Mikel Arteta enjoys a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in the game and it’s well deserved in some ways, but there are also so many examples of where he needs to improve.
One of the most impressive things about his first few months at Arsenal was his ability to adapt his tactics to suit the opposition, so it put players in the best position to be effective and he produced some major results.
There’s a problem developing where it looks like he’s simply trying to be too clever, and his attacking selections look like the main example.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was outstanding last season and he scored so many crucial goals, so logic dictates that you make sure he’s around the box to get on the end of any chances that you create.
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It actually looks like Arteta is trying to prove some kind of point that he doesn’t need to put players in their natural positions to win, but it’s starting to backfire.
Alexandre Lacazette and Willian are also starting to come under fire for their poor performances, so it’s natural that Arteta would be asked about this is his press conference after the Aston Villa defeat:
Arteta got a grilling from the press on Lacazette and Willian. How will he get them scoring again? ? pic.twitter.com/JyBcfsQrxu
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) November 8, 2020
Obviously it’s in nobody’s interests for Arteta to sit there and criticise his players and ruin their confidence even more, but it does sound like he’s considering making some personnel changes for their next game.