Are Arsenal and Arteta On The Right Track After Back-To-Back Wins?

Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

After a pitiful start to the season–losing three straight without registering a single goal–Arsenal managed to capture six much-needed points in the last two matches in the Premier League.

But do these back-to-back victories mean Arsenal are now on the right path under manager Mikel Arteta?

That’s where it gets complicated.

If we look at the losses to Brentford, Chelsea, and Manchester City, one could argue that Arsenal’s poor showings were due to key players not being available throughout the side.

Martin Ødegaard, Thomas Partey, Gabriel, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ben White, and Takehiro Tomiyasu all missed some or all of Arsenal’s first three matches.

Given the transfer money spent on these players–£56 million for Aubameyang in 2018, £45.3 million for Partey last summer and £50 million for White, £30 million for Ødegaard, and £19.8 million for Tomiyasu this summer–we can assume they’re at the very least competent players that are part of the plan for this side and missing them for any amount of time is detrimental to the team’s ability to perform at the level they expect.

Missing this many vital players would be a more than an adequate excuse for the poor showings against a few good sides to start the season, and if you didn’t watch the next two matches and just saw that Arsenal won with their full-strength side, you’d assume the Gunners are back to good.

The problem is that Arsenal played the two worst sides in the league, Norwich (20th) and Burnley (19th)–who have a grand total of one point and a -18 goal differential in their combined ten Premier League matches.

The problem is Arsenal didn’t look convincing in these two 1-0 victories, with the same issues of aimless possession, a lack of defensive organization, and an inability to end an attack in any other way than Kieran Tierney slotting a pass or cross into the box from the left-wing.

The problem is that even after spending more money on transfers than any other side in the league, Arsenal still look like they’re heading to a mid-table finish with no European competition in sight.

So, no, these two wins aren’t enough to convince Arsenal are on the right path. They’re on the same path, the one that leads to an eighth-place finish in the league and maybe a chance to win an FA Cup.

And if that’s the case, the people to blame aren’t the Kroenkes nor the players. The people to blame are Edu and Arteta. They’re the ones that have spent all this money to build this team, they’re the ones who chose each and every one of these players specifically to manifest their vision into reality, and they’re the ones that have failed to return Arsenal to their former glory.

GW6 Best Differentials in Fantasy Premier League. light. Must Read

Oh, and if they’re embarrassed by Spurs this weekend, I’d imagine Stan and Josh Kroenke might think it’s time to give Antonio Conte or Graham Potter a call.