Mikel Arteta rues Arsenal’s lack of firepower against Juventus

Arsenal put out quite a strong team against Juventus at the Emirates yesterday, but without our usual front three of Saka, Martinelli and Jesus, we were a looking a little lightweight in the striking department, where we are certain to need reinforcements in the coming transfer window.

The front three were Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira. Eddie and Fabio both had good chances early on, but then Arteta’s options were limited further when Nelson was badly injured halway through the first half, and the only one that could replace him from the bench was the young Brazilian Marquinhos.

The Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made it clear after the game that we should have won the game if we had taken advantage of all the chances created. He told Arsenal.com when asked if he’s focusing more on the performance than the result: Probably, because the result doesn’t reflect the performance. But it’s a good test, a good learning as well for us – games are decided in the boxes. I think they had one or two shots and scored two goals. We had 19 or 20 and had two on target. That’s not enough. Overall, I think everything else was really positive. But that final thing you need to win the games wasn’t good enough today.

The good news is that our two superstar wingers, Gabi and Saka, will be back in the team before we restart the season, and Arteta was very positive about their return shortly: They’ll come back straight away into the rhythm, shape and mould of the team. We’re waiting for them and they are desperate to be back as well. I’ve spoken to both of them. Gabi was here today, with a big smile and big energy. He’s ready to go again. It’s going to be a big boost for the team.

The one thing this game highlighted is that we are desperately short of backups for injuries and suspensions, especially with Jesus (and maybe Nelson) out for a while. We really can’t afford to lose Saka or Martinelli going forward, but they also can’t play every single game.

Let’s hope that Edu and Arteta address this in January…


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  1. Well just like most predicted on here, we will struggle with Eddie upfront. He’s talented but just not at the level of GJ. Yesterday’s game proved what we’ve been criticized for saying: Eddie is not it! We completely dominated the second half but lacked end product. Eddie did his best but we were still blunt. We need a better forward who can do what GJ does.

  2. That may be Nelson’s last chance for a contract extension. Someone who’s injured and not performing at the top level… the only issue is that now he’s injured there will probably be no chance to sell him in January.

    Clearly Eddie isn’t the answer either. He doesn’t have the dribbling skills of GJ and he doesn’t score a high percentage of his chances either – he’s at best a mid-table side’s striker, probably more relegation zone/Championship.

    You can tell a lot about a forward by looking at their skills on the ball – how close their control is. Eddie doesn’t have that and if you don’t have that then, to play at the top level, you need to be a goalscorer along the lines of Shearer, Rooney etc. And he’s not that either.

    1. I do agree with you hundred percent. Edie is good, but not at our present level as the main Striker. People quickly refer us back to his end of last season’s heroics, but was that still enough to give us the desired Top 4? We should try to end this less by 1 or 2 quality at every crucial moments.
      We are at a time we should take our chances. 20 shots 2 on target can’t win us laurels. Up GUNNERS.

  3. Although it was only a friendly it reinforces the need to bring in two forwards imho. Behind the first choice front three we are struggling and with Jesus, now Nelson out we can’t afford another injury in those positions let alone two! ESR has question marks around exactly when he will be available and with us hoping to compete on three fronts we should be looking at a CF and Winger. I wouldn’t even mind if we abandoned a Midfield signing we enough options, maybe not the quality but having enough firepower is the most important factor when it comes to winning the title.

  4. Eddie should be sold on this upcoming window. We could have replaced him with Thuram for probably the same amount of money! If Arteta and Edu have learnt their lessons and mean business, they will be one step ahead!

    1. I wouldn’t sell just yet ’cause we’ve got to compete on three fronts. However, as already noted here, he should be compensating for his lack of dribbling with goals; a lot of them Auba style.

    2. Seb, you honestly think his transfer fee and wages would be £26m ? Because that is what Eddie is getting if he sees out his 5 year contract with us.

  5. Sigh. Here we go. Win a bunch of friendlies with Nketiah up top and no one says a thing but apparently losing to Juventus in a friendly is “proof” that Nketiah can’t do the job.

    Oh, and apparently his rate of goals last season is irrelevant because we didn’t get 4th. Nothing to do with the fact our defence was leaking goals every game and our midfield wasn’t controlling play at all (Both because injuries had us starting our backup players (who aren’t even our first backups anymore in most cases this season).

  6. Eddie is yet to be our main guy, you cannot have the full 2nd half of a season with one striker who is a developing 22.
    Eddie has time to learn and develop and he has his qualities. But we play more than competition and we need more than one striker.
    Gabi is not currently naturally a striker abd with losing GJ and Nelson that leaves us with a very thin squad for the number if games.
    Marquinios need a loan, he needs developing time to show his talent with less pressure.
    I would sign a striker in Jan, if I can, even if a short term one. And there are available quality ones who would not necessarily break the bank.

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