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Can Arsenal can finally end their PL drought this season?

Arsenal might not have had the best of their season so far or have a 2002-ish kinda all-kill season but they sure hold high chances of winning both the Premiere League and the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE this time. Although a few of their vital players have been injured in the course of the season mostly during the pre-winter break, the likes of Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Odegard might prove to be of good use this year. Scoring the most number of set pieces and corners the the aerial power of Arsenal sure remains unmatched this season. With 13 wins and 44 points this season the gunners are sitting right behind Jugen’s Liverpool and waiting for the perfect moment to snatch the opportunity and climb the ladder to claim the topmost position while still being chased by teams like City, Aston Villa, and Spurs, Arteta’s boys need to stay on their toes post Christmas where they’ll be playing most of their vital matches in the league. Let’s take a look at the problems Arsenal has been facing this season.

PROBLEMS THAT ARTETA MIGHT COME ACROSS – The team depth is where Arsenal might and probably will face major problems. With the lack of a proper attacking threat and a CAM in the bench besides Kai Havertz and Trossard Arsenal fails to provide the firepower up top, especially in zone 14 and zone 15. Although players like Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah might prove to be handy in the dying stages of the game, it is Jesus, Saka, and Martinelli who have to step up and get the goal tally flowing.

Another huge problem that Arteta might face is the sudden outburst of an important set of away games in February, where they play Liverpool at home on the 4th of Feb, and then play David Moyes’ West Ham away on the 11th of Feb, Away to Burnley and Away to Newcastle on the 17th and 25th of Feb respectively, and on top of all the PL games, they also travel to Portugal to play Porto in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. This hectic schedule of facing League leaders Liverpool and traveling largely for away games might come in with injuries and fatigue which might turn out to be a major issue that Arteta encounters.

Goalkeepers:- None of Mikel’s goalkeepers have been in their best form this season, with clumsy errors and nervy passes Aaron Ramsdale has certainly been far from his peak. With a healthy and vast competition from the Gunners’ number 22 new signing David Raya on loan from Brentford. Despite the fact there have been people who have continuously shown faith in last season’s starting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, the gaffer has been caught in two minds ever since. The English keeper has started 5 games in the league this season whereas Raya has had 17 appearances already. The Gunners conceded 20 goals this season out of which 5 major errors have led to the goals that have been scored which have cost them a few matches as well. The couple has failed to crack the clean sheet number to double digits, with 8 clean sheets, the same as Table-toppers Liverpool.

The gaffer has been clear about his vision from the very beginning of the year, where he has said that this Arsenal side won’t win the premier league unless they improve at both ends of the pitch after their title race took a hit against West Ham where they were beaten 2-0 in a cold Thursday night London Derby. With 30 shots on goal and 77 touches in the Hammers sector, was the most in an English league match since the 2009-09 season for a team that failed to convert any of the chances.

Positives to take away:- There’s a long way for the season to end if Mikel Artera manages to seize the crucial matchdays in February and March and secure a win against Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola on the 4th of February and the 30th of March respectively, the title might well be in his hands and securing at least 45 points out of possible 48 points might just get the job done. The forwards (who have been nothing like they used to be last season) need to step up ASAP and a certain target man has to be kept in mind who’ll be fed with looping balls in and out. Jesus who was the prime forward and the ‘target man’ last season needs to find his rhythm back and start bagging the goals. Saka who is the top goalscorer for Arsenal this season has a total number of 7 goals followed by Eddie Nketiah with 5 goals and Kai Havertz with one more than three, well and far behind the top goal scorers of the League which follows the likes of Erling Haaland and Mo Salah the joint top scorers with 14 goals each followed by Dominick Solanke and the Spurs skipper from South Korea with 12 goals each.

With a late win against Not’m Forrest on Tuesday night with a fragile scoreline of 2-1, where Jesus and Saka both converted the chances with an xG ( expected goal ratio) of 1.23 and 19 shots on target, and a total of 674 passes, Odegaard and co. prepare to play Liverpool on Sunday 4th of Feb at 10 o’clock IST, in a title-deciding game of the season.

Author:- Parampreet Dutta

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Can Arsenal can finally end their PL drought this season?

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