Arsenal faced yet another 2-0 defeat in the Premier League, this time against Chelsea. The Gunners weren’t as bad as they were last week, but it’s still not good enough, and we’re 19th in the league as a result.
Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James gave the Blues a deserved victory. They were clearly the better side, especially in the first half, and Mikel Arteta now has a lot of questions to answer.
Here are three things we learned from Arsenal’s latest defeat…
Three talking points as Arsenal lose 2-0 to Chelsea
Arsenal’s left side
Tony Adams claimed on Premier League productions before the game that Arsenal’s biggest weakness was the huge gap between our left-back and our left centre-half. Guess where both goals came from?
Arteta wants Tierney to push high up the pitch and that, offensively, has been a huge plus for us. However, that has often left a huge void at the back, and Thomas Tuchel set his side up to exploit that. They did just that today and it paid off.
Granit Xhaka usually fills in as an unorthodox left-back to cover that vacant area. However, with Thomas Partey absent, the Swiss international had to be our main man in midfield, and that cost us dearly at the back.
Saka wasn’t fully fit
Bukayo Saka has been our best player for over a year now but it was evident today that he’s not ready just yet. He wasn’t his usual hard-working self today and him not tracking back for both of Chelsea’s goals made life a lot easier for Reece James.
In attack as well, Saka didn’t look as sharp as usual. His first touch let him down on a few occasions, he couldn’t breeze past defenders as he has done in the past and Arteta withdrawing him in the second half showed that he wasn’t completely fit.
That’s completely understandable as he returned late from his holiday and it’s not ideal at all for him to be pushed for such a big game. However, with multiple senior players out due to injury or illness, Arteta didn’t really have a choice, did he?
Is Mikel Arteta’s job under threat now?
Some Arsenal fans called for Arteta’s head after our defeat against Brentford last week and there’ll be some more today as well. The Arsenal boss is under serious pressure now and he’ll have a lot of questions to answer.
However, nothing’s really going his way. He was without as many as 10 players for the game today – Alex Runarsson, Hector Bellerin, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey, Lucas Torreira, Martin Ødegaard, Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.
At least five of those players would’ve started if they were available and losing them is not ideal at all. Arteta deserves some time to turn things around, but three or four more weeks of misery could push the board to show him the door, just like they did with Unai Emery.