Arsenal started the Premier League poorly as they lost their first three matches against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City hence bringing a lot of pressure to Mikel Arteta. Arsenal however surprised everyone by recovering from those three defeats by winning their next league games against Norwich, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur.
The thrilling 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur brought a lot of lost hope to Arsenal supporters since the gunners showed what they can do with a fully fit squad but there wasn’t this tempo or energy in their game against Brighton & Hove Albion before the international break. So what changed? There’s one problem that Mikel Arteta is yet to fix in the current Arsenal squad and that is the over reliance on Granit Xhaka who is a very controversial figure in the fanbase of the gunners. It was recently confirmed that Xhaka will be out for three months.
Granit Xhaka is an interesting player that has moments of brilliance that can be in five games and then you have a repulsive and prone to mistake midfielder side of him in the next couple of games. The truth is however that Arsenal are a better side with him at the moment ( since there’s no capable replacement ) than in games without him as seen in difference of midfield performance against Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Thomas Partey can’t handle the Arsenal midfield alone as Mikel Arteta prefers using a formation that uses a pivot of two players and Sambi Lokonga is still a teenager. So Mikel Arteta will have a huge head scratching problem in the next three months on how to set up his midfield without the Swiss international who has always been one of the first names on the starting eleven of the Spanish manager.
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