Historically, (as in since Leeds were relegated in 2004), Arsenal have had no problems beating Leeds in their last 7 meetings, but on Sunday the Gunners were absolutely rubbish at Elland Road and in the end were lucky to come away with a point.
After the game, Mikel Arteta gave one of his reasons (among the many) as to why he was upset as: “..We had it really difficult for different reasons because we lost two players on international duty and we had a player that came who wasn’t in the condition to start. We lost two players to injury today and one through suspension and we have an incredible amount of games coming up.”
Of course the two players “lost” were Mohammed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac as they were tested positive for coronavirus, and as Thomas Partey got injured against Aston Villa, Arteta had lost his new preferred midfield pairing at one fell swoop.
The player that “wasn’t in condition to start” must have been Bukayo Saka, who is our most potent attacking threat down the wing at the moment. He had played all three games for England at the tender age of 18. We did see him for half an hour at Leeds but surely we would have been more dangerous if he had started the game.
What about Kieran Tierney, who is also usually a potent threat to opposing teams? He only made one dribble and one tackle in the whole Leeds game, but has the excuse of not only playing three full games for Scotland over the break, but also half an hour of extra time against Serbia! No wonder he wasn’t at his best on Sunday.
If you then add that Aubameyang had to play two matches in Africa while sleeping on an airport floor in between games, and it all adds up to a very bad preparation for the team all in all..
Does that go some way to explaining Arsenal’s weak display at Leeds?