No Premier League title for Arsenal this season according to ex player and fan favourite Freddie Ljungberg who was a guest on Sky Sports Monday night football.
I don’t think they actually are that much better (than last season. Because actually we’re talking about a team going from the third-best defence to the best at the moment, and could that make little difference make a difference? Of course. But we’re talking about a team going from almost the second-best attack to sixth, even one of the stats is 11. I think if Arsenal continue as they are, I don’t think that can win the league. Because I think so many games are going to the wire, and sometimes that kind of game can go against you. Everyone can see it with their eyes, it’s not the same fluidity, the same pace, energy, creating chances, you can see that. I don’t think it’s actually anything tactical. The reason they haven’t been as fluid is I think individually the attacking players have been average this season whereas they were on absolute fire last season in terms of Martinelli, Saka, Jesus. Odegaard for me last season was up there alongside Kevin De Bruyne.
It’s hard to disagree with Freddie really because our attacking players aren’t performing as well as they were last season, a result of which has seen us struggle to win games convincingly. Chances yes, taking them, no. Is it as simple as the team really are missing Granit Xhaka, or at least the style of footballer he was for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta. If Kai Havertz was brought in to be his perfect replacement, it’s not worked, yet, but it’s not him who believes he can play the Xhaka role.
Leandro Trossard if he can replace Granit Xhaka’s midfield position:
Yes I think so. It’s a position I can handle as well. I’ve played there with the Belgian national team. If I can get a run it’s different but I need to be switched on because it can change every week. It’s based on the game plan. Not every team plays the same system and the manager thinks a lot about those things so it’s up to me to keep going and pushing to have game time.
What’s remarkable though, and credit where it’s due here, the team have secured the points to stay right up there with Man City. Liverpool too this time around. Last season we started really well but faded after the turn of the year so if its roles reversed this time, the best of Arsenal might just be to come. A bit like City last season.
Tonight we take on FC Lens. Fabio Vieira is ruled out through injury, one which is likely to keep him out until after the winter break but for Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe, a return could come sooner according to Mikel Arteta. Ben White and Martin Odegaard are fighting fit and healthy.
A win tonight would not only secure a place in the knockout stages of this competition but we’d go through as group up winners too.
We have to win at home, and we have to win the group if we can tomorrow. That’s the mentality of the team, that’s for sure. – Mikel Arteta.
We’ve already played Lens away from home and were beaten. Gabriel Jesus scored an early goal but Lens equalised after a mistake made by David Raya. They went ahead with around 20 minutes to go but Arsenal had many chances to score throughout the 90 odd minutes. 11 to be precise, 6 of which were on target. I think that’s the kind of point Freddie was making as we could and probably should have won that game comfortably and had we, we’d have secured our place in the next round already. But we didn’t and we’re not.
Going through to the next round and finishing top of the group is in our hands though so that’s a positive. Hopefully Mikel Arteta’s team will get the job done tonight which would then allow him to rest and rotate players a lot more in our final fixture against PSV in Holland in two weeks time.
Catch up in the comments.