So, the feelings us fans felt after the defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers have subsided somewhat.
Arsenal have played seven games since the last international break and if you are looking for a period where fans do not know what they are going to get from week to week, then this seven-game stretch is just perfect to utterly confuse you.
Out of those seven games, Arsenal have won four and lost three, which does not exactly instil much confidence. The wins were over Rapid Wien, Dundalk, Manchester United and Molde. Three were in the Europa League and all were expected aside from the United result.
Then the losses in the Premier League are where Arsenal will ultimately be judged. They lost away 1-0 to Manchester City. This was a game in which Arsenal could feel hard done by to not at least grab a point if not all three had Alexandre Lacazette converted his gilt-edged opportunity.
It was much the same in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Leicester City as Lacazette missed a golden chance to put Arsenal ahead after wonderful work from Kieran Tierney.
That brings me to the worst performance under Mikel Arteta’s reign, the 3-0 thumping at the hands of Aston Villa. This was a match where again Lacazette had a glorious chance after Kieran Tierney’s delightful cross however the Frenchman’s header did not even hit the target as it flew over the crossbar.
Had Lacazette found the target in those games, which he probably should have, then there is a strong case that Arsenal pick up a point versus Man City, they go ahead against Leicester and Villa, then who knows, perhaps Arsenal grab seven points from those three games instead of zero.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and with all the talk about Arsenal’s creative issues, particularly because Arsenal lost those games, had Lacazette found the net as he should have, would it be such a big issue as it is now? I get the feeling it would not be.
There is no doubt that Arsenal need a creative midfielder to come in, whether that be in January or during the summer transfer window, and depending on who is it, Arsenal’s creative problems could be solved.
One of the issues that has plagued Arsenal over the last seven games is converting opportunities. The other is team selection.
Nicolas Pepe has been in good enough form to warrant a starting berth in the Premier League side after solid displays in the Europa League, yet Arteta prefers Willian instead. He has been underwhelming.
The same could be said for youngsters like Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson too. Both have had extremely positive starts in the Europa League yet do not even feature in the match-day squad for the Premier League.
This current international break could be a blessing in disguise for Arsenal even though it does not seem like it now. It gives Arteta time to fine-tune some of his tactics, go over where Arsenal have gone wrong in games and perhaps most importantly, it has given him time to think about his team selections.
Hopefully, when Arsenal see the next team sheet come out when they play Leeds United away next, fans see that he has made use of this precious time and made the changes that Arsenal fans demand. If he has not and Arsenal continue with Arsenal’s up-and-down form as well as players getting starts when the whole world can see they should not, then I can only imagine the kind of heat that will come down on Arteta from Arsenal’s fan-base.
Arteta is as an intelligent person who understands football and what is required at this level, so I have faith that Arsenal will come out after the international break in much better shape.
Is this willingness to trust in Arsenal’s manager going to backfire in the months to come? I sure hope not.