“He’s worse than Kai Havertz, he even had fewer passes than the goalkeeper, Arteta must drop him as soon as possible before he gets knocked out of UCL again”- Arsenal owner Arsene Wenger has urged Mikel Arteta to drop “anonymous” Arsenal midfielder who ghosted against Newcastle yesterday.
Arteta must take over for a “anonymous” Arsenal washout who is worse than Havertz.
Arsenal has to add another dimension to their offense.
Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal teammates were left with only one normal weekend of Barclays on Saturday evening.
The PGMOL and Howard Webb’s merry band of referees have received unprecedented attention this season.
The caliber of officiating in this country appears to have reached an all-time low. Apologies have been sent, statements have been distributed left, right, and center, and still decisions continue to be made incorrectly.
Arteta may need to look closer to home to understand why they fell 1-0 to Newcastle at a noisy St James’ Park this weekend, but both sides’ officiating left a lot to be desired.
On another day, Kai Havertz’s absurd and untimely challenge in the first half could have earned him a red card, and Bruno Guimaraes could have been sent off early for purposefully hitting Jorginho in the back of the head with his forearm.
The biggest dispute, however, occurred after Newcastle took the lead.
How Arsenal fell short against Newcastle
To be honest, the Gunners didn’t play particularly poorly in the north east on Saturday night.
Arteta’s troops won the midfield battle thanks to a strong and organized defense that had kept a clean sheet against Manchester City.
However, it was in attack where they fell short. A 0-0 tie would have been a fair result had it not been for a moment of pandemonium shortly after the hour mark.
A errant shot from Jacob Murphy almost resulted in a goal kick near the corner flag, but Joe WIllock, a former Arsenal player, didn’t give it up. The ball appeared to be out from the angle we were shown during the TV program. Unfortunately, that was one of three VAR judgments that were deemed acceptable after Anthony Gordon scored from close range.
A flighted ball in was missed by David Raya and was unable to be dealt with by Gabriel, who was pushed to the ground by Joelinton. No foul was found to have been committed. The next step was to determine whether Gordon was on board.
Although the VAR stated he was, Arteta was not pleased, launching an angry series of loud accusations on the officials in his post-match press conference.
He might criticize the officials all he wants, but the truth is that a number of players in red and white let him down.
Arsenal’s worst performer against Newcastle
Much was anticipated of Havertz following his £65 million summer move from Chelsea, but it was his outrageous tackle in the first half that nearly sent Arsenal down a man.
It was a momentous night for the German, who was allowed greater creative freedom with Martin Odegaard out due to injury. He did not create. In fact, he simply served to aggravate the situation.
Eddie Nketiah’s average performance contributed significantly to their offensive shortcomings.
A week earlier, the club’s number 14 scored his first Premier League hat-trick against Sheffield United.
It was a performance that propelled him to the club’s equal highest goal scorer this season, alongside Odegaard and Bukayo Saka. That fact, however, does not convey the entire tale.
Nketiah provides the ability to hold the ball up and run the channels at home. He doesn’t light the world on fire, but his performance levels are normally adequate.
Away from home, the English striker has been the epitome of mediocrity. He’s only scored five goals in 52 league games on the road. For a team chasing a Premier League title that simply isn’t good enough.
It is cruel to criticize someone who scored three goals just a week ago, but Arsenal needs a lot more from Nketiah while Gabriel Jesus is out injured.
On Saturday, he was starved of the ball and unable to get any serious service. Having said that, he was rarely available.
According to FotMob, Nketiah only had 33 touches of the ball, one more than Raya, and completed 16 passes, the fewest of any Arsenal starter, including the intriguing Havertz. Even substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko scored more, with 30 points. Meanwhile, only two of those passes were in the last third. Concerned about your attack’s primary point.
To make matters worse, the forward only managed one off-target shot and neither of his two attempted dribbles.
Furthermore, when the Newcastle defenders tormented him, the 24-year-old won 33% of his ground duels and 40% of his aerial duels. It’s not surprising that his exhibit was labeled “anonymous” by others, including Arseblog’s Andrew Allen.
This was not a memorable night for Nketiah, who provided little offensively. With the academy graduate generally unimpressive and Jesus’ fitness record unreliable, a fresh striker acquisition could be on the cards in January. A situation like this could determine if Arteta’s team has what it takes to win the championship.