After another insipid performance at home, even at this early stage is it time to start questioning our top four chances.
The statistics are really damning for Arsenal; eleventh in the table, four defeats in eight games, zero goals from open play in four games and only nine goals all season in the league – three of those came against Fulham on the opening day of the season.
When you consider the options we have in our attack that is a quite frankly awful statistic(s). After last week’s dominant performance against Manchester United I would have hoped that this would push Arsenal on and we would have seen this approach on a more consistent basis, instead in patented Arsenal fashion we took one step forward and then took one giant leap back.
Not for the first time I’m finding myself questioning the players’ mentality. During the week before games, Arsenal will put out pictures of the player’s laughing and joking whilst in training. That kind of behavior is fine if the club are on a good run of form, but if we are going to continue to produce atrocious performances on a near consistent basis you have to question whether the players care enough, or are they here to just collect a paycheck?
If we want to get back to the top level we need to have some consistency and cut out the basic errors. Right now, we are doing neither.
Mikel Arteta need’s to take some accountability from the performance against Aston Villa, and he should face some questions. Why does he continue to start the woefully out of form Alexandre Lacazette and the not much better Willian? Why has Nicolas Pepe been relegated to the Europa League squad? What is being done to improve the attack?
I want Arteta to succeed at Arsenal but playing this style of football and making continuously poor decisions is going to result in him failing catastrophically.
I said previously that the fight for the top four would be one of the most competitive in recent memory with as many as eight teams looking to qualify for the Champions League next season. Looking at things currently we would be lucky to even be part of that group, and another season of Europa League football – or worse – looks a distinct possibility.
We also need to question Arteta on what his style of play is and why he is taking such a pragmatic approach on a weekly basis. It’s the brand of football you expect to see from a newly promoted team or a perennial mid-table club, not a team looking to challenge at the top of the table.
As the home team on Sunday, we are expected to play on the front foot and take the game to the opposition, instead when we were chasing the game at 1-0 we had all eleven players in our own half. It is absolutely insane to play this kind of football and expect to achieve your goal.
Most of the time we seem to have one game plan and if that fails we appear clueless, with Mikel Arteta seemingly hoping for a big game performance from certain individuals like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and to be honest, he looks completely fed up from carrying the team over the last couple of seasons.
If Arteta wants to have any kind of impact this season he needs to seriously rethink his tactics and his approach to certain games. We are told that Arsenal are improving but the harsh reality is that we are worse than we were last season under a man who was thought to be seriously out of his depth with his style of football one of the worst seen at the club in a long time. Unai Emery didn’t last long playing that style of football and Arteta should not be immune from getting the boot if things continue in this vein.
We are told to trust the process but what is the process? Is it continue this way for another year and then watch us take off? I doubt it. Another season without Champions League football will be financially crippling for Arsenal and I’m certain that when Thomas Partey and Aubameyang joined they didn’t sign on to join a club fighting for a top ten finish.
Some people will say there is still a long way to go and things could turn around between now and the end of the season and we could get that coveted top four spot, but the question is do we have the mentality to do it?