12 games into the PL season, we can assess what has gone well for Arsenal, and what has not. In this article, I’d like to discuss three things Mikel Arteta has got right.
For me, the three things he’s got right are as follows:
Trusting Jorginho to replace Thomas Partey
Yes, Declan Rice was signed to play No. 6, but there were calls for him to be tested in a box-to-box role as well. Arteta required someone else to play the No. 6 role to set Rice free. This is where Jorginho enters the picture. Last season’s January signing has dazzled in the defensive role since being tried out, allowing Rice to showcase his brilliance without the defensive duties holding him back. Jorginho has looked reborn in recent weeks, particularly in victories over Manchester City, Sevilla, and Burnley. Jorginho is now an Arsenal first-choice midfielder, providing the balance that Arteta lacked when he preferred a Havertz-Rice-Odegaard midfield.
Shaking things up at left back
Oleksander Zinchenko has been Arsenal’s first-choice left back, but his position is under threat. The Ukrainian international’s poor form prompted many to call for him to be dropped, and Arteta did so in some crucial games to ensure victory. It’s worth noting that Arteta, with his quick thinking, recognized Takehiro Tomiyasu as a viable option at left back and has used him there. The way the Spaniard has distributed the minutes between his options at left back has brought out the best in the position. We’ve seen Zinchenko look out of form, then be benched, only to return and play well, as he did against Burnley.
Having a successful summer transfer window
Injuries have been a major issue for Arsenal this season, with players such as Gabriel Jesus, Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, Eddie Nketiah, and Martin Odegaard all missing games. But, interestingly, even without some of these players, Mikel Arteta has been able to field a strong team, ensuring that he has only lost once.
The Gunners have handled their injury crisis admirably, and it is partly down to the excellent transfer activity in the summer.
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