Arsenal have reportedly turned a corner under Mikel Arteta.
Well, it seemed that way until the last few games of this season.
We were basking in the glow of our FA Cup and Community Shield wins and triumphs over the big boys. We were looking ahead to a bright new dawn.
But it seems that this season is full of the same problems we had under Unai Emery and the solutions that seemed so evident in the second half of last season are now invisible.
Our lack of creativity seems to be the one most are pointing at. Probably because Arsenal have an identity to uphold and curmudgeonly football played sideways and laborious passing is certainly not in that fit.
Another fault that doesn’t appear to have been fixed is our woes against the so-called ‘Big Six.’
From our six games this season, we have lost three of them. Those three games? Liverpool, City and now Leicester. Three teams who are in the reckoning for Champions League places next season.
True, the gap certainly seems to have shrunk. Our 1-0 loss against City showed we can handle them for the majority and against Liverpool, the result could’ve been different if Mane had been shown the red card. Against Leicester, we could count ourselves unlucky to go away with no points but the bottom line is that yet again, we have lost against our fellow contenders.
Can we rectify this? How do we take the Arsenal that put Chelsea, Liverpool and City to the sword in the cups last season and translate that into Premier League form? Also, how do we finally win away from home against the bigger teams? Our last victory was against City at the Etihad back in 2015!
It is far from what we should be aiming for and Arteta is now expected to get our club climbing. He has earned the time to get us there, but we have plenty of steps left in the staircase to contention it seems.
Let’s start with beating United this weekend. That’d be a fantastic start.