“It’s time to drop him to the bench after poorly in the past matches now”- Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has issued a strong warning to Mikel Arteta to cut his £110k-per-week salary after recent dismal performances, including one against Chelsea.
Arsenal: Arteta, who was “running in treacle” against Chelsea, must be benched.
The Gunners struggled to dominate against Chelsea, with one player in particular doing poorly.
Arsenal will be relieved to have escaped Stamford Bridge with their unblemished Premier League record intact, despite a frustrating afternoon in which they drew 2-2 with Chelsea.
“First half from us the worst we’ve played this season in terms of sloppiness,” Declan Rice, whose spectacular long-range shot sparked the comeback from a two-goal deficit, would agree.
It was always going to be a game determined by blunders, as despite the home side’s optimism, their skill rarely showed. However, while few can deny Arsenal’s quality, they cannot afford for so many of their important players to go AWOL all at once.
It could have lost them the game if Robert Sanchez’s error hadn’t given the 24-year-old the chance to cut the lead in half.
Overrun by the Blues’ enthusiasm and terrorised along the sides by Raheem Sterling’s raw pace, Mauricio Pochettino deserves credit for how he put his team up, and how it nullified the strengths of their visitors.
However, Jorginho’s performance made his job lot simpler, as he once again failed to compete with the physicality of such an all-action and intense affair.
How did Jorginho do against Chelsea?
Conor Gallagher was a nightmare for the Italian midfield conductor, who thrives with time and space to pick passes.
He was often chastised for his lack of pace or urgency, and he was tormented by the former Crystal Palace loanee, who made it impossible for the 31-year-old to quiet things down and establish the control Mikel Arteta sought. His team seizes possession and then fails to release it, exhausting their opponents with engine room combinations.
That was an option they were unable to pursue, with Jorginho’s shortcomings playing a significant role in their troubles.
Although the statistics create a picture of a dominant performance, given his 91% pass accuracy and 77 touches, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The eight times he lost possession may be more indicative of the tumultuous afternoon he had, which writer Simon Collings attempted to highlight in his post-match ratings. He gave the 48-cap washout a 4/10 grade in The Evening Standard before writing: “A poor performance from the Italian as he returned to his old club.” Arsenal were unable to gain control because Conor Gallagher harassed him nonstop.”
This was backed up by news aggregator Connor Humm, who rushed to Twitter to criticize the £110k-per-week flop: “Jorginho running in treacle again.” He takes forever to recover. For crying out loud, put Partey on.”
The 6.35 rating he received from WhoScored reflected a difficult return to the Bridge for the former Blues and Napoli metronome, who must definitely find his starting job under threat now given Arteta’s choices.
Who could step in for Jorginho?
There are numerous possibilities that the Spaniard might pursue in order to eliminate the slow presence from his midfield. After all, he has already established himself as a forward-thinking coach who aims to rival Pep Guardiola’s revolutionary advancement.
As a result, Oleksandr Zinchenko could be shifted there permanently, allowing the in-form and possibly more conventional Takehiro Tomiyasu to take over at full-back.
However, there are a slew of genuine midfielders in Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira, and Emile Smith Rowe who would all love to take Rice’s place.
However, the best solution, and one that Benn mentioned previously, must be to eventually recall Thomas Partey and reintegrate him into the first XI.
After a shaky start to the season as he urgently fought to regain fitness, it appears like the Ghanaian general is now ready for duty, but he is still on the bench. His return was marked by a brief cameo in their win against the Citizens, although he was an unused substitute both against Chelsea and in their Champions League loss to RC Lens.
His exclusion is perplexing, given that he can provide the same commanding presence as Jorginho, albeit with far more physicality. After all, his performances throughout last season’s title run confirmed it to everyone.
How talented is Thomas Partey?
“He is still important to them, for sure,” said Sky Sports analyst Lee Hendrie earlier this month on Soccer Special (03/10/23 at 7:40 pm). “There’s no doubt about it: he’s a big player.” Rice and Partey can both play in the center. You allow Odegaard the freedom and luxury to truly join in and be a major threat (in the future).
“It’s great to have him back on the team.” Because of his availability, he is unquestionably a starter in my Arsenal squad.”
He appears to be well aware of the foundation his collaboration with Rice might provide for the Gunners, who would undoubtedly benefit from the increased steadiness to achieve even higher heights.
After all, the 30-year-old was a key defensive anchor in midfield last season, allowing Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard to go ahead and contribute offensively.
As a result, he averaged 2.1 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game, winning 59% of his duels in the league while appearing 33 times, according to Sofascore.
Then, as if to emphasize his technical abilities, Partey ranks in the top 5% for passes attempted, the top 11% for pass completion, and the top 3% for progressive passes per 90 in Europe, according to FBref.
Jorginho struggled against Chelsea due to the quickness of his opponents and his lack of. If the former Atletico Madrid beast had been chosen instead, there would have been significantly less emphasis on that issue, as his strength and speed would have helped him prosper.
The £200k-per-week behemoth is the ideal defensive midfielder for this team, capable of both playing football and getting stuck in. It should come as no surprise, then, that Arteta called himself a “super important player” over the summer.
Perhaps now is the time to put his words into action and reclaim control of the midfield by replacing Jorginho with Partey.