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Mikel Arteta has got Arsenal playing swashbuckling football again

Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 3-0 on Monday
Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 3-0 on Monday
ANALYST
Modified 19 Jan 2021
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Arsenal’s renaissance continued in earnest as they trounced Newcastle United 3-0 on Monday.

Mikel Arteta’s men have been on an impressive run of form in recent weeks and once again showed why they cannot be completely discounted.

So many statistics have been doing the rounds after their win against the Magpies, but the most significant one is that Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions. They have also kept clean sheets in each of their last five matches.

In the space of three weeks, the north London outfit has transformed from a side near the relegation zone to a team that is in contention for the Premier League top four.

Tuesday’s game saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to the scoresheet after struggling in front of goal in recent weeks. There was also a goal for the fast-improving Bukayo Saka, while big-money summer signing Thomas Partey capped off his first start in almost two months with an assist.

Arsenal's feel-good factor returning under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal's decision to stick with Mikel Arteta during their trying times is now beginning to pay off.

The Gunners dominated Newcastle United and put in a great attacking display that reminded fans of the swashbuckling football they were previously accustomed to under Arsene Wenger.

Arteta said after the game, as quoted by Arsenal.com:

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“I am really pleased with the performance overall because collectively and individually it was really strong from the beginning.”
“It took us longer than we wanted to score the first goal because in the first half we had some big chances as well, but overall the team looked confident, looked solid, looked compact and very clear about what we had to do, defending and attacking, so I am really pleased with the clean sheet, the goals, and overall the run and the momentum we have.”

For so long, Arsenal was a team that thrived on dominating their opponents and scoring goals for fun. That hasn’t been the case in recent years, but the feel-good factor is returning under Arteta.

Baby steps but top-four finish still possible for Arsenal

Arsenal's recent form has seen them close the gap on their rivals at the top of the Premier League table. While the Gunners are still a long way from leaders Manchester United, the gap isn’t that big when it comes to the top four.

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After beating Newcastle on Tuesday, Arsenal have moved to 10th on the Premier League and are now just two points behind London rivals Chelsea.

Arteta’s men have played themselves into contention for the top four, as they are now seven points below fourth-placed Liverpool. It’s too early to be making predictions, but finishing in the Champions League places is not entirely impossible for the Gunners.

A month ago, no Arsenal fan foresaw the club even qualifying for the Europa League. However, their recent form has been really impressive, and much of the credit must go to Mikel Arteta for turning things around.

Published 19 Jan 2021, 18:37 IST
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