From winning two trophies in the space of six months to sitting just five points above the drop zone in December, it’s safe to say Mikel Arteta’s honeymoon period at Arsenal is well and truly over.
After lifting the FA Cup and then the Community Shield, Arsenal seemed to be back with Mikel Arteta at the helm. However, they have since struggled for results, and Arteta is now looking out of depth.
On Sunday, 10-man Arsenal suffered their seventh defeat in the Premier League when club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang guided Burnley’s corner into his net to gift the visitors their first-ever victory over the Gunners.
Arsenal have now lost four home league games in a row for the first time since 1959, and have picked up just one point from a possible 15 since their 1-0 victory against Manchester United in November.
This is also the club’s worst start to a league campaign since 1974 as they sit 15th-placed after the first 12 games of the season.
With Arteta’s role at the Emirates under serious threat, it is rumoured that the 38-year-old might also have a dressing room crisis to handle, with the Arsenal players gradually losing faith in their head coach.
Omitting highly influential squad members like Mesut Ozil and Sokratis from the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads appears to now be showing effect around the Arsenal camp.
It is rumoured that the relationship between Arteta and central defender David Luiz has also deteriorated lately, with neither party speaking directly to each other.
The individual lack of desire and collective lackluster performances by the Arsenal players are probably symptoms of an unhealthy dressing room.
Particularly troubling is the performance of club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Since penning a bumper contract in the summer, the 31-year-old striker seems to have lost his shooting boots.
He has failed to find the back of the net from open play since Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over newly promoted Fulham in the first game of the season.
With just two goals in 12 Premier League games, his poor form has shown its impact on Arsenal’s scoring record, as they sit third-bottom for goals scored with 10 goals so far.
In an interview ahead of their clash with Southampton tonight, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta took the fall for his side’s bizarre start to the season, while hoping his side can find their feet when they host the Saints tonight.
He said: “We are not winning football matches and you have to put your chest out [and say] ‘hit me because you have the right to hit me because I’m not winning.
“So what else can I do? Put my head down, work harder and try to do things better and improve. It’s how we have to approach things in my opinion.
“When you are not getting results, at the end of the day it’s the manager who has the maximum responsibility.”
Arsenal host a Southampton side who are high flying at the moment, and perhaps a victory here would be the momentum needed at the Emirates.
On the flip side, should Arsenal fall to another defeat, Mikel Arteta might be in danger of losing his position at the Arsenal dugout.