If we were to say that it’s been a mixed start to Mikel Arteta’s tenure as Arsenal manager that would probably be an understatement. They haven’t won a whole lot of games and they haven’t lost a whole lot either. They’ve been registering draws like they’re going out of fashion and they’ve been doing so with a team that is capable of producing so much more. Whether or not Arteta is the right man to get the best out of them, of course, remains to be seen, but there’s cause for both hope and pessimism at this stage of the campaign.
It’s worth taking a look at the last few results that Arsenal have picked up if only to see what can be done to improve. It’s going to be a long few months and while there has certainly been a lot of negativity floating around as of late, there’s still a lot to play for. Arsenal are still in the mix in the Europa League, they’re going strong in the FA Cup, and they may as well try and put forward a respectable finish in the Premier League. At the very least, the possibility of picking up some silverware is still on the table.
Arsenal 1-0 Leeds
Arsenal were simply not good enough in the first half against Leeds as they were taken to the cleaners by the Championship leaders. The visitors did literally everything but score, and in the second half, Mikel Arteta knew that the door had been left for them to kick wide open. That’s exactly what they did and while it was still a difficult game to see out, Reiss Nelson’s messy goal was enough to ensure that the team kept on rolling through to the fourth round.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal
The red card of Aubameyang in the second half means that a lot of fans are going to keep viewing this game as one point gained, especially as it took place away from home. There’s some merit to that idea but even with ten men, Arsenal probably should’ve been able to get themselves over the finish line with a second goal. Still, this was at an early stage of Arteta’s time with the club, and fans weren’t ready to throw him under the bus just yet.
To be continued…