Tag Archives: Arsenal

5 changes Mikel Arteta needs to make to return Arsenal to winning ways

Good morning all from sunny Essex.

The shime of a lovely day is dimmed a little when you stick on Match of the Day just in time for them to put up the league table and you see that lot top of the league.

There fans are celebrting being top the league for 24 hours after 9 games like they have won the thing.

Arsenal were top of the league after the 1st game of the season. We did not get excited as we are used to being top, used to winning trophies.

It has been an open season so far with 4 different teams topping the league after the weekend in just 8 rounds of gmes. Arsenal, Leicester, Everton and Liverpool.

After game week 6, Everton were top. 2 game weeks later they were 7th.

It could be one of the most open Premier League seasons in years.

Today we play Leeds and Mikel Arteta needs to get Arsenal back to winning ways.

Arteta has led Arsenal for 40 games, with the side winning 57.5% of games. No permenant Arsenal manager has a better win ratio.

In that time he has beaten Liverpool (3 times), Manchester United (twice), Manchester City and Chelsea. He has also led his side to the FA Cup and Community Shield.

But he has also overseen defeats to Aston Villa (twice), Leicester City and Brighton.

It is the two recent home defeats to Leicester City and Aston Villa that has led a minority of people to question whether he is the right man to take us forward.

I believe he is still the right man.

He has a fantastic understanding of the game and a thirst to learn.

Some might say “Arsenal should not be the place he learns” but if you want to be elite in any field, you never stop learning. It is that desire to improve themselves that has led Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg to reach the top of their industries, and stay their.

If you stand still in life, you end up going backwards.

So what does Arteta need to do to get us back to winning ways?

For me there 5 changes Arteta needs to make…

Return to 433

A return to 433 will see us play more attacking, progressive football.

It will give 2 of 3 central midfielder freedom to get forward and join the attack, rather than 2 men in the middle covering the 3 at the back.

The 3 man midfield will allow the full backs to bomb forward, and free players up to be playing in their right positions.

When dominating games, it would see Arsenal have 7 attacking options, with 2 central defenders on the half way line and a single central midfielder filling the spacebetween defence and attack.

Plying 3 at the back means we have 3 centre backs on the half way line and 2 midfielders filling that space.

Kieran Tierney at left back

We need to utilise Tierney’s crossing ability.

To do so he needs to play at left back, not on the left hand side of a back 3.

Bukayo Saka left wing

Tierney at left back pushes Saka further forward.

The young Englishman has performed well at wing back, but he is a forward player. You want him in the attack 3rd, running at defenders, creating.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang upfront

Tierney left back pushes Saka to left wing which in turn pushes Aubameyang inside.

Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang re both struggling for form. Neither are scoring, neither are creating.

Go with one down the middle and stick some creativity around him. That one is Aubameyang.

Nicolas Pepe and Joe Willock

To the right of Aubameyang must be Pepe.

He has not shown he is a £72million player yet, but he has undoubted talent. It is time for him to get a run in the time.

He commits defenders and can do something special from the right hand side.

Pepe also creates space for Hector Bellerin to bomb into, giving us a further creative option on the right.

Likewise we need to see Joe Willock get a chance as part of the midfield 3. His late runs into the box and eye for a goal is a threat we are missing at the moment.

Have a good Sunday


FA Cup winning duo set for Arsenal return

Arsenal already knew they would be travelling to Leeds without Mohamed Elneny after the Egyptian tested positive for Covid-19 whilst on international duty.

It was also confirmed on Friday morning that Thomas Partey will be unavailable for the trip to Elland Road. He has not recovered from a thigh injury sustained in the Gunners’ last match before the international break, a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Sunday’s game against Leeds is a must-win match for Mikel Arteta’s side. They have struggled for consistency in the Premier League so far this campaign, with four wins and four defeats from eight games. If Arteta is to guide Arsenal back to the promised land of the Champions League, his team must embark on a winning streak sooner rather than later.

Despite being a tricky one, the fixture against Leeds is an ideal place to start. Against a free-flowing team and the tactical nous of Marcelo Bielsa, who preaches an entertaining and expansive style, Arsenal can wreak havoc in attack if they play their cards right. The absences of Elneny and Partey, a duo who have shown themselves to be adept at breaking up opposition attacks, will be a big blow.

However, it might also result in a more adventurous approach from Arteta, the Spaniard favouring a counter-attacking style that prioritises pragmatism over attacking firepower.

Much has been made of Arsenal’s struggles in front of goal so far in 2020-21. They have scored just nine times in their first eight matches. A combination of the loss to Villa, as well as Partey and Elneny being sidelined, might have forced his hand into a more attacking game plan.

Arsenal’s shortage of midfield options mean Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos are likely to start. Arteta has made no secret of his desire to eventually switch a 4-3-3 and whether by coincidence or not, Joe Willock has excelled for Arsenal in the cup competitions. Whether Willock is ready for more minutes in the Premier League will only be known if he is given the chance.

Attacking duo Willian and Alexandre Lacazette have struggled for form recently and would be fortunate to see their names appear in the starting line-up on Sunday. Given Lacazette’s lack of goals, it seems like the perfect time to start Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been isolated on the wide left, through the middle. Eddie Nketiah scored again for England U21 in the international break, so the Hale End graduate presents another alternative up front.

Approaching his first anniversary as Arsenal manager, Arteta has demonstrated his ability to improvise and innovate in an effort to get the best out of a squad that is far from complete. In particular, he has responded well to defeats that have raised questions about Arsenal’s ability to progress with him at the helm. Their previous game aside, Arsenal have become far more difficult to beat, conceding the second-fewest goals in the league to date.

The next challenge Arteta faces is how to get his team scoring goals on a regular basis. After drilling his players about the importance of their positioning off the ball, it is time for him to start placing more importance on what they do with it. Thanks to Leeds’ willingness to commit men forward, Arsenal could find they have plenty of space in behind the Whites’ defence. When presented with attacking opportunities against a side as good in the final third as Leeds, Arteta’s side must take advantage.   

Goalscoring comes as a result of ruthless finishing and efficient execution, qualities Arsenal have lacked so far this season. With some stagnant performances where they have flattered to deceive, the time has come to break the shackles.

Caution doesn’t necessarily have to be thrown to the wind, because individual discipline has served the Gunners well to this point. However, if this Arsenal side are to evolve into a top team, Arteta must not be afraid of going full steam ahead.

Zac Campbell

Arsenal should cancel global pre-season tours if they wish to tackle climate change

Arsenal have announced they are joining with UN to tackle climate change.

What a load of bollocks.

I am not a climate change denier. It is real and we do need to do more. But Arsenal signing up to the Sports for Climate Action Framework is just virtue signalling.

Every season, every clubs takes its brand across the globe for pre-season friendlies.

Australia, America and Asia, clubs will spread across the globe, playing in multiple different countries. Some clubs will even fit in 2 pre-season tours to 2 different continents.

These pre-season tours involve multiple long and short haul flights to numerous different countries. All to make money.

If clubs wanted to tackle climate change, they would halt these pre-season tours immediately.

Prepare for the new season in Europe, which will mean a shorter flight and less carbon emissions. Or even better do not go abroad at all. Go Centre Parcs of or something.

There is not physical reason to have a pre season tour abroad. It is just financial.

A couple of years ago Arsenal played Chelsea in Ireland. This would have led to both teams flying across to Dublin, as well as many fans.

2 London clubs, jumping on planes to play a friendly in a different country.

Want to do something about climate change? Stop this nonsense.

Likewise clubs produce 3 kits a year, and multiple different training garments.

All of these involve a huge manufacturing process. And with the kits being made in China, Vietnam or some Asian industrial zone where cheap labour can be exploited, they need to be flown to the UK for sale.

Instead of developing multiple kits a year, why not return to 1 it every 2 years? Straight away that would reduce the carbon emissions produced from manufacturing the kits and exporting to them.

But of course, kits and pre-season tours are lucrative.

It is much easier for the club to sit there and lecture fans on how to behave and “be green” then actually take action themselves.

Remember a few years ago when the club flew from Luton to Norwich for a game?

Like many businesses across the country, Arsenal have transformed what they do in an attempt to help save the world:

  • Became the UK’s first football club to install large-scale battery energy storage in 2018. The battery storage system can power Emirates Stadium for an entire match, or the equivalent of 2,700 homes for two hours 
  • Since 1999, more than 29,000 trees have been planted at London Colney to create the Colney Wood
  • Have installed a water recycling system at our training centre to reuse water that comes from the pitch – recycling more than 4.5 million litres of water a year
  • Are the first Premier League club to switch to 100 per cent green electricity  
  • The first Premier League club to trial the reusable cup scheme during the 2018/19 season. This scheme became fully integrated at the start of the 2019/20 season, saving the use of approximately 20,000 single use plastic cups per game when Emirates Stadium is full
  • The  training centre is now 95 per cent single use plastic bottle-free
  • Have introduced more water dispensers across all sites – saving 150,000 single-use plastic water bottles per year 
  • Have reduced energy by installing automated LED lighting at all club sites

All of these actions should be commended.

But the carbon emissions from flying across the globe yearly for pre-season friendlies and manufacturing 3 it’s a year dwarfs the actions taken.

We recently saw a “European Super League” proposed once again. This would see clubs play more games abroad than in the current Champions League – which would lead to more flights for teams and players.

Likewise proposals to play domestic games abroad and not exactly environmentally friendly.

If Arsenal (or any other sports club) truly wanted to tackle climate change, they would look to reduce flights and reduce manufacturing.

But I am guessing they would not want to see their revenue drop as a result.

Profit is more important than tackling climate change.