They’ve changed bosses, but Arsenal are still looking as awful on the pitch as ever, which shows us that their problems run deeper than who the manager is.
If you were expecting Arsenal to bounce back with confidence and quality under Freddie Ljungberg following the sacking of Unai Emery, then you would’ve been in the boat amongst the majority. With the way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Frank Lampard, and even Jose Mourinho made an immediate, positive impact at their current clubs, you would have expected Arsenal to follow the same route.
Well, that didn’t happen, as the Gunners have picked up just 1 point from 2 matches against Norwich and Brighton under Ljungberg, which shows us quite clearly that the problems within this team run so much deeper than who the manager is.
The main problem at the moment has to be confidence. It seems this team has none of it at the moment, and while a manager can do a lot to help this area over the course of time, it ultimately comes down to the player’s belief in themselves and their own teammates. With so many players underperforming this season, it seems the players are starting to doubt themselves and each other – this is very, very difficult to reverse.
Ljungberg’s team selections, however, have been poor in his first 2 games in charge. They’ve been so reminiscent to Emery’s team selections that it has infuriated Arsenal fans, who expected significant change under the Swede, who’s time with the u23’s displayed some promising, modern football.
We haven’t seen that yet, and with some massive fixtures coming up, including one against Manchester City next weekend, Ljungberg’s bid to become permanent manager might be all but over already.
Along with the issue of confidence, Arsenal simply lack key figures in key areas, which is most notable in their backline and their midfield. While they lack athleticism and intensity in their midfield, their centre-back’s lack nearly everything – aerial prowess, tactical awareness, positional awareness, discipline, etc.
There needs to be some serious shifting of personnel over the next few transfer windows if Arsenal are going to have a squad capable of competing for top 4.
As of right now, things aren’t looking good for the Gunners, who sit twice as close to the relegation zone as they do to the top 4. Of course, Arsenal fighting for relegation is a thought that seems impossible, but if they continue on with the form they are in, they could be in for a fight for their lives as we head into the busy festive period. You never know what can happen in football.