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Where to for Arsenal after North London derby defeat?

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Roar Rookie
9th December, 2020

The question on many Arsenal fans’ minds right now: where do we go from here?

The Gunners sit just above the relegation zone and there is no real sign that anything is going to change, at least until January, anyway.

As the saying goes, “Do not get beat by what you know”. Every person on the planet knew exactly how Tottenham were going to set-up and how they were going to play: sit deep, then exploit the spaces that are left behind when we are on the attack.

After the first goal from Son Heung-Min which, while there was space, it was only because Rob Holding was backtracking for the best part of 20 yards. Now, honestly, how many times will Son hit that and get the same result? Out of ten, possibly three or four times? A shot that is untouchable and honestly he could not have hit it any better.

We got burned on the counter for the first goal, so, one would then assume that when we are in attacking positions, make sure that we do not get left exposed going the other way. But we did not learn.

Now people could point the finger at Thomas Partey for limping off to the sideline or at Granit Xhaka for not covering, however even if Partey was on the field and Xhaka tracked back, it could have been potentially five-on-four anyway, and they still would have been outnumbered.

Granit Xhaka and crowd clash

Granit Xhaka (Photo by Visionhaus)

If the first goal was a warning of what Spurs could do on the counter, then surely we would have the tactical ability to make sure that does not happen again, yet lo and behold, it did. Too many players upfield while Harry Kane and Son simply sit back and wait for another goal-scoring opportunity to come their way.

It was a classic Jose Mourinho game – sit back with a stout defence, keep your shape and when an opportunity comes your way, make sure you convert it. That is what separated the two teams.

Arsenal played numerous crosses into the box throughout the second half, however, not a single one looked like threatening Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal as we slumped to yet another defeat in the league.

So where exactly do Arsenal go from here? There are still plenty of games to play before we even get to the January transfer window and if results keep going the way they are, we could be looking for a new coach in the new year.

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I have been Mikel Arteta’s biggest supporter and as I’ve said, it would be a silly mistake to relieve him of his duties at this point in time. He needs a full season in the job, at least, to get rid of the deadwood at the club and bring in the players he wants.

Just look at the two players that Arteta has managed to get to the club since he arrived: Gabriel and Thomas Partey, who are clearly in the top three players at our club.

That says something. Give him another transfer window or two to get the right players in and see how they perform.

However, this is a results-driven business and when we are not getting results, the inevitable pressure will come from fans to sack him.

If we somehow lose at home to Burnley, the fans’ discontent will be nearly impossible for the board to ignore.

Time heals everything, as they say, but unfortunately for Mikel Arteta, the one thing that he has not got on his side is time.