Arteta under pressure now, and rightly so by ThirdManJW
Well that was a painful watch! Another Arsenal defeat, and another game where we’ve looked devoid of ideas in the final third. I think it’s fair to say, that the pressure will start to mount as of now for Arteta.
It’s still too early to really make a judgement on Arteta, and overall, we have massively improved under his leadership. Defensively, we have never looked better over the last 12 years or so. Defending was priority number one, and I am so pleased that Arteta put his focus on that straight away. Arteta has done wonders so far, given his inexperience, and what he inherited, but if there is a chink in his armour, it’s his tactical approach for attacking.
Arsenal have definitely progressed under Arteta, but I would argue, that our attacking game has regressed. We have never been a free flowing attacking side under him, but we seem to have only got worse at attacking this season. The performance against Villa was more of an anomaly, as we have rarely looked so bad from start to finish, but our lack of threat in the final third was more of a familiar trend.
This is where the pressure will start to come from, because Arteta cannot seem to find a solution to this problem…as of yet. We should remember, that Arteta is still learning the game, and is less than a year in charge at Arsenal, so he may be able to solve our attacking problems. What’s also encourerging, is that Arteta has acknowledged that this is something he needs to work on.
Other managers might just swat aside such criticisms, ignoring the issue, but Arteta has identified it, and seemingly, wants to fix it. The question is, can he fix it?
The signs don’t look too good at the moment. The likes of Laca, and Willian have been very poor this season, and Pepe is inconsistent, but Arteta isn’t helping them. We are really struggling to create in the final third, and even Auba barely gets a look at goal these days. I am very worried, because we don’t seem to be improving in the final third either. So, whilst Arteta is trying to solve this problem, he’s struggling to do so. Despite my concerns, I am willing to give Arteta a lot more time, but if we continue to struggle in front of goal, one can imagine that the fans will start becoming more and more restless, as will I.
As an Arsenal fan, the balance between attack and defence has been so frustrating over the last 12 years or so. During Wenger’s final decade it was a brilliant attack, and woeful defending, and now it’s brilliant defending, and woeful attacking! Ironically, we actually looked at our best in regards to balance, under Emery. For the majority of his first season, before it all went to pot!
How big a worry is our attacking game? Are we even improving in this area under Arteta?