Udayavni Special

Arsenal’s season at crossroads as Fulham await


Team Udayavani, Dec 31, 2018, 10:36 AM IST

London: Riding high until two weeks ago, Arsenal’s season has taken a sudden downturn that has thrown the focus firmly onto the club’s plans for the January transfer window.

Prior to the visit to Southampton in mid-December, the Gunners had gone 22 games without defeat and while form had been more patchy since the end of October, the trajectory of Unai Emery’s side was undeniably on the up.

Defeat at St Mary’s Stadium, however, triggered a run that has brought just one win in five games, including Saturday’s humiliating 5-1 defeat at league leaders Liverpool.

With Chelsea winning at Crystal Palace a day later, Arsenal now sit five points off the top four and anything less than three points in the home meeting with fellow London side Fulham on Tuesday will further undermine the club’s hopes of reclaiming a place in the Champions League.

Arsenal have started to appear increasingly vulnerable at the back, a weakness that was ruthlessly exposed by Jurgen Klopp’s side at Anfield.

 The sight of his defenders chasing shadows and failing in their attempts to constrain Liverpool’s thrilling front three will have made painful viewing for Spanish manager Emery and came just three days after Stephan Lichtsteiner’s mistake had gifted Brighton an equaliser in the 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

Injuries haven’t helped with defenders Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi all missing the trip to the south coast, while Laurent Koscielny is still feeling his way back to form and fitness after an extended lay-off.

Mustafi returned for the Liverpool game yet while the changes to the back-line have done nothing to help the team establish some stability, Bernd Leno insists injuries cannot be used as an excuse following the Liverpool defeat.

“I don’t think that was the difference,” said the goalkeeper. “Of course we conceded five goals but I think we as a team made too many mistakes. We have enough quality, even when somebody is injured…injuries were not the problem.

“We have to look forward because we have another important game on Tuesday. It’s the first game of the year and on Tuesday we want to beat Fulham at home. We need to win.” Arsenal’s problems have not been restricted to their back line, but the frailties suggest Emery needs to bolster his defence in the transfer window.

It’s not a new problem for the club but with Lucas Torreira now offering more steel in front of the back four, there is the possibility to develop a more convincing defensive core.

Meanwhile, uncertainty continues to surround the Arsenal future of Mesut Ozil who has so far failed to win over the new coach and missed the visit to Anfield with a knee problem. “I don’t know if it’s big or not big, but it’s his knee,” said Emery when quizzed about the playmaker’s absence.

With Alexandre Lacazette also appearing frustrated after being withdrawn at Brighton and then left on the bench at Liverpool, the coming weeks will go a long way towards shaping the remainder of Arsenal’s season.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Google Earth adds time lapse video to depict climate change

Donations for Ram temple: About 15,000 collected bank cheques bounce

Sudhakar warns private hospitals of strict action if they do not reserve beds for COVID patients

Amid COVID-19 and climate change, world leaders call for urgent action on adolescent wellbeing

Bantwal: Man held for refilling, selling empty gas cylinders

Declare journalists frontline workers, get them vaccinated on priority: Editors Guild to govt

Covid second wave: Slash down property tax, electricity bills, requests B’luru hotels owners




Related Articles More

Experts of Health Science varsity to guide sportspersons in Karnataka: K Sudhakar

CSK eye improved bowling effort against formidable Punjab Kings

Kohli reprimanded for showing frustration after dismissal

Sahabaz, Maxwell lead RCB to six-run win over SRH

21 at women’s national boxing camp, including top coaches, test positive for COVID-19

MUST WATCH

Mangaluru: Fire breaks out at income tax office due to short circuit

Udayavani Exclusive | Dr Dinesh Shetty on COVID-19 second wave

Charukottige: Kuruvadi pond dries up completely

Udayavani 15-April-2021 News Bulletin

Mangaluru: Serial robbery at Moodbidri, Mulki, Bajpe; 6 more arrested

Latest Additions

Google Earth adds time lapse video to depict climate change

Donations for Ram temple: About 15,000 collected bank cheques bounce

Good opportunity for Tesla to start manufacturing in India: Gadkari

Sudhakar warns private hospitals of strict action if they do not reserve beds for COVID patients

Amid COVID-19 and climate change, world leaders call for urgent action on adolescent wellbeing

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.