Positives to Take From Arteta’s Start at Arsenal
Happy new year from us at Gooner Daily.
In 2019, I must admit that I wasn’t consistent with blogging due to other commitments but things will be different this year. We have decided to start the year with a freshly baked article from my buddy, Patrick.
Although the results haven’t quite matched the performances that Arsenal have put in under new manager Mikel Arteta so far, it has been quite clear that the team has improved since the Spaniard took over the reins.
Here is a look in more detail at some of the differences Arteta has made with the Gunners who were devoid of all confidence before he arrived.
Clean Slate For A Lot of Players
The arrival of Arteta at the Emirates Stadium has coincided with the manager stating that there is a clean slate for many players in the squad. Those who had fallen out with previous managers, most notably Mesut Ozil who frozen out under Unai Emery, have had the chance to impress the new boss.
“To be fair, his attitude in training since the day that I walked in the building has been incredible. I’ve seen this and I said I would give a clean slate to everybody and that was for him too.
“When we were preparing and watching where we could hurt the opponent, we believed he could be a key point.
“Like this, he responded, did what he had to do and we could have put two or three goals in the net because of him.”
Arteta has been rewarded for bringing in the likes of Ozil and Lucas Torreira back into the fold as they have performed well on their return to the team.
Unfortunately for Unai Emery, and quite possibly Freddie Ljungberg, the respect was lost in the dressing room. Arteta looks to be earning that respect back quite quickly which says a lot about how much the players think of him.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scoring Goals Again
Arteta will be fully aware of how important captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to be for him. The good news for the Spaniard, and Arsenal fans, is that the striker has now netted in his last two games.
Arsenal are now at 25/1 in the football betting for a top-four finish and, if they are to remain in the hunt for a Champions League spot, Aubameyang is going to need to be at his very best. He netted 31 goals in all competitions last season and an even bigger number may well be required this time around.
Confidence Back In The Passing
Pep Guardiola has been credited for the way he has transformed English football during his time at Manchester City, with many clubs now copying his model. Alongside him for a number of those years has been Arteta, so it will be interesting to see if he asks his players to perform in a similar way to how City operate on the field.
The early signs suggest Arsenal will be easy on the eye under Arteta. They were passing the ball around with confidence in the first-half of their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the London Derby and it was only when the Blues netted their equalizer that the confidence seemed to disappear. The confident passing play was on show yet again as the Gunners ran Manchester United ragged with some intricate football, and unlike, the Chelsea game, the Gunners were rewarded for their hard work and intensity with three precious points – their first home victory since the narrow win against Bournemouth in October 2019.
The Gunners Defended As A Team
The biggest criticism of Arsenal this season has been how weak they are defensively. That is something which can’t be fixed overnight, however, against Bournemouth and Chelsea, every player in an Arsenal shirt took on the responsibility.
Matteo Guendouzi and Torreira gave the back four some much-needed protection, while even Aubameyang was tracking back to help Bukayo Saka out on the left-hand side. If that continues going forward, the Gunners should start to concede fewer goals and, in turn, results are sure to improve.
With a new year on the horizon, Arsenal fans will be hoping things are finally moving in the right direction on the pitch once again.
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