Arsenal’s defeat to Southampt0n brought up one issue which could well pose real problems for Mikel Arteta for the remainder of the season.
An own goal from Gabriel Magalhaes was enough for the Saints to seal their passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup and set up a tie with Wolves.
It was the Gunners’ first defeat in seven games across all competitions since they were taken apart by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
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The Spaniard fielded what could be classed as a second-string team away at the St Mary’s Stadium as he made seven changes to the side that dismantled Newcastle United a week ago today.
Willian and Nicolas Pepe were among the players to get their chance to impress Arteta, however, it’s safe to say they failed spectacularly. The Brazilian made it through Saturday’s game without having a single shot on target. That makes it just two shots on target in 20 appearances across all competitions. Meanwhile, the Ivorian was less than impressive, losing possession a staggering 18 times.
All in all, the Gunners had just two shots on target as they failed to bypass the Saints’ backline. The performance of much-changed starting XI, including the aforementioned duo, brought up a stark reminder that if certain stars aren’t featuring, the Gunners look toothless in attack.
And when you look at the depth of the squad, you could be forgiven for looking rather shocked. When you have the likes of a two-time Premier League winner and a £72m attacker featuring for a second-string side, you’d expect far more than what you go on Saturday afternoon.
However, all Arteta got was a tepid performance which knocked the club out of the FA Cup. With a long and arduous journey ahead, it seems the Spaniard can ill-afford any injuries for the remainder of the campaign, or the club will be in real trouble.