Our Premier League season is very much in focus already, with another damaging defeat really putting the strain on our optimism for the coming campaign.
We have barely kicked things off, but three defeats already in just six games have left us pondering just how much progress has been made in the Arteta era from the disappointment of the Unai Emery tenure.
The now-departed Spaniard is now in charge of Villareal who are riding high in La Liga. And a graphic doing the rounds comparing the first twenty five games of Emery’s reign compared to Arteta’s has shown that Emery actually earned MORE points than Arteta has stacked up.
This is of course misleading as the second half of Emery’s Arsenal journey was far worse and Arsenal were in real danger of finishing in the bottom half of the PL, before first Freddie Ljungberg and then Arteta steered the club to safer and more respectable shores.
But it does shed a light on just how much work Arteta still has to make. The recruitment may well be nearly done, but the tactics and how we play are still to be mapped out, with two or three different methods being played regularly.
The FA Cup win may well have given us a hope that we were further up the track than we actually are. The last 2/3 games have shown us to be certainly firmer than we were – but we have sacrificed creativity for our newly found armour.
True, one integral piece of the puzzle, Thomas Partey, has just started a single game and once a balance has been found, which will take time, we will certainly improve. But the startling contrast of where we are compared to where we need to be in terms of Top4 aspirations?
The gap is still a big one, and we may well fall short once again should another improvement not be found quickly.