Opinion: City loss shows that Arteta might need to stop the tinkering now

Manchester City expectedly beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

I said it was expected because of our poor record away from home against the so-called top 6 sides.

However, I reckon that we might have had something from that game if not for the changes made by Mikel Arteta.

One of the changes that the Spaniard made was to keep Alexandre Lacazette on the bench and play Willian as a centre-forward.

It was certainly a bewildering decision that Arteta made for a game of that magnitude.

I understand that the Spaniard was looking to spring a surprise on his mentor, but benching your in-form player really doesn’t make much sense.

This isn’t the first time that Arteta has tinkered with his line up as he continues to search for the best defensive partnership for the team.

I trust Arteta, but I think that the time has come for him to find a team and stick to it.

The Gunners needed a new midfielder and they have gone and signed Thomas Partey, Arteta has to start building his team around the Ghanaian midfielder now or we might continue to struggle with inconsistent form.

An article from Ime

Tags mikel arteta


  1. In Artetas first full season Afc have lost to the best two teams in the league narrowly,in the past few distastorious seasons we were thrashed by these teams.
    The improvement is noticably and Artetas plans are taking shape but everything takes time.

    1. Think the main reason for the better score lines is down to Arteta’s defensive system.

      Lots of fans want us to be more offensive against Liverpool and City. I think before we can do that, we need to play better without the ball. Trying to play flowing attacking football without effective pressing when we lose the ball, would be repeating what we used to do when we were thrashed.

      Leeds could play attractive football against top teams because they press so well once they lose the ball. They are miles ahead of us at pressing

  2. This is football..one team wins and the other loses..but the problem is Arsenal lost its attacking DNA. People around the world became Arsenal fans because of the attractive game Arsenal were playing during Wenger era. Win or loss the game was so entertaining to watch. Now filled with back passes and glimpses of attack. Watch Leads and Everton games. They dont have superstars. Still they play attractive football..Arsenal is the only team playing such a defensive game. I dont blame the players. Its only the game plan which decline their quality..

    1. I believe we are still a year away from seeing the flowing football you speak of. The team is learning stre structure and team ethic it takes to win cup matches/the big teams. Only next season will we gain 600k per week in wages from Ozil, Papa, Mustafi and Luiz. Then there’s the probable sales of Torriera and Geundouzi. Only then can Arteta get the final players he needs for a team that can dominate the ball in the current climate. Not exciting to watch just yet but 10 steps further than we were under Emery 😊.

      1. With the respect I don’t agree with you and I support the makel Arteta but only see very ugly football games how could you tell us process when he put one of the best strikers on bench and one the field taches the Ball three times Because we only play back pass. Come mate don’t tell us that !!

    2. 100% agree with you Sad Gunner it is a boring game plan just count how many touches of the ball our most dangerous player the entire game

  3. Arteta looks more like Mourinho than Pep or Wenger.

    Just remember Mourinho, at his prime, was the darling of reporters and delivered trophies after trophies in his own way, albeit his football style was never in the same level with Pep and Wenger.

    Now, the question is: can Arteta reach the height of Mourinho while taking Arsenal with him, or he will treat us as his own development pad and leave for Man City after a couple of years?

  4. Willian as centre foward against City? Arteta is slowly digging his own grave. Willian cannot even make an impact from the wings which is his natural position

    1. So true, he is a waste of a salary and a space in the starting 11. Besides running around like a headless chicken, he at times looks bewildered and out of place. Terrible decision to take him on board.

  5. I just think Arteta now needs to take the handbrakes off. We are so defensive and cautious again every team be it small teams or big teams.

    I was okay with being ultra defensive last season because it was his first season here and he was getting to know the players. But this season I expected more than playing like Bolton or Stoke city.

    Come on Arteta.

  6. Tinkering? This is how the negativity with Emery started, calling his changes and actions “tinkering”. Thankfully, fans are banned from the stadiums. MA can operate without unnecessary pressure and interference from fans for a good number of weeks before you are allowed back and inevitably hound him out too.

  7. Arteta is just creating unnecessary pressure for himself. We’ve got three centre fowards, of all people how can he play Willian as the main striker. The rain clouds are beginning to gather

  8. There was no need to put Willian up as a false no.9, he is no Hazard. Also Laca is in form and was rearing to go against the top teams. MA should not do such experiments in such crucial games or else Arsenal will soon find top 4 is out of sight.

    1. We were probably going to lose anyway as we have been losing against City for the past half a decade, so why not try something different? It was a bad idea in the end, now he knows. This is the baggage that comes with hiring an inexperienced manager. He is learning on the job and that’s just the truth.

  9. Lacazelle has a natural substitute who is Nketiah. If he keeps underminding him, he will kill the Scoring momentum in him.
    Good players want to play. Do not assume that Nketiah being an academy youngster is tied to the Arsenal team. If you do, you will get your shock. So better be careful.

  10. Arteta let the difference maker go…..Martinez was the difference in some games last season. He would have punched that ball further or out. Leno is average and gaffe prone. Previous game he almost dropped the ball and/or hit his head on the turf from a simple cross. Looks like Arsenal will be looking for a Leno replacement soon.
    We are rebuilding the team and fans have to be patient. Arteta knows he has to build the team for the future as well as keep fans happy by winning games or rather not losing. Lets trust the process…..we are lucky to have a young dynamic pragmatic and well spoken coach.

  11. We should have got something from this game…. oh well, at least West Ham put a smile on my face and I’m hoping PSG do tonight also!!

  12. Even Lacazette was panting after 10 mins of coming in. All they do is play and dance during training instead of getting serious. They should change their training methods to more of first touch ball control and how to penetrate a defense with fluid passing, link-up play and pace.

  13. This is a negative opinion. Ken articles suggested we stop gloom and doom, still there are people not satisfied until they complain about everything.
    What tinkering are you talking about?
    We have been playing the same system since post lock-down, except against city that he used willian which didn’t end well.
    Klop and Pep are good coaches who adapt quickly to changes, we beat both coaches in the FA, it would be difficult to beat them again with same system, probably the reason MA tinker the tactics against city. That doesn’t mean against Leicester or on Thursday we will use willian as CF.

    Get behind your team Thursday night almost here

    1. For us to be positive and show support, do we need to agree with Arteta in everything? This is logical criticism

  14. We are still short a direct take players on striker….in the vain of Vardy, or Luis Square…..Martinelli being the closest to that.
    Dumbele would of been a perfect counterfoil for Aubameyang….

    We also lack a direct attacking midfielder, someone unafraid to take players on, but with a killer end pass to put the strikers on…

    Directness was the thing that teams feared about Arsenal years ago……they were fearless taking on all comers…

  15. “Needs to find his best line up and stick with it”
    1. Is there such a thing as a best lineup for all games?
    2. Is there such a thing as a best lineup for all game plans and strategies?
    3. How do you find your best lineup without chopping and changing?

    He signed midfielder so he should build the team around him.

    Said midfielder around whom the team should be built had only one training session and as a matter of fact, has a four year contract. We’re mourning about him not starting within his first week at arsenal. It’s plain childish.

    Whether you want to believe it or not,real life is not FIFA. These players aren’t going to instantly learn how to play Arteta’s patterns. Sometimes it will work, others it will fail, but with time they’ll learn.

    We’re fans. Lineups and tactics aren’t our job. Our job is to support.

    1. “We’re fans. Lineups and tactics aren’t our job. Our job is to support.”

      So one is not suppose to have an opinion about lineup and tactics…
      Ok Sir


  16. MA is doing a great job and he is a fast learner, I hope this will give him a push forward and learn for his mistakes during that match. With Partey in his formation, he can start focusing on the attacking part more

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