For a while it looked like Arsenal were over their rough patch. But with just one point taken from their last three games, it seems that Mikel Arteta’s team are back under immense pressure.
The recent 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa highlighted the Gunners problems. While Arsenal enjoyed the majority of possession and had more shots, the team’s increasingly toothless attack meant that just a single goal from Villa’s Ollie Watkins made the difference. It was a bitter defeat as it was the first major outing for the Australian keeper Mathew Ryan since arriving on loan from Brighton and many Australian bookmakers would have been surprised that Ryan didn’t keep a clean sheet.
Despite this Arsenal are looking a touch more robust in defence in comparison to the previous season. The team have only conceded 23 goals in the Premier League so far. This is the third lowest in the league behind Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
While this is good news, it just emphasises the fact that Arsenal’s attack isn’t firing on all cylinders. With just five Premier League goals so far this season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is looking like a shadow of his former self. The 31-year old has missed a handful of recent games due to personal issues, but it’s clear that Aubameyang’s problems go further than that.
Aubameyang isn’t the only Arsenal forward having problems with form. The arrival of Willian from Chelsea looked like being a hugely promising move. But the Brazilian star has had problems adapting and has shown nowhere near the amount of creativity since he arrived at Arsenal. Plus with Pepe remaining frustratingly inconsistent, it’s been left to Alexandre Lacazette to bring up the Gunner’s relatively dismal Premier League goal tally to 27 thanks to his eight strikes.
The defeat by Aston Villa followed on from a 2-1 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers that showcased Arsenal’s other main issue – red cards. For the first half of this game, the Gunners were in commanding form with Nicolas Pepe pushing the North London side ahead with an excellent goal early on. But when David Luiz was cruelly sent off at the end of the first half, it put Wolves back in the game.
But that wasn’t the end of it. When Bernd Leno ran out of his penalty area and handled the ball in a bewildering manner, he was the second Arsenal man to get a red card. Thankfully Arsenal have plenty of back-up goalkeeping talent. Runar Alex Runarsson came on and spared any more blushes and the game ended with Wolves as the 2-1 winners.
Arsenal have picked up a staggering nine red cards since Mikel Arteta took over the managerial duties in December 2019. All of which has led some fans to say that Arteta simply isn’t in control of his squad. After all, with Arsenal boasting three-times as many red cards as any other Premier League team in the same time period, it’s clear that lack of discipline is becoming a real issue.
Much of the blame has been levelled at David Luiz. The defender has somehow picked up more red cards (three) and also conceded more penalties (six) than any other Premier League player in this time period. While there is no doubting the spirit that Luiz plays with, it’s clear that he is starting to become a liability to the team.
Not that it’s all bad news for Arsenal fans. Youngsters like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe are looking hugely promising. Plus the team have finally managed to lessen some of their wage bills by finally getting rid of Mesut Ozil. But with plenty of problems to overcome, it looks like being another frustrating season for the Arsenal faithful.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience