteta to take a closer look at the AFC Bournemouth’s striker Dominic Solanke 26 for a possible signing early next January transfer window for the purpose of his Gunners team to have a clinical regular goals scoring scorer..

  5. Let us bring in Ivan Toney or break the bank for Ollie Watkins! Whatever the case, I think we all agree we need a proper striker with ruthless finishing.

  6. I see no reason to panic. Top of the league sort of speaks for itself. and Arteta doesn’t seem overly bothered.

  7. Arteta is right that we’ve not been clinical enough. That said, and I know our defensive record is good, but the GD at the top clubs is very similar so it’s a close season so far with more clubs building for the future, rather than a one horse race.
    Much is said about rotation but when I look at the bench there isn’t much to enthuse about- with a couple of exceptions. Apart from City who have such an abundance of talent, most clubs can’t get close to that level throughout their squads.
    The main disappointment for me stems from the quality of the bench. Vieira who is now injured, is hit and miss, and Sambi and Tavares are elsewhere and haven’t made the grade.
    Injuries have definitely played their part. However, most clubs have had the same problem. It’s fair to say that Timber who looked likely to be good and Partey plus Tomi being out are from our best player list. Our home grown players haven’t really stepped up or certainly are not trusted to start and such is the fitness level of ESR that he can’t be relied on to see the season out.

    Overall, we have to take on board that mega rich City have dominated in no small measure to their manager. I’m confident that Arsenal are very much heading in the right direction, but dislodging City is no easy task. I have been through a string of emotions since Arteta arrived 4 years ago, not least because he got so much stick by the want it all now brigade. It was a mammoth task to change the culture of the club and so far so good.

    Happy Christmas everyone and let’s finish 2023 on a high

  8. I doubt it will happen as January is a very difficult transfer window to attract top quality players but we need a proper goal scorer another top quality central midfielder and a left back that can defend I would sacrifice this inverted full back stuff and have a proper solid defender!

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