After such an encouraging end to the 2019/20 campaign, it’s a fair bet that anyone connected with Arsenal expected them to kick on this season. Particularly with Mikel Arteta at the helm.
However, the Gunners’ form in 2020/21 has been patchy at best, and a 0-0 draw at Leeds wasn’t the best advertisement for a team that should be up there challenging in the European places.
There’s certainly an awful lot for Arteta to work on, and former Arsenal great, Michael Thomas, knows exactly where the problems for the Spaniard lie.
“Arteta has got Arsenal defending well, which has been a big problem for Arsenal over the years,” he told CaughtOffside in an exclusive chat.
“However, I believe now the team needs to take a few more risks and really go for it, it’s very slow and boring at the moment and there is no spark.
“They failed to bring in a real creative player during the summer and Ozil has been frozen out.
“So it will come down to what Arteta can do on the training ground and get these players playing with more urgency and creativity.
“Aubameyang has to continue to play through the middle as well, you wanted him as close as possible to the goal.”
When an ex-player calls you out for being ‘slow and boring,’ that’s got to cut you to the quick. If, as a player, you’re not stung by that, then arguably you’re at the wrong club. Thomas has thrown down the gauntlet to Arsenal’s stars in no uncertain terms.
Given time, Arteta has already shown that he has the character to manage a group of players with big egos, and if any aren’t willing to pull their weight, then we could see a very different Arsenal lining up after the January transfer window.