Arteta’s biggest issues on making us a top team again by Ackshay
Ever since he started at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has been focused on improving our poor discipline and attitude of the players, which was the major reason for our fall from being a top 4 team to a mid-table team. We see more players, especially attackers, involved in defending during Arteta’s 1st few months than in our last 3 seasons combined. He is also very strict about discipline, as shown by the Guendouzi and AMN cases where the young players were punished. This is a stark difference from Wenger’s ‘loving father’ or Emery’s ‘complete lack of control over the players’.
One of Arteta’s biggest problem is that Emery was more of a Klopp-style coach, whereas Arteta is closer to Pep-style, thus the current squad available is not suited for him. The similarities to Liverpool were obvious, like we played 2 wide attackers who were our primary goal/assist suppliers, with a hardworking striker who links up play and drops into the midfield.
Our midfield lacks creativity, but is supposed to be hardworking and cover for our attacking full backs. We all saw what happened. We were basically a poor Liverpool, because the players never played like Emery wanted and/or his tactics were incomprehensible. Emery didn’t want a creative midfield, thus our lack of technically good players, whereas Arteta style demands it. Arteta is simply improving the existing flawed gameplay with noticeable changes. He cannot just start playing his own style, as by the time the players adapt the season would be over and we would be closer to relegation than top 4.
That we are still in the race for Champions league despite our 1st half of the season with Emery/Ljungberg is astonishing. I believe that if we had no chance of top 5 when Arteta arrived he would have sacrificed the rest of the season instilling his playing style and the players he wants. That’s why some fans are not happy because they still see us playing quite similar to the Emery days – albeit with improvements.
Another huge issue has been our fitness – or rather the lack of it. It was quite obvious to me while watching the home game vs Chelsea that our players were unfit to play the Arteta system. When you compare the sheer brilliance of that 1st half to the players being dead on their feet on the 2nd half. The lack of fitness is also visible when looking at the difference in performance from game to game. Also, Arteta is still a novice at this level, so no matter how good he is, errors are bound to happen, and he learns on the job. We will really have a good indicator on the Arteta formation and playstyle after he has had a good pre-season and the chance to shape the squad to his liking. The process will be slow as the diseases that plague our club runs deep although if we somehow manage to get that champions league spot it would automatically speed up our recovery.
Remember it was us relinquishing that 4th place to Liverpool that lead to their rise, as they built on that instead of stagnating like we did.