Arsenal's sub-par results since December have raised concerns among fans regarding their chances in the title race. However, Pep Guardiola has addressed the situation, comparing his side to the Gunners, providing reassurance to Arsenal supporters.
Arsenal have won one of their last seven in all competitions with their last victory coming against Brighton on 17 December. Arsenal have often performed well, but have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net.
The north London side was recently knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool following another performance which perhaps deserved more than what they got. This has been a recurring theme in all of their recent games – despite a good performance, they simply aren’t able to capitalise on their chances which has inevitably proven costly.
Pep Guardiola explains why Arsenal fans shouldn’t be worried about poor run of form
However, Pep Guardiola has suggested that this is something that simply “sometimes happens” in football. Speaking ahead of Manchester City's 3-2 victory over Newcastle, Guardiola said: “Even Arsenal dropped points. I saw how they played against West Ham, for example, lost,” he remarked. “Against Liverpool in the FA Cup, how good they play. The chances they create and concede few but don’t get a result. It’s quite similar when we didn’t get points against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, or Tottenham; it sometimes happens.”
Mikel Arteta’s side had performed incredibly last season which set a standard for the team. Many fans and pundits alike expected Arsenal to put up a strong challenge for the title before the start of the 2023/24 campaign. While the team looked extremely sharp to start the new season, recently they have been subjected to a falter in form.
As previously mentioned, the Gunners have not had the best results primarily due to a lack of clinicality coupled with shaky displays of key attackers. However, that does not mean that the side is performing poorly. The north London side generally control the game very well and, in some cases, have been completely dominant.
For example; despite suffering a 2-0 loss to West Ham at the Emirates, Arsenal had 74% of the possession. They also registered a total of 30 shots with an xG of 2.77. However, despite all of it, they lost.
In almost all of their recent defeats, a familiar narrative unfolds. While it's natural for supporters to feel uneasy and cast blame in such situations, there's truly no need for panic here. The key area that requires improvement is finishing, and an entirely different narrative emerges.
It is crucial for Mikel Arteta and his side to address this issue and 90% of it simply can be solved through regaining confidence. A lot of times we see the ball get switched over from the left flank to the right and vice-versa which shows that the players tend to second guess themselves a lot.
Arteta consistently emphasises the importance of fan support as a significant factor in boosting player confidence. Now, more than ever, the gooners must rally behind the team and play their crucial role in fostering a positive atmosphere.
Following their disappointing exit from the FA Cup, the Gunners have got a considerable gap till their next game – Arsenal play Crystal Palace on 20 January and this is yet another game that could get nerve-wrecking. Nevertheless, there's hope that this break will provide the squad with an opportunity to reset, regroup, and return to the pitch with renewed energy, aiming to regain their form and continue their title challenge.