Match reportParticipant rankings –  By the numbersVideo

Arsenal have received 17 video games within the Premier League this season, and in 16 of them have scored first. So, when Southampton made a first-half mistake, Eddie Nketiah pounced and Gabriel Martinelli crossed for Bukayo Saka, it seems to be very like a sliding doorways second within the chilly gentle of day.

Fraser Forster made an excellent save, and whereas I believe Saka will rue the end – he had loads extra of the aim to purpose for and will have saved it low – the ball was barely behind him and on his flawed foot, so he needed to dig it out just a bit bit.

When Jan Bednarek put Southampton forward simply earlier than the break, I’ve to say I used to be nervous. Not simply because targets are more and more arduous to return by lately, however solely as soon as within the Mikel Arteta period has his group come from being behind at half-time and gone on to win the sport. That was the odd one out of this season, the 2-1 win over Wolves on the Emirates again in February.

It made the percentages even longer, and regardless of enjoying a lot of the recreation within the Southampton half within the second interval the aim didn’t come. We had pictures, Forster made some extra saves – together with one wonderful one from a miscued Smith Rowe effort however the lack of firepower on this group has come again to chunk us in an enormous manner over the previous couple of weeks.

I received’t lie and say I used to be disenchanted to see Nketiah begin up entrance, though as I’ve stated my desire would have been Martinelli, however nor was I joyful to see Lacazette absent fully attributable to Covid. It was an opportunity for Eddie, however bar one or two moments when he confirmed some good power, it was a lacklustre efficiency from a participant who’s within the store window proper now attributable to his contractual state of affairs. I don’t suppose he’ll have turned any heads and that drive you’d anticipate from a younger participant to understand his probability simply wasn’t there.

Some will say the system doesn’t go well with our forwards, and perhaps there’s one thing to that, however to me it’s a high quality subject initially. There are staple items that exist exterior the system that aren’t being executed. Motion, ball retention in tight areas, accuracy of lay-offs and so forth. In Lacazette we’ve seen a participant I believe even his harshest critics would admit is able to significantly better, go off a cliff by way of his type and health, whereas Nketiah is the type of participant who will get you targets in early rounds of the EFL Cup towards decrease league opposition however hasn’t ever proven he can do at Premier League stage with any consistency.

This was the danger that Arteta and Edu took after they let Aubameyang go to Barcelona, they usually knew we had an issue as a result of they tried to signal Dusan Vlahovic in January just for him to maneuver to Juventus. I don’t suppose anyone needed us to splash money on simply any previous participant, leaving us with somebody we didn’t actually need and happening that highway of gamers being surplus to necessities with lengthy contracts, however was there not a single participant we may have introduced in on mortgage to complement a key space of the group? January may – if it’s not already – be seen as a red-letter month within the execution of this mission.

This was their gamble, and initially it appeared prefer it would possibly repay. Now, just a few extra weeks down the road and darkish clouds are forming on the horizon. It’s humorous how shortly issues change in soccer. Not way back we have been considering of a vivid future, maybe with Champions League soccer and all that it will convey by way of status, enjoyable, and drawing energy for these huge signings now we have to make this summer time.

Now, prime six is a real fear. You look forward and see Chelsea then Man Utd and you may’t assist however marvel how, if we couldn’t take a single level whereas scoring only one aim in three video games towards Palace, Brighton and Southampton, we’re going to get something from these ones. Like I stated, issues can change shortly, however typically talking most soccer supporters are fairly sensible, and should you polled the Arsenal fanbase proper now, I’d counsel confidence for these upcoming fixtures is fairly low.

As for yesterday, we appeared like a group that had no actual concepts. At instances it felt just like the sum-total of our attacking plan was to provide it to Cedric to cross it, and let’s be trustworthy, that’s a really poor plan when you have got a 5’9 centre-forward competing with three centre-halves and a goalkeeper the scale of a large redwood. It harked again too carefully to the times when it was Kolasinac on the overlap for a cutback and if that didn’t work search for Kolasinac on the overlap for a cutback [repeat to fade].

On prime of the that, parts of stupidity have been allowed to enter our recreation. Final week ought to have been the final time that Cedric was permitted to take free kicks across the field. But twice he was over the ball in good positions and twice he completely wasted these alternatives – one with the type of supply a hungover Sunday League participant could be completely ashamed of. When targets are arduous to return by, set-pieces change into much more vital and this was dumb.

Saka and Odegaard got here close-ish, Pepe had a pop when he got here on, however regardless of what xG would possibly inform you, your eyes stay the very best decide of what you see. I noticed a group that’s struggling, that is aware of it doesn’t have the gamers it wants to attain targets, and the burden that has been carried for lengthy sufficient by our thrilling and gifted 20 12 months olds has change into too heavy for them because it was all the time going to be.

Afterwards, Mikel Arteta stated:

I can’t bear in mind a recreation the place Arsenal has performed with this group, the place they’ve created and dominated in a recreation extra and higher. However the result’s what on the finish we must be the place now we have to be, and if we aren’t in a position to do this we aren’t not going to be there – it’s so simple as that. Since you don’t have sufficient high quality to be there, as a result of now we have to win soccer matches and now we have to attain extra targets, and that’s an issue now we have in the mean time.

You would possibly take some subject with the primary a part of it, though I believe typically we had what Arsene Wenger used to name ‘sterile domination’, however the second half is as true because it will get. We’ve got to win soccer matches and to do this now we have to attain extra targets.

Fairly how we’re going to deal with this downside now I don’t actually know. Possibly it takes a fortunate one to open the floodgates or one thing, however that feels a bit like wishful considering. The ends in the opposite video games yesterday demanded an Arsenal win, however we fell quick. The response to the Palace recreation was to lose to Brighton, and the response to that was being overwhelmed by Southampton.

Everyone knows that no factors from these three video games isn’t wherever close to adequate, so there’s little to be gained from hammering that dwelling. We’re definitely a group who skirt the margins, 5 of our six wins in 2022 with this squad of gamers have been by a single aim, and in two of the final three we’ve been on the opposite aspect of that. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless extraordinarily vital factors left to play for, and it’s bought to be again to the drafting board for Arteta forward of Wednesday’s go to to Stamford Bridge.

A season that promised a lot is now getting into salvage territory.

Until tomorrow.


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Londonlad
Author: Londonlad

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