Five worrying issues identified in Arsenal’s draw with Burnley

Problems continue to plague Mikel Arteta as he attempts to turn Arsenal around.

Earlier today I did an article about five positives that Arsenal can take from the draw with Burnley on Sunday afternoon, well, there were also negatives and there is no point in ignoring them.

For the sake of balance, I am keeping the number of negatives to five as I did with the positives.

Lacazette lack of form
This is a significant worry, he has gone a whole year now without scoring an away goal in the Premier League. Any way you dress that up it is ingrained. It is becoming more and more difficult to understand any justification for him keeping a place on the team.

No creativity even with Mesut Ozil playing
The lack of creativity from Arsenal is startling, it really makes no difference if Ozil is playing or not these days. Whether it is tactics or personnel I do not know but it is clearly self-evident that it is far harder to score goals without creativity.

Mikel Arteta decision making
It is baffling that he persisted with Lacazette for so long yesterday when he was not an asset on the pitch, substituting him on the 85th minute with another attacker made no sense, not if you were trying to win the game. It was also strange why Lucas Torreira did not start. There is the height reasoning but that smacked of negativity from word go.

Nicolas Pepe
He was not started yesterday, he was not brought on as a sub and despite the odd glimpse of talent he has shown very little. A huge sum was paid for him and once you spend that sort of money you expect a team to be built around that player. The fact he did not feature at all yesterday is a reason for concern.

Over-reliance on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Auba did not score and the game finished 0-0. Too many times the Gabonese hit-man has rescued Arsenal and when he is not firing on all cylinders the team pays a price. There has to be an alternative to the former Dortmund star. It could be Gabriel Martinelli but not when you are playing him so far out wide.


  1. I would suggest its tactics, Liverpool dont have creativity in midfield. That is one aspect that they dont have they are solid and very often just punt balls forward for their front three to run on to and do their thing. City have creativity in midfield and play a totally different style of football. I would suggest though because city are very creative they are also more easy to get at than Liverpool. Our forwards dont seem to have a direction at the moment and it’s a pity that Saka had to depart because he was our most creative player, visually and statistically, this season. Our young players are not letting us down its the older so called experienced players that are.

  2. It’s a brutal grind mid tale right now.
    Draws are the most popular result.
    Arsenal is one of 11 teams desperate to escape mid table mediocrity.
    Below is a list of points gained through the last 13 games among teams 4 through 14.

    Mourinho….Games 13- 23 points
    Hassenhuttl……..13 -23
    Nuno…………… 13 – 20
    Wilder ……… 13- 19
    Ole………….…..13 – 19
    Ancelotti……..…. 8 – 12
    Bruce………..…..13 – 16
    Lampard…………13 – 15
    Hodgson…………13 – 15
    Arteta/Ljung ……13- 14
    Dyche………..…..13- 14

    Top 4 from the league is near impossible now.
    Use the PL games as training sessions for next season.
    Focus on the EL
    CL or nothing.
    Please no EL again next season.

  3. Much has been written after the Burnley game about Arsenal’s number of wins [6] after the 25th PL match. Disliked Emery vs worshipped Arteta stats: Emery.. played 13 won 4; Freddie played 5 won 1; and Arteta played 7 won 1!!!!

    1. Everyone inevitably has an opinion when it comes to football. It’s interesting that Emery’s record in this most dismal of season is beginning to look better than MA’s Yet, many continue to blame Emery for the teams current woes.

      1. David
        As Emery has now left the club we don’t know whether he would have won, drawn or lost the games played since Arteta took over.
        Yes we do all have our opinions but my suspicion is that UE would have presided over losses. The team was heading down to the bottom. We might not get higher than 9th this season but had Emery still been in charge I suspect we’d be in the bottom 3

        1. SueP, as you state Emery was sacked and it was obvious that many of the so-called “professional” footballers in this Arsenal squad had downed tools. He may have got better results, but that is improbable if the players stop playing for you. The disgusting thing is that Arteta does not appear to have has benefited from any “new coach” bounce, in regard to results.
          Irrespective of the head coach these players are underperforming and it is obvious that a major overhaul of player quality and squad depth is required. Arteta needs support in the summer transfer window from Kroenke and the Board, otherwise continuing mid table mediocrity for this great Club beckons.

          1. ozziegunner,

            I agree that the players stopped playing for Emery, and I am yet to see if the same thing is happening to Arteta as I do think at least steadied the ship. Results have not amounted to enough wins yet, but the atmosphere during the latter stages of Emery’s reign and the dismal quality of football on offer must be down to the him. Players don’t usually down tools for nothing. Not very professional I admit, but not uncommon. You used the word disgusting which confused me. Was it disgusting to you that Arteta didn’t have the talent do improve the team enough or that the team has still carried on under performing?

            It is essential that Arteta receives the support that you suggest but as Kroenke does not show interest in his UK business apart from how much he can make, then MA has a job on his hands to turn us into world beaters. Many on this site talk of boycotting home games as empty seats affects turnover, but Kroenke seems to have a very thick skin. I like everyone else wants Arteta to be another Klopp but he had the backing of Fenway and time.

            We are all a fickle lot.

  4. The Problem is Arsenal midfield. We need to get rid of Ozil and replace him with a goal scoring midfielder. He does not do anything . I really do not like him . We had players like Fabrigus/ Nasri and Cazorla… Even Ramsey was better than him and we need to sell Ramsey because of Ozil wages comparison ..I do not know who but we must need a goal scoring midfielder …The defense seems to ever improving and we have signed few players.. So now we need a proper No 10, a world class one.

    1. Ceballos hardly impressed when he started PL games. Might as well give him a shot, but I wouldn’t compare him creatively to Ozil

      1. I dont think Real Madrid will loan out a player more creative than Ozil when they have aging squad with only Valverde as an Under 23 midfielder. With Zidane rebuilding the team around youth players such as Vinicius, Rodrigo, Valverde and Mendy. It only shows that only deluded Arsenal fans think Ceballos is that good.

  5. I want Nicola’s Pexit! Seriously though, what would happen if we pulled out of the deal to sign him permanently? Surely the club cannot just sit back and allow itself to be burdened, yet again, with a huge outlay for a misfit of a player. The club should explore all legal channels on how it can free itself from this Pepè deal. Isn’t that the whole point of doing a loan anyway, to mitigate risk?

    1. A LOAN deal?

      We BOUGHT Pepe. You buy something to be paid in instalments you still bought not loaned it even if the payments will take 4 years to paid in full…

  6. I think the lacazette problem is bigger than the Ozil one. When strikers lose their form, they lose confidence. They don’t make the good runs or get in the right positions anymore. They lose their finishing touch.
    If Lacazette could score goals, we won’t even talk about Ozil nor team tactics or Arteta. We’d just be happy with an away win.

    1. Excellent point Auba. We derided Giroud once for going 15 games without scoring! Yet everyone who has an Ozil agenda cannot see that Lacazette has cost Arsenal points, perhaps more than the the defense! He is utterly useless at the moment, but hey if you run around then you are OK! We should perhaps revert to a 4-3-3 with Ceballos in MF and have Auba lead the line. It’s absurd to have a currently useless CF usurp the role of Auba!

  7. No creativity, yet we made three clear cut chances in the first half of the match I watched?Creativity is not confined only to midfielders.As Liverpool have shown with three hard working midfielders you can gain control of a match and grind teams into the ground.Their creativity comes from their excellent full backs and the deep lying Firmino who links play around the box in tight areas.No the secret of Liverpool’s success ,apart from their goal scoring wingers,is the fact that they do not carry any passengers.There are no apparent weaknesses in their first eleven whereas the highly creative Man City have glaring weaknesses at the back.

    1. Grandad
      Totally true Liverpool have 11 good players working continuously. We have 11 players that actually add up to about 9 and a half in quality and effort. We need 11 good players.

  8. You must stop blaming players for Arteta lack of logic and sense. He can’t pick right formation nor realize when he did once, which makes it worst and would.

    For last cup game’s first half, left wing was on fire providing both goals, dominating game.

    Martinelli as winger, Saka behind him and Xhaka behind Saka, playing as LB.

    Saka was more in an attacking midfield role that works great for him & us

    At of second half start, he moved Saka as LB and Xhaka as a DM, we almost lost that game in the end, under threat all half, defending, panic and lost as we been for a while.

    If you switch an attacking player to defend, and add a DM, it shift balance and our game; pure logic, we then more defensive with 6 players doing so, no transition in middle to attack then.

    Ozil get blame as attacking players but they did very well in first half; tac tic and formation changed, not players’ skills in a half.

    I simply couldn’t believe that he didn’t noticed those two halves completely different in outcome; we won game in first, but lost as we were in second!

    It is 100% Arteta, those 2 halves highlighted his limits and mediocrity.

    He is good for players spirit, but poor result kills it after a while.

    We must play with one DM and not 2, in order to allowed the other 2 midfieldz and team to play forward. 5 players defending and 5 attacking, right balance. Not 6 and 4 which has us lean to defensive game.

    In the end, Saka obliged to run so much as LB running forward had him injured.

    That really highlights Arterta huge mistake in playing him there instead of Xhaka who finished game as a LB he should have started as and not Saka!

    I’m very worried, we can’t beat relegation teams, nor win a game because of that mistake and Arteta always playing 2DM.

    Gendouzi was doing find alone in first half, all over that middle, when Xhaka add up, it limits Gendouzi game and they step on each other, both looking average then. But Gendouzi was great in that first half in Bournsmouth!

    Arteta is not an intelligent guy but good assistant coach to get players in right spirit; but can’t pick a team nor make proper changes, makes his tac tic a failure!

    Can’t blame players for his mistakes and decisions!


  9. Mogunna, it is not the head coach who is missing clear cut scoring opportunities like Aubameyang and Lacazette are. It is the players fault when they act unprofessionally and down tools and the previous head coach is sacked.

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