Arsenal returned to Premier League duties on Saturday lunchtime with a trip to Crystal Palace. Here are five things we learned from the 1-1 draw.
In a bitty, scrappy, to-and-fro affair, Arsenal came away from their Saturday lunchtime trip to Selhurst Park with a hard-earned point. Mikel Arteta’s team started dominantly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sweeping a lovely move into the bottom corner. But as Palace started to press higher, the Gunners struggled to pass the ball as effectively. Jordan Ayew nabbed a deflected equaliser and Aubameyang was sent off, leaving the sides sharing a fair point.
Here are five things we learned from the 1-1 draw.
5. The Mikel Arteta definition grows
For the first time all season, Arsenal named an unchanged team in two successive Premier League games. That it took until mid-January to achieve that feat is troublesome, to say the least. But under Mikel Arteta, there has been a much clearer and well-defined style that the team has taken to and is at least attempting to execute.
The 4-2-3-1 formation that morphs into a 4-4-1-1 out of possession and a 2-3-5 in possession, with a high-pressing approach on turnovers, quick interplay in deep areas to build up attacking moves, and the focus on getting Mesut Ozil into pockets of space in the right half-space, it is quite noticeable and evident what Arsenal are trying to do under Arteta.
Unai Emery’s greatest problem was his confusing instructions, largely because of his incessant tinkering, of personnel and system. Emery wanted his team to be adaptable, but he took it to an extent that they then did not know what to do. Clarity was painfully absent. But under Arteta, there is a plan, and it might just be a successful one.