• Sun. Dec 11th, 2022

Nov 13, 2020

Mikel Arteta has been in charge of Arsenal for almost a year, but there have been some encouraging signs to indicate the Spaniard can bring the glory days back to the Emirates.
Arteta already has one competitive trophy to his name as Gunners boss, with the 38-year-old defeating his former side Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup final.
It was a very bad day at the office for Arteta and co last time out against Aston Villa
While there is room to be optimistic if you are an Arsenal fan, there is one major concern regarding the current squad which there is no getting away from.
The Gunners have found the net just nine times in eight league appearances, and that isn’t the worst of it.
Arsenal’s attack is currently ranked the worst in the Premier League – despite having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Pepe at their disposal.
They have also recorded the lowest amount of shots in the second half (33) of games out of the entire 92 clubs in the EFL.
Arsenal legend George Graham praises the work of manager Mikel Arteta and stresses that Mesut Ozil HAS to play given the money he’s earning
Aston Villa’s shock 3-0 victory at the Emirates just compounded those fears, with Arsenal mustering just two shots on target.
It is now six hours and 26 minutes since Arsenal scored a Premier League goal from open play – so something has to give.
Below, talkSPORT.com has taken a look at three options for how Arteta should be lining up to get the best of his attacking stars, and team in general.
While the manager wouldn’t admit this publicly, the aforementioned damning stats are surely an indicator that things must change, at least slightly, from a tactical viewpoint to allow his attacking players to flourish.
Arteta must start giving more trust to his flair players in what is a very rigid set-up at the Emirates.
Electing to play with a back-five at home to Villa surely afforded them too much respect, for which they took full advantage of, and in turn nullified Arteta’s attacking options.
Arteta has had a frustrating season so far
Aubameyang has largely flattered to deceive since signing his bumper new deal, while Willian is yet to show the kind of form which convinced the Gunners to hand him a lucrative three-year contract over the summer.
It begs the question: Surely it’s time to give the club’s record signing, Pepe, an extended run in the side?
The £72million man has publicly expressed his unhappiness at his lack of playing time, and Arteta should look on those remarks in a positive nature as many players appear happy to sit on the bench and pick up their hefty pay packages.
Pepe deserves the chance to stamp his mark on Arteta’s starting XI
Pepe, who has impressed in cup competitions this season, should line up on the right side of a front three – also including Aubameyang and Lacazette.
The latter is far better deployed in a central role, and with skipper Aubameyang drifting in from the left, Arsenal should enjoy more success from an attacking sense.
Thomas Partey’s inclusion speaks for itself, the Ghana international is an all-round midfielder who is equally comfortable in a defensive and attacking sense.
Mohamed Elneny has also enjoyed a reincarnation of sorts and slotted back into the Gunners midfield seamlessly.
While it was a poor day at the office last time out, Arteta should stick with a back three of Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Holding – who were outstanding in a 1-0 victory at Manchester United earlier this month.
If this system was employed then Bukayo Saka would play in a more advanced role on the left, with Aubameyang the obvious choice to be the lone forward.
Willian would also fit seamlessly into the no.10 role, behind the Gabon international, with Pepe retaining his place on the right.
This tactical switch has been proven to give Arsenal far more potency in front more goal, most recently in the 2-1 victory at home to Sheffield United.
Following a drab 45 minutes at the Emirates with the scores tied at 0-0, Arteta altered things and was rewarded with two quick-fire goals to send the Gunners on their way to a much-needed three points.
A defensive midfield partnership of Xhaka and Partey means they have a far stronger base to build on and gives Arteta more confidence to use an extra man in attack. There would be no room for Lacazette though if this approach was used.
4-4-2 Diamond
This type of formation is by no means a long-term solution for Arteta, but could get them results in a pinch.
Arsenal have plenty of options in midfield, and the obvious choice in the holding role is Partey – who has already made a big impact on proceedings in north London.
Joe Willock deserves a chance to show what he can do in the Premier League, while Elneny’s inclusion speaks for itself on current form and Dani Ceballos is also an option.
Aubameyang and Lacazette have proven they can operate effectively as pair in the past, with Willian playing just behind them.