Three players that Arsenal need to have improved after winter break

Mikel Arteta needs three of his big stars to up their game after Dubai break.

Arsenal will return from their winter camp in Dubai in a few days as they prepare to take on Newcastle on Sunday.

This camp has afforded Mikel Arteta time to know more about his players and also drill them on his desired style of play.

The goal will be for each player to improve and begin to pull their weight so that the team’s performance can also improve.

While many Arsenal players didn’t do so well before the end of the first half of the season, I want to talk about three players who absolutely have to get better when they return from Dubai this week.

Alexandre Lacazette

The Frenchman can’t seem to buy a goal at the moment and his miss against Burnley before the break just goes to show that he might be suffering from a lack of confidence in front of goal.

The former Lyon man has to hit the ground running when he returns or else he will have to be sold off in the summer.

Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been one of Arsenal’s problems since he signed his current deal. So much has been expected from him yet he has failed to deliver even basic performances time and again.

Arsenal has to try and sell Ozil off in the next transfer window, nevertheless, he has to improve his output for the team or get dropped by Arteta.

Nicolas Pepe

Pepe only signed for Arsenal because they couldn’t afford a move for Wilfried Zaha and the Ivorian has been nothing close to what has been expected of him so far.

Pepe has shown flashes of brilliance during his time at the Emirates, but that is not enough and he needs to become more consistent.

The hope is that he will solve his inconsistency problems during this break and offer the team more.

An article from Ime


  1. Atid says:

    Only 3?

    I would stick a 2 in front of that.

  2. jon fox says:

    So 23 players then! Even I don’t think THAT MANY need to improve. I’d agree on around 12 though.

  3. Reggie says:

    It would be nice if everyone upped their game a bit.

  4. Tony says:

    And aswell please…
    MA should get Ceballos’ kicking. It’s way miserable the Midfield lack creativity and his on the bench roasting.!
    AFC can’t afford not winning on Sunday, yeah on Sunday..

  5. Mogunna says:

    One day it’s Pepe, then Laca, even Auba, every single players have been rated not good enough at some point…If Auba doesn’t score for few games; not so involve in attack, he gets a 5 or 6, then we want Martineli to be ahead of him, Pepe& Laca! And if he is nowhere to be seen, doesnt score; we want Pepe back!

    It is exactly what Arteta does; comes up with some unreal formations & subs, always gets it wrong and when he gets it right, leading, looking great as in last Cup gale’s first half; he goes back to his 2DMs failure formation for all second half that we lost and amst ended up in trouble!

    Same exact players were on the pitch in both halves; but when he switched formation; moving xhaka as DM, and Saka as LB, it completely killed our balance adnd made our game defensive with no sense nor control!

    In first half all players deserved a 8, some 9; but in second half, a 4 to 6l But it is not accurate; if coach ruins it, move Xhaka from LB to DM, he crowds Gendouzi who covered all that middle fine in first half, they then both look limited. Mainly Saka was above him as an attacking midfield, putting left wing on fire with Martineli!

    Our game reversed from great attacking and defending to confused and lost!

    If you play with midfields all defending, the team dies then. We don’t have a player issue, but wrong formation that leads to Saka injury, used as LB, so Xhaka can play in middle! He then had to play LB with Saka injured!

    That’s the outcome of this unreal mistake Arteta makes as of cup’s second half. Incapable to realise it almost got us to draw; he takes it to next game from where he left it wrong; Saka injured as LB and we draw,…Martineli as Auba laca, Martineli Ozil, all look like a 4to 6!

    2DMs simply makes it impossible for us to see ball forward. No transition in nor from middle to attack!

    Defending all game long it’s us under pressure, leads to mistakes and injuries and to conceid in the end, a draw at best. Same for any teams!

    We can’t play 4.3.3, Emery had this issue, so does Arteta because we do not have the “4”, because no reliable CB pair first.

    They play 2DM to make it up!Gendouzi Xhaka or Torreira Xhaka who are his first choices.

    It makes 6 defending players and 4 forward with Ozil all useless as our game leans on to defend!

    Gendouzi is enough infront of defense, allows 2 other midfield combine & play forward, or no possible transition! Logic!

    When you have a Vandijke in CB pair, all midfields can focus forward!

    We have players to win games and play great footsl with goals. When we attack, control game oponent defends then; our defense is not sollcitated and under fire! Opponent is as in that first half cup last game! Flying forward ,danger coming from all over our attack!

    1. stevo says:

      @mogunna . Far too simplistiç. More detail please. 😉

    2. NMC says:

      Good analysis

  6. Innit says:

    Ozil improve?
    Fat chance!

  7. Roachie says:

    Laca needs to stop throwing himself on the ground and waving imaginary cards at the ref.

  8. gunnerforlife says:

    MA should Play Ceballos instead of Ozil and start with a front 3 of Martinelli, Auba and Pepe, bring on Laca as a impact sub.

  9. Shakir says:

    Laca is lacking confidence,he needs a goal and he will keep firing.MA trusts him and he has some attributes that some of our other strikers lack like holding the ball,linking up plays,ability to play one twos etc.He has his weaknesses as well mainly his pace and height.But i do think MA sees more than us of what he brings to the team.

    Ozil has already impressed MA according to David ornstein.He is averaging 2.1 key passes per game and creating chances that we have failed to convert.His work rate off the ball has improved significantly.One area he needs to improve as i see is shooting.He rarely does that eventhough he has great finishing ability.

    Pepe has shown what he can do in some games.He is still adapting.The main reason i think he struggle is that we carry our attack mainly from the left hand side.MA will work on the attack during this winter break and i hope he comes strong.

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