Who better to ask if things are good at Arsenal since Mikel Arteta arrived than Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Arsenal are on their third manager since he joined the club, four if one counts Freddie’s short spell. Despite the struggles all four might have suffered, one thing remained the same, Aubameyang scored goals. Does he think things are finally better at Arsenal?
For sure. We knew since the beginning that we had to trust the process. Mikel is bringing something very nice and everyone wants to follow him.
Admittedly, his words were spoken after the win at Old Trafford but surely he and his teammates aren’t shallow enough to turn their back on their manager just because of one really bad afternoon. The process, whatever that might be remains the same. Just because you or I can’t finish a crossword it doesn’t mean we stop trying because the answer, or solution is out there somewhere, even if it means looking it up. We find the answer because we want to finish what we started.
The Arteta process is only just up and running, he’s working with tools he perhaps wouldn’t have chose but has to make do with and that can’t be easy. But the players believe in him, according to our captain. Not all I’m sure as those who aren’t playing are probably concentrating on their next move rather than being ready for the day they might be called upon.
So how far off are we from being the team Mikel Arteta wants it to be?
We’re a long way, I’m afraid. It’s part of a process. The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition. So far we have played 14 games in all competitions this season, we won 10 and lost four and the four of them have been in the Premier League, so it is a little bit imbalanced.
There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term, we have seen a lot of changes not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well, it’s been difficult, it’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened. We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright.
I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day that really hurt after the performance we had at Old Trafford. We have to understand why it happened, be really critical first of all with myself and try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.
There it is again, that word solution. Finding the solution to our tepid attacking play, to the lack of shots on target, the lack of chances created and our lack of goals scored. Mikel Arteta has to find a way to get more out of the likes of Pepe, Willian, Lacazette and Aubameyang. Saka too although to be critical of him would be unfair of me. Mikel said he learns more from a defeat than he does victory which makes sense but what about his players? Do they learn more about themselves too? They certainly need to I think. They have to realise that halfhearted performances are not acceptable, that simply staying in the position they start in all game, is not effective, to not be in the right place when the ball arrives in the box won’t get goals. Does a player responsible for taking set-pieces really need to be told to clear the wall or the first defender with his cross? It’s not rocket science is it?
Tactics, team selection, substitutes etc all comes from Mikel but he can’t make a footballer grown a backbone. Nor can he inject an extra few miles an hour into their speed. He can’t make them be proud of the shirt they wear if all they care about is their salary either. The passion, commitment and desire to win football matches or any other sport for that matter, has to come from within and those who don’t have it, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal could do without.
I’m not trying to absolve Mikel Arteta from the struggles Arsenal are expiring right now but as I’ve said before I’m sure, you can’t sand a piece of wood with a hammer.
Finally, it looks like Mikel Arteta will be without Mo Elneny for the next few games after he tested positive for Covid-19 whilst on international duty. The team will miss him but it hands a opportunity to someone else. Probably Ceballos, but perhaps Joe Willock.
See you in the comments.