It was just a month ago that some Arsenal fans were calling for Mikel Arteta to be sacked. After a bright start to his career as Arsenal manager, the Spaniard had to watch from the touchline as things sunk to the lowest ebb.
The Gunners failed to win a Premier League game for almost two months, leading to harsh criticisms from both within and outside the club. However, the hierarchy at Arsenal stuck by the manager and things are looking good now.
Having weathered the storm, Arsenal have now won each of their last four games in all competitions. Not only have the results been better, but the general performance of the team has also massively improved in recent weeks.
During Arsenal’s poor run of form, it was obvious that they played with little desire and effort. However, some strong selection decisions taken by Arteta has helped in the team’s recent revival.
Top four finish still possible for Arsenal
Arsenal’s recent form has seen them climb up to 11th in the Premier League table. They are now just three points behind London rivals Chelsea and a further six behind fourth-placed Leicester City.
As the Gunners prepare to face Crystal Palace on Thursday, they will know it is crucial that they win the game to keep their momentum going. Arteta’s decision to turn to youth players has been vindicated with the likes of Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka proving their worth in the first team.
This has been a bizarre season and the gap between the teams in the top and lower halves of the Premier League is not too distant. No one could have imagined Manchester United topping the table after 17 rounds of matches, but the Reds have defied the odds and are currently in the title race.
Similarly, Arsenal can also kick on from their improved run of results to make the top four. Arteta has rightly stated that the club’s next two games will be key in determining how their season unfolds.
“I think the next two games are crucial to see the direction that we are taking. We have to reinforce all the things that we have improved on and the results that we are having recently,” Arteta said, as quoted by The Independent. "There’s a lot of games coming up now, some important ones as well. We need to get our home form established."
"We've had some issues there and now it’s time to get some wins. We’ve got two at home right now those are going to be key for the future of our season in the Premier League. The team is in great spirits. Obviously, after four wins everything looks better," noted Arteta.
All this, however, is possible because the club decided to be patient with Arteta. The Spaniard has turned things around and Arsenal are reaping the benefits of sticking by their manager through some difficult times.Published 14 Jan 2021, 20:05 IST