Mikel Arteta took the reigns of Arsenal from Unai Emery and is beginning to make the impact that was expected off him in December 2019.
Unai Emery found it difficult to make an impact at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners struggled with consistency and their defense broke down far too regularly.
Confidence in the Spaniard waned and he lost the terraces with a string of poor performances. Mikel Arteta was given the Arsenal hotseat but the mid-season hiring took its toll.
The Gunners failed to deliver the type of performances that were expected off them. All the while, outcasts and repeat offenders were given extended runs in the first team.
Moreover, the results did not change. Arsenal were languishing out of European slots and doubts were cast about their ability to turn the tide.
The coronavirus pandemic gave them the chance to regroup and take hold of matters. Against Manchester City, the Londoners looked in disarray. In the same week, Brighton & Hove Albion revealed issues with their mentality.
However, there were positives from both matches. The Citizens ran out easy winners but were troubled by the young attack. Aubameyang and Co. threatened the goal but showed signs of rust.
On the road at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton were lucky to claim the three points on offer. Their last gasp winner was more than what they deserved. Arsenal had more potent chances but their inefficiency cost them the result.
Improvements on the corner
In their last two games, the Gunners have finally begun to show their mettle. The rust is being shed and they are showing an uncanny ability to get over the line with scrappy wins.
It was a cagey affair against Southampton, and only a defense error troubled the scorers. While the pace of Joseph Willock at the dying moments of the game was enough to put the result beyond doubt.
A similar showing was seen over the weekend. Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United are difficult to break down but they are on their personal down turn in the 2019/20 campaign. They are finding it difficult to score and Arsenal profited from it.
In the scrap for FA Cup semi-final berth, Arsenal were the better side and took their chances. They were beneficiaries of a penalty kick award and scored in the final minute of regulation time to progress ahead.
Aubameyang is not scoring as regularly but he is making sure those around him are. On the other side of the pitch, the defenders are conceding but they are showing signs of improvement with every passing game.
Arsenal are finally beginning to show grit under Mikel Arteta, a trait they have been missing for quite some time.