Out of fear of ‘accepting defeat‘, I’ll keep this article short and sweet, however, it’s something I need to get off my chest.
Sunday’s defeat at home to arguably one of the world’s most in-form sides was a stark eye-opener for anyone associated with Arsenal football club. However, more so for Mikel Arteta than anyone else as the size of his job became apparent.
It wasn’t the result that would’ve stunned the Spaniard more than the manner of the performance from a lot of the Arsenal players.
Should Arsenal sack Arteta?
Lack of intensity, stray passes, switching off during periods of the game all within the first five minutes, it felt as though the side were resigned to defeat before the game had even started.
The tone was set from kick-off with Manchester City coming out of the blocks flying, whereas the north London outfit were far too timid. How Raheem Sterling managed to get between both Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding to win a header in the six-yard box is beggar’s belief. Then you have Kieran Tierney sitting off Riyad Mahrez, allowing him to cross the ball into the box which frankly is unacceptable.
One of the more standout features of the game was the mentality of the City players having gone 1-0 up early on in the clash. They sat off and virtually stopped playing midway through the first-half as if to say: “we know you’re not good enough to beat us.”
These words were echoed by Pep Guardiola, who claimed in his post-match interview that sometimes 1-0 wins are better. I mean that says it all, doesn’t it? The former Barcelona manager has gone as far as admitting that despite the narrow margin of victory, he felt his team was always in control of proceedings.
Liverpool were a mess when Jurgen Klopp took over, but, at least they proved competitive against the bigger teams. A 4-1 win away at the Etihad Stadium early on in his reign showed off that the German had the club going in the right direction despite obvious flaws.
Can the same be said for Arteta? We’re just over a year into his reign in N5 and the team look no better against the bigger teams than they were back when the coach was hired in December 2019. Something needs to give or else this Arsenal team are in danger of repeating mistakes from years gone by.