Arsenal: What’s gone wrong and could it get worse?

Just two games into the new Premier League season and there are already mounting issues at Arsenal

The Gunners have lost to both Brentford and Chelsea without scoring a goal and have a number of players missing through injury and illness.

Here, we look at areas of concern but also reasons to be more cheerful for Arsenal fans.

Just how bad has it been?

Arsenal have lost both of their opening Premier League games of the new season. (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA Wire)

This has been the worst start to any of Arsenal’s 118 seasons playing in the top four leagues in England.

Two 2-0 defeats have already led to unrest at the Emirates Stadium, with #ArtetaOut still trending the morning after Chelsea left north London with all three points.

Arsenal have now lost 20 of the 60 Premier League games since Arteta’s appointment, with a trip to reigning champions Manchester City up next.

Are there any excuses?

Ben White was the latest Arsenal player to test positive for Covid. (John Walton/PA)

(PA Wire)

To be fair to Arteta, his plans for the opening two games were thrown into disarray following a number of positive Covid tests. He was without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson at Brentford, with only the former fit enough for the bench against Chelsea. £50million summer signing Ben White was then struck down with Covid on the eve of the Blues clash, while Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey are all out injured.

But they’ve spent so much money…

Arsenal are currently the highest-spending Premier League side this summer after bringing in a number of new recruits. A lack of European football has not stopped the Gunners bringing in White, as well as Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale. Lokonga was the only fresh face to start against Chelsea but Arteta will be hoping a number of his new signings can improve performance and results moving forward.

Could it get worse before it gets better?

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are next up for Arteta, who used to work as an assistant to his compatriot. (Carl Recine/PA)

(PA Wire)

Yes. A second-round Carabao Cup tie away to West Brom is likely a chance for Arteta to rotate his team, with fringe players such as Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson vying for starts. But after that it is an away game at Manchester City, where Arsenal have lost on their previous five visits. After the international break they face Norwich, Burnley and Brighton with a north London derby at home to Tottenham in among that favourable run.

Will Arteta get sacked?

Arteta has lost 20 of his 60 Premier League games as Arsenal boss. (Glyn Kirk/PA)

(PA Archive)

Arsenal went through a miserable run before Christmas last year and the hierarchy backed Arteta publicly and privately. He has also been part of the technical team identifying the players to come in over the course of the summer as he is trusted to lead the rebuild. However, if results fail to improve and performance levels do not increase the Spaniard will be under no illusion that his position could become untenable.


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