4 improvements we've seen from Mikel Arteta's Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has only been the manager of Arsenal for five games, but already the improvements are there for all to see. The Spaniard has won two games, drawn two and lost one, but in all those games the Gunners have shown an upturn in the quality of their performances. As a result, the atmosphere around the club is that of a much nicer tone, with players and fans alike now seeing eye to eye.
Late last year we revealed our expectations of an Arteta shaped team, the Spaniard is already living up to those requirements. It seems as though all that time as Pep Guardiola’s no.2 has done wonders for the footballing IQ of the 37-year-old. A top 4 challenge was unlikely mid-way through December, now that possibility is not as laughable.
Here are four improvements we’ve already seen from Arteta’s Arsenal.
#4 Fewer shots and chances conceded
Under Unai Emery, the most worrying trend of the team’s demise was the number of shots the team were facing per match. The Gunners were going into games against much inferior opposition and finishing with fewer shots than them, that’s appalling. This alarming trait kept the Gunners on backfoot for many a game, affording their opponents complete attacking domination.
When you face an increased amount of shots on goal, you increase the likelihood of conceding goals. Of course, Arsenal’s defence is not filled with quality, but it doesn’t help when the team is set up in a way that leaves their goal vulnerable.
In Emery’s final 5 games, Arsenal conceded on average 12.8 chances and an alarming 17.6 shots per game. On the other hand, in just three weeks, Arteta has reduced that figure to 8.6 chances and 11.8 shots on average a game. The first-time manager has reduced both figures by 37.1% and 33% respectively. If Arsenal is able to reduce the amount of pressure on their goal, that’ll lay the foundations for more dominant performances.