Pressure appears to be piling on Mikel Arteta after Arsenal suffer another defeat this season. The Gunners came off second best losing 2-1 at home to Wolves.
That defeat was Arsenal’s fifth of the season already after just 10 games. However, what makes that statistic worse is that this is Arsenal’s worst start to a season since 1981.
If Arsenal have any aspirations of getting back to where they once were, The Emirates needs to become a fortress. Right now that is not the case, with a current run of three defeats at home in the league. In those games Arteta’s side have scored once and conceded six times.
The feeling amongst Arsenal fans at the beginning of the season was one of optimism. They finished last season winning the FA Cup and then followed that up with the Community Shield in August. Also, club captain and fan favourite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had committed his future to the club by signing a new three-year deal.
However, things have quickly started to unravel for Arsenal as they find themselves 14th in the Premier League, with a minus two-goal difference. The question now is how far will their rivals pull ahead if their form continues.
If someone has told you Aubameyang would only have two goals after 10 games no one would have believed you. Since he arrived in the league Aubameyang has scored 11 (in 13 games) and then back to back identical season of 22 goals (in 36 games). This is his toughest spell in an Arsenal shirt and so far his manager has no solution for his number 14.
Playing Aubameyang on the left is neither working for himself nor Arteta right now. Their opponents are more than happy to let the striker try and cut inside and bend his shot as they feel they can nullify it during a game. Maybe a change to a more central role will help the striker get back amongst the goals.
Their lack of creativity is their biggest issue this season and is something Arteta needs rectify right now. They currently sit 16th in the league in shots on target, they have one more (32) than Sheffield United (31). What makes that even worse is that Chris Wilder’s side has one goal all season.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the sacking of former manager Unai Emery which allowed Arteta to be appointed. However, 12 months on and the North-London side appear to still be in the same situation.
Arteta has tried to make Arsenal harder to beat by trying to stiffen up their backline and midfield. That though has nullified how they go forward and despite having a world-class striker, this side no longer strikes fear into their opponents.
This is currently Arteta’s toughest spell in management with the Spaniard having more questions than answers. The question everyone is asking right now is, how can he turn this around? and how much time does he have left?