Arsenal has had some of the most underperforming players in the Premier League this season, especially in the midfield.
Arsenal has quality players like Mesut Ozil, Nicolas Pepe, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but not all of them are pulling their weight on a consistent basis.
The team’s midfield has underperformed arguably more than any other position in the team and Mikel Arteta will be scratching his head as he looks to get more out of his midfielders.
As a fan, I am happy that we have the likes of Torreira and Xhaka in our ranks, but I am dissatisfied with what they have been contributing so far.
Some credits is due to them for the upturn in performances under Mikel Arteta but we need a few more things from them going forward.
I will admit that in recent games, especially against Newcastle yesterday, they have done better but more is needed.
Arsenal midfielders have to begin to chip in with the goals more often. Almost every team knows that Aubameyang is our main source of goals and they will look to focus on him.
With goals coming from midfield, we can become more unpredictable and teams will find it hard to stop us from scoring.
Control of games
We let games slip out of our hands too often. I want our midfielders to take control of games more, I want them to dictate the pace and direction of the game even if we are winning. Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos did that against the Geordies and look what that achieved.
Help the defence more often
Defending should be a team effort. Often our defenders are left on their own to take care of danger, however, if our midfielders can offer more support by tracking back, it would be hard for teams to expose our defence as often as they have been doing.
Our midfielders have done their bit in terms of helping the team improve results but there is still a lot more they can offer.
An article from Ime
Your points are very valid, Martin, and I would just add that they must under all and any circumstances keep formation and, while saying that, also coer each other’s positions. Awareness of where everybody is on the field is a big part of the success of top teams.
Arteta has succeeded in getting his players to take on defensive responsibilities which a number failed to do under Wenger and Emery.However ,apart from Torreria,we lack a genuine dedicated defensive midfielder which is needed as teams counter attack.Our midfield three yesterday are all good with the ball at their feet but defensively, Xhaka, Ceballos and Ozil are lacking in pace, power and awareness.Against a better team than Newcastle we could have struggled and at the end of the day the result was not a true reflection on our performance.We desperately need a top quality DM to bring balance to our midfield and to protect our centre backs, who to be fair to them did well yesterday.In AMN, Willock and Guendouzi we have young players with lots of energy but they are not natural defensive players and never will be.The need for a quality DM is very evident particularly against good quality opposition.
MAN is the cure of our DM position.Arteta should mind about that soon than later.Despite his versatility Ainsley Maitland-miles has everything needed in this area…!.Callum Chambers is another candidate too!
i cannot remember which season it was but we had six players on double digits goals scored end of January, we have to try and get back to being a threat from our midfield once again like all successful teams otherwise as you said Martin= Almost every team knows that Aubameyang is our main source of goals and his overly man marked where the rest of our team is running around trying to find opportunity to pass the ball to him, one of the great things about AW was that he encouraged all players to have a go at scoring if they were in a position to do so, this summer transfer we have to concentrate in midfield
The blunders, or better the biased officiating in that last match has been badly overshadowed by the eventual scoreline.
Don’t come here telling me it was a fair officiating because I watched the match.
By the way, what was that Saka yellow card for?
I have said multiple times that ceballos is not a 10 and he justified it yesterday.He was a superb deep lying playmaker,has very clever feet.He can carry the ball and make good passes so that allows ozil to remain in the attacking half and do his thing.These 2 brings loads of creativity and then you have pepe and saka on the flanks and its just like a blockbuster movie.
Leaving torreira out can bring problems defensively but i think this is where the defenders should show their class.Their positjoning and awareness will be tested whenever torreira is out.But you got to have ceballos and ozil.These 2 have super chemistry and when one is marked the other runs free.And i think we can trust xhaka as a DM,he lacks pace but he did tackle and intercept well even after the yellow card and hes got a good passing range so these 3 players look very promising.
And must mention,pepe did some extra ordinary stuff yesterday with the ball and without the ball.He was a team player yesterday than being more direct which influenced the game very well.
And i also think saka should be dropped when tierney returns.I feel that because tierney is a natural LB.He positions well and is very intelligent offensively and defensively.Saka did nothing wrong but yesterday he was caught out of position few times.He was awarded the MOTM award for the game he showed but i think tierney ahould be tgere and….SAKA SHOULD BE ON THE LW.Auba is not a good winger.But MA knows best and i trust him.
Can’t agree with the article on Xhaka being good enough. MARTIN SAYS HE LIKES XHAKA, SO MUST THINK HIM GOOD ENOUGH. I DO NOT AND NEVER HAVE. Xhaka represents all that is still not good enough; lack of awareness, hot headed, little mobility, no speed, slow thinking, slow moving. A pretty damning list of faults for any players. And all obviously true! When you think of some of the fine midfielders we have had in recent years, Rosicky, Cazorla, then his dreadfulness becomes even more depressingly real! All he offers is height and power and a powerful but usually wayward long shot. Not for me. No way! Without pace(of both thought and movement) and mobility, no midfielder can be much use at all.
There is no liverpool player in the Top 5 scorers in the PL.
That tells you everything. Balance is key. Football is a team sport and that’s the way it should be.
The combination of Ceballos and Ozil in midfield reminded me of Carzolla and Ozil. Carzolla played BoxtoBox, deeplying playmaker and enabled Ozil to concentrate on the final third and this brought out the best of Ozil in an Arsenal shirt. In this games, Ceballos did the same and his ball distribution was awesome. Ozil was in the final third and he scored. We need more of this combination. If Ceballos goes in the summer then MA should recruit another talented B2B