What does Arsenal’s loss to Manchester United means for Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

Following an amazing run of 10 games unbeaten across all competitions, Arsenal finds themselves with two losses in their last three played; these last two defeats coming against the clubs they are trying to push out of the top spots in order to get themselves into one.

A five-goal thriller played out at Old Trafford to end off proceedings of Matchday 14 in the Premier League. Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring in the first half with the weirdest goal of the last decade.

This was soon cancelled out by the home side when Bruno Fernandes equalised just before the halftime break. As we’ve come to know, the momentum was then with Manchester United and the second half kicked off with them on the front foot.

Not even seven minutes into the second half and United’s star man came to the party to score his 800 career goal — Cristiano Ronaldo gave his team the lead — but the drama and action were far from over.

Soon after, within two minutes to be precise, Martin Odegaard levelled the scoreline for the second time on the night and the game was 2-2.

Unfortunately, the Gunner who was a hero turned into the villain and was the cause for Man United to receive a penalty with 20 minutes left on the clock. Ronaldo didn’t need a second invite and converted the chance from the spot.

This was the final goal of the game and the scoreline reflected 3-2 to Man United — the Gunners first loss against them after going seven unbeaten.

What does this loss mean now for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal?

It means that the Gunners will struggle or even go as far as failing to reach the top four. If Champions League football is the goal for next season, the goal might be missed altogether.

Mikel Arteta and his men have played all of the traditional top-six clubs and have only won one game. The rest: they lost all without even savouring a point from any of the encounters.

This could already show us that the goal of Champions League football or even Europa League football might not be achieved for next season. The opportunity of them making a European spot is not gone but the light is fading with each clash against competitors vying for the same spots, lost.

If they can keep winning the others around the league and chip in with one or two wins against a top-six rival then they are again in business. But another loss against any of them again in the reverse fixtures coming up and we could probably be prepping for a new manager to take over at the Emirates.

What next for the Gunners and Arteta?

A trip to Goodison Park for a match against Everton is up first next week Monday. They have been on a massive low and would represent the best chance for Arsenal to bounce back to winning ways.

Then they will welcome Southampton and thereafter West Ham United to the Emirates; the former are also struggling to find consistency while the London derby against West Ham will be a big test.

The Gunners have the tools to go unbeaten and collect all nine points in their next three games. But the maximum I would bet on is six/seven points from Mikel Arteta and North London boys.

Do you think the Gunners will make the top four or top six at the end of the season?