Arsenal's season has been a rollercoaster ride, filled with moments of brilliance and disappointment. While credit must be given to manager Mikel Arteta and the team for surpassing expectations, the last six games left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. Here are three key reasons why the season ended on a sour note.
Firstly, there was a lack of dynamism in the team's tactics. Arteta relied heavily on a single approach throughout the season, regardless of the opposition. Although it yielded success for most of the campaign, the lack of alternative tactics became evident. The team struggled when the main strategy faltered, and Arteta's reluctance to adapt hurt their chances against strong opponents like Manchester City and Liverpool.
Secondly, the limited options upfront proved to be a hindrance. Players like Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, and Leandro Trossard played as strikers, but their lack of height and finishing ability posed challenges. Arsenal lacked a towering center forward who could hold off defenders and dominate in the air, especially when resorting to long balls. This deficiency was evident in games against Newcastle and Everton where opponents crowded the box.
Lastly, Arteta displayed tendencies reminiscent of his former boss, Arsene Wenger. Stubbornness and repetitive failed experiments became apparent, reminiscent of Wenger's reign. Arteta struggled with substitutions, rotations, and favoritism. Poor team selection decisions, such as starting Jesus without earning it or benching Trossard abruptly, raised eyebrows. Arteta must learn from his former mentor, Pep Guardiola, by being ruthless in player management and rotation.
In conclusion, while Arsenal's season had its highs, these three factors – lack of dynamism, limited options upfront, and repetitive mistakes – contributed to the disappointing ending. Arteta must learn from these shortcomings and be willing to adapt his tactics, address the team's needs, and make shrewd decisions to propel Arsenal towards a more successful campaign in the future.
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