Comment: Arteta can rage all he like about VAR but his signings have taken Arsenal backwards this time

Comment: Arteta can rage all he like about VAR but his signings have taken Arsenal backwards this time

Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta experienced loads to say about the VAR choice that he felt cost his side the game towards Newcastle on Saturday, but the truth of the matter is that it appears like his put up-match rant is small much more than a effortless distraction from the reality that the improvements he’s created this season have taken his group backwards.

Numerous will have had Arsenal as one of the title favourites this year, with the signing of Declan Rice from West Ham throughout the summer displaying enormous ambition to pull off in opposition to their bitter rivals Manchester City. Rice apart, however, the Gunners have not used their funds specially very well, and it is allowed both Liverpool and Tottenham to overtake them as much more probable rivals to Pep Guardiola’s treble winners this time period.

Arsenal were being truly great previous year and may perhaps properly have gained the title if not for William Saliba’s injuries indicating Rob Holding experienced to fill in for so numerous essential games – an enforced adjust that looks even worse now with the advantage of hindsight as Saliba has returned to health and fitness and form though Holding has hardly kicked a ball since his summer move to Crystal Palace.

So even though final calendar year was no fluke, there was a large possibility right here for Arsenal, and it’s starting up to look like they have not taken it: shedding Granit Xhaka, one particular of their players of the time, seems all the a lot more baffling soon after his remarkable begin at Bayer Leverkusen, even though Kai Havertz’s signing never seriously appeared like it produced perception and even now doesn’t, even though large inquiries have to be requested of Arteta for bringing in David Raya as his new amount one when Aaron Ramsdale experienced a flawlessly great period in 2022/23.

David Raya hasn’t appeared convincing for Arsenal so much

Of course, Arsenal have experienced some dreadful luck with accidents which should not be overlooked – Jurrien Timber, most cruelly, did not even very last his full Premier League debut and will be privileged to perform any meaningful function this season. Somewhere else, Gabriel Jesus has only performed a handful of online games, pursuing on from some conditioning difficulties final expression as properly. Thomas Partey also simply cannot appear to remain suit, begging the concern the moment once more as to why it was Xhaka rather than him who was shown the door above the summer months.

The continued absence of Jesus has meant far more actively playing time for Eddie Nketiah – a preferred figure at the Emirates Stadium just after rising up via the club’s academy, but not a striker who is ever most likely to be good plenty of for a title-difficult group. Hat-tricks versus groups like Sheffield United will of course convey a cheer to the Emirates group, but it’s pretty worthless when he just cannot seem to score absent from property or make substantially of an impact towards teams in the best fifty percent. There’s no promise Folarin Balogun would have been a greater selection, but you could all over again forgive Arsenal followers for inquiring if they offered the suitable striker this summertime.

Mikel Arteta was furious following the defeat to Newcastle

All in all, it is not seeking fantastic for Arteta and he understands it. “There’s so significantly at stake in this article … it’s so tricky to compete at this degree,” the Spanish tactician reported following the sport, pretty much hinting that Newcastle’s controversial intention might previously have price his aspect the title this year – but the truth is arguably more disheartening than that: Arsenal ended up in a place to choose a good step ahead, but, for regardless of what motive, ended up in excess of-wondering it and reinventing the wheel when the aged just one was rolling together really nicely in the correct path.

We all know it took Manchester Town a little bit of time to get likely last period as they continued to path Arsenal in the title race, and some Gooners may well comfort them selves that a identical phenomenon is occurring here and that the tide could change in distinct as soon as Partey and Jesus are out there once more, and if Timber can return earlier can anticipated, but the truth is that for all the faith placed in Raya and Havertz, Arsenal are not but looking at any variety of return on their summertime expense – until individuals two can definitely phase up before long, that will be where Arteta and co. have to glimpse back again and consider some accountability for their individual bad final decision-making.

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