Date: 19th October 2021 at 11:44am
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Arsenal’s dismal performance in their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night should not be blamed on the manager, Mikel Arteta, this time around.

After taking an early lead against the Eagles and punters on looking well placed, the Gunners seemed in full control of the game at the start – courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal in the 8th minute.

However, as the game progressed, Arteta’s side slowly grew less comfortable and eventually conceded two goals to former Arsenal legend Patrick Viera’s side.

Fortunately for the Gunners, Alexander Lacazette clinched a last-minute equaliser to rescue a point for his team. But following a positive month for Arsenal in the Premier League, this match again showcased some of their major flaws.

It is important to understand from this fixture though, that Arteta was not to blame for his side’s demise. The manager has been under intense scrutiny over the past few months for his team’s performances, but it was his players that had let him down this time.

It was actually the tactical decision to bring on the likes of Alexander Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli that changed the game in the closing stages, helping the club come away with at least another point on the league table.

Arsenal were lucky however. Crystal Palace could have definitely poached more from the game after a solid performance under Viera, but the Gunners now continue their unbeaten streak and extend it to six games in all competitions.

Why are the players to blame?

The lineup and formation put out by Arteta was definitely the correct method to take for this fixture, but it was individual errors that cost them and were eventually the main reasons for conceding two goals.

So often during the match, Arsenal seemed uncomfortable and unassured in possession – which allowed Palace to grow into the midfield and take control.

While Arsenal’s attacking players stood out going forward, despite being without an injured Bukayo Saka in the second half, their defensive efforts and midfield battles weren’t strong enough to take the game into their own hands.

With Arteta’s job on the line and Arsenal’s credibility, you would expect the players to show more spirit to fight in every game.

However more often than not this season, there has been a lack of passion and charisma – which showed for large parts of the match before substitutions were made.

Arteta has rightly been blamed for some woeful performances from Arsenal this season, but this was an example of how his players must do better.

Despite all that was showcased on Monday night, the Gunners must now regroup and look ahead to Friday’s match against Aston Villa – who are team that won’t let them get away with a point this time.


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