It’s been a tough restart for young Arsenal manager as the team has suffered to two damaging defeats by Man City and Brighton since the COVID-19 pandemic halted all Premier League matches this season.
There have been major concerns starting from the back as defenders such as David Luiz, Mustafi and Soktratis have just not shown any stability or consistency since the start of the Premier league. There is only so much that a manager can do in terms working on the defensive shape and structure of the team but if the players don’t implement what is taught on the training pitch in real game situations, what else can the Manager do but to look for better defensive options in the market.
However, could there be a potential light at the end of the tunnel? After many weeks of concerns there are positives for the Gunners if you look hard enough.
Following from the two defeats since the restart, they have managed to bounce back with strong wins against Southampton and Sheffield United. A commanding Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney demonstrated in those games the potential that they could possess with professional performances.
Arteta may not need the defensive overhaul that many people are suggesting as the Gunners still have first choice right-back Hector Bellerin and William Saliba to make an impact for Arsenal for next season following his £27m move from Saint-Etienne.
Arsenal have also secured the experienced David Luiz for another season, and completed the permanent signings of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares as back up options for the shaky defence. However, it doesn’t seem that the club will be spending big in the near future judging on their most recent signings.
Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith has high hopes for Tierney and Holding after a man of the match performance against Southampton, and the former Gunner man believes that Arteta’s job is to improve what he already has at the club…
“I gave Holding man of the match against Southampton, and I think longer term he is someone Mikel Arteta can work with. He’s young, has a good attitude, and has the good makings of a centre-half. He used three at the back again, which seems to give him some stability.
“Tierney is the big plus point; he’s been unlucky with injury since arriving at the club, but he strikes me as an old-school type defender, a young lad that will only get better.
The current task at Arsenal looks to be in the rebuilding phase and there is plenty of work there to be done for the club to even think about reaching the heights of where Liverpool and Manchester City currently stand.