13 points and -5 goals difference is the stats that Arsenal has on the Premier League table after 12 games in the 2020-21 season.
This is Arsenal’s worst record after 12 matches in the Premier League in 26 years. Such a record has put the position of Mikel Arteta under scrutiny as he continues to struggle domestically. This is in contrast of the Gunners’ form in the Europa League where they took maximum points from six games.
The Spaniard has never shown signs of panic about his position knowing fully well what the job hazard entails – hiring and firing.
He has also received support from Arsenal and it looked like Arteta won’t be sacked very soon. But things might change if the results are not favourable.
During their last game against Southampton, the Gunners upped their game a little which the manager sees as a sign of improvement.
Ahead of a visit to Goodison Park this weekend, Arsenal will have to prove themselves against a side that won back-to-back games against Chelsea and Leicester. That’s a huge statement from Carlo Ancelotti despite having some injury problems.
After ending their Premier League losing streak of three straight games, the onus now lies with Arteta to figure out a way Arsenal can return back to winning ways.
But can one say that Arsenal has really turned a corner with such a resilient performance against an inform Southampton with a man down for the last 25 minutes? It is their response to the Everton challenge that will give a clear answer.
It is time for Arteta to make some drastic change for Arsenal to return to winning ways in the Premier League
The current situation with Arteta now deserves urgent solutions as the games are coming thick and fast. In the next ten days, he will be playing Everton, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
These are big opponents that can get them punished further especially if they play with ten men.
So, Arteta needs to instill discipline in the dressing room and the field of play, not just saying it to the media. He must mandate the team skipper, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who seems to have rediscovered his scoring mojo with a lovely strike against the Saints to lead the lads and bring back confidence into a team that is currently lacking the cutting edge in the league.
This may be hard for Aubameyang who is captaining the team amidst disciplinary issues and in-fighting during training, but stamping his foot will help the team regain focus and attend to the task at hand.
Lastly, Arteta needs to give some academy products who have proved themselves in the Europa League some game time in the Premier League. For instance, Folarin Balogun has not been given some minutes in the Premier League, having proved himself whenever he is brought in.
Emile Smith-Rowe and Miguel Azeez are other picks from the academy that could take opportunities in creating chances for the team as the likes of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka are not doing enough.
With Gabriel Magalhaes and Granit Xhaka out due to suspension, giving the aforementioned players some game time could prove to be the turning point.