3 positives & negatives as Arsenal crumble at home Aston Villa

• Captain Ødegaard leads by example again

• Poor man-management

• Blunt edge in attack persists

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Arsenal FC v Aston Villa - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Aston Villa - Premier League / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Positive #2: All is not lost... yet

While the road ahead is far from easy, Arsenal have already shown their quality time and time again this season, and there is no upcoming fixture that the Gunners, on paper, cannot win.

Despite Arsenal's tricky upcoming fixtures, the league leaders Manchester City still have an away trip against our North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to contend with and, with the current gap between us just two points, anything other than a win for them opens the door on the title race - so long as we are perfect until then (easy, right?).

Nobody said winning our first Premier League title in 20 years would be easy, and now we will see exactly what this group of players, and indeed our manager, are made of.

Negative 2: Poor man-management

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal FC v Aston Villa - Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Since he took over as manager in 2019, Arteta has often faced criticism from both rivals, and Arsenal fans.

We are now at a stage where much of this criticism has mostly rescinded, due to his success with the club, but against Aston Villa his man-management was obsolete.

It all felt off. From the starting lineup to his substitutions (or lack thereof for most of the game), many fans largely attributed this to our loss.

In particular, fans were bemused to see Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had been sub-par all game, play almost a full game, while Gabriel Jesus, who saw numerous great chances wasted, as has so often been the case with him, also played the majority of the game before eventually being substituted.

This area of the game was a real source of frustration for fans and, while Arteta rightly defended his right to make big decisions by saying: "I am the manager and I decide the lineup," post-match. This is perhaps another reminder that while we continue to rebuild, Arteta is also still developing and finding his way as a manager - for which it is difficult, although frustrating, to blame him for.

Continued on the next slide...