Arsenal outplayed at home yet again. When is it acceptable to say enough is enough?
There was an interesting debate on talkSPORT which discussed why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was being criticized for allowing Manchester United to under-perform, but Arsenal were playing just as insipidly with no criticism directed at Mikel Arteta.
This season we have been poor in the vast majority of our appearances in the Premier League, but after each performance there doesn’t seem to be much of an inquest as to why we exactly that is. The majority of fans seem happy to sweep this under the carpet and expect change the following week.
However, it’s safe to say that things aren’t different. We are still seeing the same limp displays with no sign of improvement, and quite frankly I’m growing more than increasingly frustrated at what I’m seeing unfold. Arteta doesn’t look like he has any control over the team, persisting with the same fruitless formula each week and expecting different results.
Now I feel is the time to question what Arteta is doing to improve this current Arsenal team. I can’t see anything that is any different to what I was seeing in the last days of Unai Emery’s reign. It’s becoming more and more evident that the players don’t seem to know what roles they’ve been tasked with and are drifting through games simply chasing the ball.
He has improved the defence, but only marginally. We are still getting carved open frequently during games and basic errors have not been eradicated. One of the main reasons why more questions aren’t being asked of our recent performances is because many fans do believe that Arteta will turn it around. That everything will fall into place.
Now why I am not quite on the ‘Mikel Arteta out’ bandwagon just yet, I will say that unless we have time travelers in our fanbase who have seen the future, there is absolutely zero guarantee that the Arteta project will work. This isn’t a video game where we can control the outcome and we need to be realistic about our current situation.
What is this wretched run of form and these poor outings doing to the mindset of the players? Furthermore, what are the opposition thinking? The majority of teams must be turning up thinking they should beat us comfortably, and worst of all, Arsenal are allowing it.
Nearly a year ago Arteta strode into the Emirates with fire in his belly speaking of non-negotiables and that which would not be tolerated. It seems that these need to be addressed once again because, for the most part, we’re seeing zero effort from certain players yet they find themselves in the starting eleven the following week, well-placed to produce likewise. You also have to question the passion and fight. It seems non-existent.
Arteta spoke earlier in the week about needing at least two or three windows to get the team he wants. This was clearly a tactic to buy time from an increasingly impatient fanbase, some of whom are starting to turn rapidly on him.
Nobody said anything was going to improve overnight, but at the very least he should be getting the best out of his current squad which, after nearly a year, he clearly isn’t. We are playing some of the worst football I have seen in nearly 30 years of watching Arsenal.
I am at a point now where I don’t think it’s acceptable to keep tolerating performances like this. We have a very tough December coming up, and it’s not completely delusional to say that we could end the year in the bottom three if things continue this way. Once again we seem to be teetering on the edge of a complete collapse and there is no encouragement suggesting work is being done to stop it.
If performances continue this way with fans due to be back in the stadium next week, then Arteta and the Arsenal first team should be hearing the message loud and clear. That message nears ‘enough is enough’.