Mikel Arteta 10 games from the sack?

It was always going to be tough for Arsenal to get more than 3 points from the opening three games.

Playing the English champions away and the European champions at home was always going to be tough start.

Most of us would have expected to get 3 points at newly Brentford and the optimistic amongst us would have argued for a home draw against Chelsea when the fixtures came out.

That home draw became unlikely as Arsenal players dropped like flies with illness and injury (Gabriel, White, Partey, Aubameyang and Lacazette all missing) and with Chelsea adding the formidable Romelu Lukaku.

But that defeat hurt. Not just as it was our best opportunity of 3 points but also the manner of it. We did not look prepared. Did not look ready.

Brentford looked hungrier. We put in one of those performances where it looked like we thought we only needed to turn up to win.

The defeat against Manchester City was predictable; we have not won at the Etihad since 2015.

So with the international break now upon us, Arteta needs to regroup and turn the ship around.

After the international break, Arsenal should have Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel, Ben White, Thomas Partey, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back fit and firing.

If you added Cedric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard, you would have 8 players who had been signed whilst Arteta was manager. Throw in Bukayo Saka and it is a starting XI.

So the excuses of it “not being Arteta’s players” is no longer relevant.

Add in the contract to Granit Xhaka, decision to keep Rob Holding, signing of Pablo Mari and Nuno Taveras and development of Emile Smith Rowe; the squad is almost full of players Arteta fought to keep.

So we come onto the next 10 Premier League games:

If you look at those 6 home fixtures, other than Spurs there are no real banana skins. And even with Spurs, they are a team we should be beating at home if we have ambitions of a top 4 finish.

You would feel disappointed if we came out of those 6 home games with anything less than 16 points.

I would say that 18 from 18 should be the minimum expectation; but realistically when was the last time we won 6 in a row at home?

As for the away games, we should not expect much from a trip to Liverpool but the other 3 – Burnley, Brighton and Leicester City – are all winnable.

That does not mean that I expect to win all 3. That would be an unreasonable expectation. But what would be reasonable?

2 wins and a draw? 2 wins and a defeat? Win, draw and loss?

I would probably say our best case scenario would be 2 wins and a draw. Our minimum expectation should be 4 points (win, draw and defeat).

That would leave Arsenal with 20 – 21 points from those 10 games.

Any less than 20 points, taking into account Arteta has the players he wants, we should be injury free and no European football distraction would be a failure.

I am not going to go as far as saying “if Arsenal do not get 20 points from 10 games Arteta should be sacked”, but if do not get darn close to it he should go.

Just 15 points from those games would be a huge underachievement.

Time and patience is running thing for Arteta. Whilst Edu and the Kroenke’s will not quickly fire the bullet (it would have happened already if they were trigger happy), a poor run of results in the next 10 games will surely be it for Arteta.

Keenos

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