Arsenal players trained on Tuesday as they set about bouncing back from their dismal Premier League opener – with Mikel Arteta knowing he needs improvement and fast
Arsenal started the Premier League season with a whimper at Brentford.
Now they have little choice other than to make a bang when they meet Chelsea in their home opener this weekend
Mikel Arteta’s men face Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winners who are further buoyed by the £97million arrival of Romelu Lukaku to spearhead their attack – at a time when the Gunners own struggles are clear.
Without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette they offered the Bees an easy ride on their top-flight return last Friday.
And their lacklustre display – where there was a severe over reliance in attack on young star Emile Smith Rowe and left-back Kieran Tierney – has seen the Gunners come in for widespread criticism, not least from former midfield general Emmanuel Petit.
Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
“With this way of playing it does not generate any emotion to see their games.
“They give me no emotions and I find that I don’t get the trajectory the team have taken in the last few years.”
Petit’s assessment has been backed up by Piers Morgan, a long-time supporter, who has taken to social media to hammer the players and boss Arteta in the wake of their opening day defeat.
“I concur. Arsenal’s soul is disintegrating as fast as our performance levels,” declared Morgan.
“We need passionate leaders and winners like Petit with champion mentalities.
“Not weak headless chickens run by an out-of-his-depth manager and disinterested owners.”
Arsenal face the European champions Chelsea on Sunday in their second game of the new campaign, with more transfers still a possibility.
But there is little focus on upgrading the attack that flattered to deceive too often last season – bar bringing back Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.
Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
John Cross reports Arsenal will have to offload one of their strikers to bring in more firepower – with Lacazette the man most likely to depart.
Monaco and Roma have shown interest in Lacazette who has one year left on his current deal; unless he is sold, now, then there is unlikely to be an incoming striker, particularly with Eddie Nketiah currently injured.
Whomever Arteta calls upon to lead the line this weekend, he knows he needs a big performance – particularly with the club struggling to sell out the Emirates for the London derby.
Arteta is more than aware of the nightmare scenario that ultimately awaits him if the club’s home support vote with their feet and stay away.
He has also been warned by Sheffield United that, while talks are ongoing over goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, and despite the 23-year-old wanting the move, the Championship club will play hard ball over any switch.
Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic said on Tuesday:”[It’s] natural he wants to be a Premier League player.
“I am talking with him, he believes it can be a good move for himself but it is not a bad thing for him if he stays with us.
“In the end it is the decision of Arsenal. If they want him, they need to spend a lot of money. It can happen, but it is something I don’t want. If you ask me if I want to sell him for £100million, I say no.
“But I can understand the business side of both clubs and of Aaron too. He understands very well what I want. I’m not the guy who wants to sell him for any price. If Arsenal want to offer £100million and it was up to me, I’d say no.
“But I must be responsible and prudent for the club too. He is a talented English player and I understand Arsenal are interested, but this is the business.
“Arsenal is pushing from one side and I am pulling from a different side.
“Aaron doesn’t have my permission to leave but I understand the situation. I will be more satisfied if this guy stays but if it doesn’t happen I will wish him all the best.”
Arsenal have just under two weeks to get their transfer business sorted – but on the field, Arteta needs to find the required answers to placate the club’s fans… and fast.