It’s easy to overreact to the league table early in the season, but once you get close to being a quarter of the way through the season then you do have to worry if your team isn’t living up to the early expectations.
In truth, it’s hard to tell what Arsenal fans should realistically expect from their team just now, but it seems fair to suggest that struggling to win games against mid-table sides and finding themselves even lower in the table isn’t okay.
Tonight’s last-minute equaliser against Crystal Palace will paper over a few cracks but the result still isn’t good enough, while Odsonne Edouard showed his class by scoring for Palace after being linked with a summer move to the Emirates.
They’re still only four points off a top-four place after the result tonight so perhaps it’s too early to panic, but they also have tricky fixtures coming up with the likes of Aston Villa, Everton, Man United, Liverpool, and Leicester City so drawing at home to Palace can’t fill anyone with confidence.
It’s fashionable to turn on the manager after a poor result these days and Mikel Arteta did oversee a mini-revival of sorts before the international break, but the knives are out again from a section of the supporters on Twitter:
— Alex Warren ? (@AlexWarren55) October 18, 2021
Arteta going for the old 4-1-5 formation in the last ten mins to try & salvage a point at home vs Palace…….not good enough
— London Paul (@1LondonPaul) October 18, 2021
I like Arteta as a person but he has to go, he isn't good enough. Got tactically done over by Vieira and Osian Roberts tonight. #ARSPAL
— Mark D (@Atticus_75) October 18, 2021
Ole ? Arteta
Doing just enough to keep the owners from binning them but not actually being very good football managers.
— Nathan (@SimplyNayFan) October 18, 2021
Like I said from day one Arteta is not good enough, We spent 140 million No world-class striker No Viera-type player in midfield we can't dominate games even at home we can't score enough goals Edu Must go to there the facts Gooner since 1970. Realty It will get even worse.
— Magic Curtis (@magicpuremagic) October 18, 2021
Getting hard to defend arteta. Ain't good enough simple
— Reece ryan (@Reeceryan14) October 18, 2021
The reaction to the draw shows that Mikel Arteta is only ever one poor result away from disaster at this point, while fans will be split between the result not being good enough and being happy that the team managed to fight back and claim a draw.
The bottom line is that Arsenal can’t tolerate being a bottom-half side in the Premier League, so the next few weeks could be crucial.