Arsenal really are a Jekyll and Hyde team under Mikel Arteta.
From fantastic victories against Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham to humiliating defeats to Brighton, Burnley and Aston Villa.
If I were a betting man, I would not touch Arsenal with a barge poll as you never know which side is going to turn up.
And against West Ham we took it to another level, showing both Jekyll and Hyde within 90 minutes.
In the first 38 minutes, we were all over the place. Slow in body and mind. 3-nil down the game was won.
Then in the next 52 minutes we were scintillating. Scoring 3 of our own and could have won the game.
Arsenal would not be the first side who have had Sunday struggles after a Thursday Europa League tie.
Of the 3 sides who played on Thursday night, only one won.
It is a common theme for those that play in Europe on a Thursday. The Sunday games end up sluggish performances.
Add in the fact that Arsenal have played 10 more games than West Ham in a condensed season
We have seen it the last couple of seasons how our Premier League form has dipped due to our continued progression in the Europa League.
In our run to the semi-final in 2017/18, we lost 8 of the last 15 games of the season. We one just once after the Quarter Finals onwards.
In 2018/19, we won just two of our last 7 games, sacrificing a top 4 finish in the process as we made the final.
The Premier League has become much stronger than it was 20 years ago.
In the late 90s / early 00s, the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United could change 7 or 8 players the game before and game after a Champions League tie and still win. But these days the likes of Leicester City, Everton, West Ham, Wolves and Leeds are filled with internationals.
The top teams can no longer make wholesale changes and expect to steamroll their opponents. Squad management has become so much more important.
Without the Europa League, Arsenal would still be a Jekyll and Hyde team. The Burnley draw highlighted that.
We did not play mid-week. In fact Burnley did. Dominating the game and 1-nil up, we shot ourselves in the foot and drew the game.
The Europa League just further highlights the problem.
Arteta is trying to manage his squad through the season, giving us the best chance of winning the Europa League whilst still hanging on to the coat tails of a top 7 finish in the Premier League – only a Southampton victory in the FA Cup will see it only be the top 6 make Europe.
We have seen him try to rest and rotate Emile Smith Rowe.
The Englishman has been fantastic this season, but he as a fragile injury history and it has to be remembered this is his first year of top flight football.
For Arsenal to move forward under Arteta, we need to start seeing more consistency in performance. And that also comes down to consistency in team selection.
Arteta changes his back 4 more often than I change my underwear depending on the opponent.
He plays Rob Holding and Pablo Mari when we want to play a deep defence, and David Luiz and Gabriel when he wants us to play a high line.
This chopping and changing in both personnel and tactics is a big reason why we are struggling for consistency.
The most successful teams rarely change their style – From Manchester United to Arsenal in the 90ss/00s, Chelsea under Mourinho, Barcelona, Manchester City and more recently Liverpool. All have won countless trophies by changing very little.
If Arteta wants to be a success, he has to be a little less clever.
Arsene Wenger used to say that he was not concerned about his opponents because if Arsenal played at their best, they would win.
Arteta seems to focus a lot of time on preparing for his opponents. And in doing so he losses a little of what Arsenal need to do to win the game.
A little tweak here and there is fine. Targeting a certain side of the pitch, that sort of thing.
But these big tactical and personnel changes are creating an inconsistent team and resulting in inconsistent results.
All the right noises come out of the club, the players, about Arteta. But he has now been in charge for over a year.
Consistency breeds consistency.
I have been saying this all along about him.
He is obviously a great great coach. However his squad management and man management is absolutely piss poor and he doesn’t have a feel for which players to play and to rest.
Why is he overplay Luis recently which has lead to us conceeding three against West Ham. David Luis is pushing 35 and cannot play every 3 days. It’s common sense.
Also why break up the holding/Mari partnership.
Then he plays Chambers at RB, who does really well, bit only brings on Martinelli for 9mins when Auba is clearly stinking up the joint.
I grow tired of his inept decesions many of which have cost us throughout the season. A team.is a reflection of the manager and our inconsistencies are very very much down to Arteta. I remain totally unconvinced him.
I appreciate he is learning in job, but whose fucking fault is that. If he had been less of an arrogant prick he could have.kanfedmbefrwhand.to gain valuable experience to save us all the fucking pain of this season with his ongoing amateur errors week after week
Pingback: Arsenal: Robbie Mustoe believes Gunners will look to sign Martin Odegaard permanently - Football News 24