Arsenal goes to the international break in last place in the league, with only defeats and the worst start to the season in 67 years. Online memes and reviews multiply and Arteta’s place is at risk.
Three games, three defeats, nine goals conceded and none scored. That’s how Arsenal’s season in the English league began, a stark contrast to the results the club got used to under players like Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp.
It is the first time in the Gunners’ 134-year history that the club has lost its first three games and has not scored a goal. The start of the season was already expected to be difficult, with meetings with the last two Champions finalists – Chelsea and Manchester City – but the most shocking result was the defeat against newly promoted Brentford.
The defeat against Brentford even drew criticism from the President of Rwanda. The country sponsors the team and Paul Kagame wrote on Twitter that he can’t be satisfied with “mediocrity” and that fans don’t deserve to get used to being at the bottom of the table.
What?? It’s football,it’s a loss of Arsenal at/to Brentford. Brentford deserved to win and they did. The game itself aside Arsenal and the fans don’t deserve to kind of get used to this….NO !!! I say this as one of the big fans of Arsenal. The change has taken to long to come!
— Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) August 13, 2021
So far, Arsenal have gone to Brentford Community Stadium to lose 2-0, and this club has not played in the first division of English football since 1947. It followed a defeat at home to Chelsea also by two goals and one heavy win of 5-0 against the citizens.
The game statistics against City showed the team’s disorganization – Arsenal had only 19% of possession and zero shots on goal, against 25 shots by the Manchester club, 10 of which were aimed at goal.
With these results, the club now goes to the break for the selections in the last place of the Premier League, having finished eighth last season and having failed to qualify for European competitions.
The rout against City also led to a meeting between the players, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told the Telegraph. “We have to talk amongst ourselves, players. It’s important because we are Arsenal. We need pride and we need to tell the truth, be honest and raise the bar,” said Aubameyang.
“I’ve always said that I’ll be the take responsibility. I think I’ve been more critical of myself and taking the blame every time, but only when we’re beaten,” said Mikel Arteta, the club’s coach, after the game against City.
The coach says that “we have to talk about the result, about what happened on the field”. “I’m here today and I’m doing exactly the same thing. I question myself and I have to try to have the right people around me who look at all the decisions we make”, he said.
This is not the first results crisis for Mikel Arteta, who has guided Arsenal since 2019. After giving the Gunners the FA Cup in 2020, the club reached 15th and fifth place in the Premier League last season.
At the time, Arteta addressed harsh words to the squad. “I like to look around me and see fighters. Usually, when these things happen, you have two types of people: fighters and victims. You just need the fighters, you don’t want victims“he criticized.
In the face of criticism from supporters, Arteta said he would go mad if he read all the comments. “The atmosphere at the club is as good as possible when we are suffering. The union is here. But is there 100% unity around the club? It’s impossible at any club, even when you win”, he admitted at the time.
Despite the poor results, the coach was confident about the support of Arsenal’s management: “Within the club, I feel support, encouragement and complete confidence that we are going to get through this together”.
But that support may not last much longer. In recent times, the sports press pointed Antonio Conte as the Spaniard’s possible replacement at Arsenal, after the Italian coach left Inter Milan due to conflicts with management over lack of investment in the squad.
However, Conte doesn’t seem interested in leading the Gunners and has already agreed to be a commentator on an Italian station, this after Kevin Campbell questioned whether the Italian was willing to risk sully your reputation by going to Arsenal after the last game against City.
“If Mikel Arteta is fired, which well-known coach is going to risk his reputation and not have the funding to change what’s going on? If I were Antonio Conte and I’m seeing what happened yesterday, I wouldn’t want to go there because they are the basic things that are failing“, said the former Arsenal player, who criticized the lack of support from the leadership to the coaches who have worked for the club in recent years.
As Campbell mentioned, there are also fears that the club will be “hostage” of Arteta, after having spent more than 150 million euros in the last transfer window and not having the funds available to be able to change the squad mid-season if he ends up hiring another manager.
The crisis at Arsenal has sparked criticism in the English sports press and among fans. “All that money is spent on young talent, but there are no team leaders who say they will take the team forward. have nothing, they are a team of nothing and it’s almost sad to see how bad they are,” said Jamie O’Hara, formerly of Tottenham’s rivals but who played at Arsenal’s gym. TalkSport.
“The hard reality for Arsenal is that everyone was expecting this. There is nothing surprising about their mediocrity. The days when this famous club could claim to be equal to Chelsea are long gone and the concern for Mikel Arteta is that the environment in the stands will become even more toxic if the skid to irrelevance not stop,” journalist Jacob Steinberg wrote in The Guardian after the Chelsea game.
Gunners fans also came to grips with fans as they confronted the coach on his way out of the stadium after losing at home to Chelsea and the hashtag #ArtetaOut was on trends in social media during the game.
There are also supporters calling for the return of Arsene Wenger, who spent 22 years at Arsenal’s helm, before leaving in 2018, Wenger was also the target of protests, with supporters at the time saying that “fourth place is not a trophy”, but given the current panorama, it seems that the fans were happy and didn’t know.
However, there are Gunners who already seem resigned to the state of the club and prefer to have fun with the situation, sharing memes made by rival supporters, especially from Londoners Tottenham and Chelsea.
During the game against City, Arsenal’s fans even celebrated and applauded the fourth goal of the rivals and created chants about how City is not special because the team “loses every week”, which motivated laughter in the stands. Citizens fans.