Alan Smith on Arsenal: Mikel Arteta has selection dilemmas to solve

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith offers his verdict on Arsenal forward of their Premier League conflict with Newcastle on Monday Night Football.

It’s been a greater few weeks for the Gunners, who at the moment are unbeaten in 5 matches in all competitions, however they did endure a irritating evening towards Crystal Palace final Thursday.

Mikel Arteta’s facet had been held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace and so they have now failed to rating in seven league matches this season, as many as within the entirety of final marketing campaign, as focus as soon as once more falls on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and the misfiring ahead line forward of their conflict with Newcastle, which is stay on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm on Monday (kick-off 8pm).

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Speaking to Sky Sports, former Arsenal striker Smith talks Aubameyang’s struggles, Aubameyang vs Lacazette as a central striker and Gabriel Martinelli’s potential return and the selection headache it might depart Arteta.

Arsenal’s January switch window plans, Kieran Tierney’s captaincy credentials and Granit Xhaka’s kind are different subjects coated as Smith analyses the present state of affairs on the Emirates Stadium…

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Auba’s struggles proceed

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to rating vs Crystal Palace final Thursday

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nonetheless appears a bit beneath par.

He had one or two moments towards Crystal Palace, one when he minimize in off the left flank earlier than getting a powerful shot away. That was a bit extra prefer it, however, in equity, he was a part of a staff that was stuttering and could not actually get going.

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That did not assist him. Chances weren’t being created, and you’ll’t underestimate what a giant miss Kieran Tierney was. His runs on the skin permit Aubameyang to drift in and get nearer to aim.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits his latest performances haven’t been the very best, however is assured he can recapture his greatest kind.

That did not occur sufficient towards Palace.

Having obtained a aim towards Newcastle within the FA Cup, you might be hoping now he can get one or two extra and go on a run.

He does not now need to go on a run of three or 4 video games with no aim as a result of anybody’s confidence can be affected below these circumstances.

Alex Scott on Arsenal's efficiency vs Crystal Palace…

“I can sit right here and be completely pissed off with the efficiency, however I feel it is a actuality test of the place this Arsenal staff are. The reality we’re speaking about relying on the teen, so how important can I be when that is what Arsenal are dependant on in the mean time?

“Even although you are having to change these children, like Bukayo Saka from his place that he is been taking part in effectively, you are bringing on skilled gamers who aren’t supplying you with something. I feel it is the place we’d like to remind ourselves that this season, it is about Arsenal making an attempt to climb the desk and nonetheless rebuild.

“Without Kieran Tierney, we can see what he brings to this team, his runs going forward, his confidence when he’s on the ball and make others play around him, making opportunities for others and that was totally missed.”

Selection issues for Arteta

Alexandre Lacazette has been in good aim scoring kind in latest weeks

Alexandre Lacazette has been scoring objectives. It’s troublesome for Mikel Arteta to depart him out, as issues stand.

In phrases of hyperlink play, that is Lacazette’s recreation extra. We noticed that with the half he performed in a few of the objectives at West Brom and in addition to a sure extent towards Newcastle within the FA Cup.

Aubameyang is a aim scorer. He can produce one thing out of nothing, and we have seen that so usually prior to now, and you have got to consider that may come again once more.

But if Gabriel Martinelli comes into the equation for the sport towards Newcastle then issues are completely different. If match, you really need to see him within the staff due to the best way he carried out earlier than sustaining that ankle harm within the warm-up forward of the cup tie with Newcastle.


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace within the Premier League.

He brings an terrible lot to this Arsenal facet, and if he does play on the left then it does give them extra choices.

It supplies a possibility to convey Aubameyang into the center. Do you then preserve Emile Smith Rowe within the facet? For me, Lacazette just isn’t a quantity 10.

They experimented with that a few instances earlier within the season, however I do not suppose you’d need to play him in that withdrawn position once more. Smith Rowe is way more suited to it.

It can be attention-grabbing to see which means Arteta would go when everybody is obtainable.

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Arsenal will want endurance vs Newcastle

Aubameyang battles for the ball towards Palace

No striker will need to sit out, that is for positive.

Aubameyang is the very best striker Arsenal have gotten. He’s the captain of the facet and Arteta will all the time be loath to depart him out, despite the fact that Lacazette has been scoring extra objectives.

That’s an issue for the supervisor and doubtless one he hoped he would not have after the sport towards Palace. He’d have hoped for a very good win and that the staff virtually picks itself once more for the Newcastle recreation, however we’ll have to see.

There’s a little bit of considering to be accomplished by Arteta earlier than Monday’s recreation as to which means he is going to go about it as a result of Newcastle will come and so they will not be a pushover in the best way they’ve been at instances within the final month.

Like Palace, they are going to be decided to keep within the recreation, preserve that clear sheet so long as potential and frustrate the Gunners. It might be one other evening that requires endurance from Arsenal.

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Analysis: Jury's nonetheless out on Arteta's Arsenal revolution

Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan:

“Arsenal headed into Thursday night’s London derby with Crystal Palace on the again of a formidable latest run of three successive Premier League wins. They had come at precisely the proper time for under-pressure boss Mikel Arteta, with questions starting to be requested concerning the Spaniard’s tenure on the Emirates.

In reality, the house staff had been wanting to make it 4 league wins in a row for the primary time since October 2018 and assist reaffirm perception of their supervisor and his rebuilding job within the capital, whereas victory would have additionally stored their slim top-four hopes alive.

However, on a irritating evening in north London, the hosts turned in a flat, lacklustre show to remind their supporters and most of the people simply what a giant rebuilding job Arteta has on his fingers.

“And another blank up front means Arsenal have now failed to score in seven league matches this season, as many as in the entirety of last campaign. They last failed to register in more games in a season in 2015/16 as focus falls on their misfiring forward line.”

Strengthen in January?

Emiliano Buendia has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal in January

It’s all the time the proper factor to herald new gamers however provided that you may get the proper gamers. Somebody who’s going to go well with what you might be searching for, and importantly, who is nice sufficient and who’s the proper character as effectively. Sometimes that’s the exhausting half in judging whether or not they’re proper for the membership.

Can they deal with a step up? For instance, any person like Emi Buendia at Norwich or Yves Bissouma at Brighton, can they deal with the step up in expectation at a much bigger membership? Some folks can, some cannot, however you’ll be able to by no means be sure till a participant arrives.

We know Arsenal have not obtained a lot cash, so they’re going to have to be inventive. They’d love to get three or 4 out of the membership.

Yves Bissouma is one other title linked with the Gunners

Arteta continues to be moulding a squad in his picture. He inherited these gamers and he is making an attempt to get within the gamers he needs, however he is obtained one arm tied round his again with the dearth of funds.

All managers need two or three switch home windows at the least with a bit more cash to spend than he is had. It’s definitely a longer-term mission however, as we all know in soccer, no person will get time if the outcomes aren’t there. So, he is obtained to attempt to purchase time with sufficient wins to get to the purpose the place he needs to be.

It’s an extended haul at Arsenal however I feel they have the proper man in cost. He appears a wonderful coach and hopefully he can enhance the gamers he is already obtained there. That’s what all good coaches do and hopefully he may convey some extra expertise into the squad.

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Tierney absence an issue; Saka an possibility?

Kieran Tierney missed Arsenal's recreation towards Palace; might Bukayo Saka change him at left-back if he misses the sport towards Newcastle?

Tierney was a giant miss for Arsenal.

I mentioned in commentary there are usually not many matches I’ve seen the place a staff misses a left-back a lot. You might say Andy Robertson at Liverpool. When he is not taking part in you would argue Liverpool are usually not the identical staff, nevertheless it’s an uncommon place for a staff to be in.

It was stark how a lot they did miss him and people runs down the skin. More than that, his supply into the field which has precipitated groups so many issues in latest weeks.

You actually don’t desire to be ready the place you might be lacking your left-back to that extent. That’ll be an actual concern for Arteta, however hopefully it is not too dangerous an harm.


Mikel Arteta felt his facet simply did not have the standard within the ultimate third to discover a means to beat Crystal Palace and says they have to be higher going ahead after their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace within the Premier League.

He’s not a participant who will need to miss video games if he may help it. He’s a no-nonsense kind of character so hopefully for Arsenal’s sake he returns shortly.

Tierney’s absence wasn’t helped by the very fact Ainsley Maitland-Niles endured a little bit of a stinker towards Crystal Palace. He made a sloppy begin, misplacing one or two passes early on and he could not choose it up from there.

The staff misplaced its risk on that facet.

Bukayo Saka finally went over there and since he is left-footed he gave the staff extra stability. If Tierney is unavailable on Monday, then I’d be inclined to guess that’s the place Saka will begin towards Newcastle.

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‘He’s a future Gunners captain’

Tierney is a future Arsenal captain, in accordance to Alan Smith

Tierney is certainly a future captain at Arsenal.

He’s 23 however by way of expertise and what he is achieved at Celtic and the titles he is received, he is not a teen. He’s seen rather a lot.

He would not be all that far-off from being in competition for the armband now. He’s an computerized selection and he leads by instance. I do not know what he is like within the dressing room and whether or not he is a giant talker, however he is a very good character and I feel he is definitely in competition for the armband within the years forward.

He’s been an important signing. You do not get many like that, who can come right into a membership and hit the bottom working like he is accomplished. Yes, he had a number of harm issues, however he is settled shortly and he is producing so persistently now.

‘Xhaka appears a special participant’

Granit Xhaka splits opinion amongst Arsenal followers

Against Palace, it wasn’t an ideal efficiency from Granit Xhaka, however he was switched on and engaged proper by means of the match. He got here to his defence’s rescue on quite a few events in the course of the match, by no means giving up on a state of affairs and getting himself again the place he was wanted to save the day.

For me, he does look a special participant in the mean time.

I do know loads of Arsenal followers cannot perceive why Arteta sticks with him after a few of the issues he is accomplished, however behind the scenes he is an excellent presence within the dressing room.

Xhaka made a quantity glorious tackles towards Palace

He calls for excessive requirements and he is obtained these management qualities. That sort of character is what managers need, somebody who pushes their fellow gamers on a regular basis.

But then, when he does one thing silly, will get himself despatched off, commits a foolish foul on the sting of the field, you might be considering, wow, what’s he considering?

Hopefully he can iron these issues out, however at his age and his expertise, you suppose he is not going to change now. But positively, he is having a greater time of issues in the mean time. He’s performed his half in Arsenal’s mini revival.

Jamie Redknapp on Arsenal's efficiency vs Crystal Palace…

Jamie Redknapp: “It was actually flat from Arsenal. You can discuss tactically, however you want extra out of your massive gamers. You want Aubameyang to get on the ball extra and make one thing occur, Lacazette wasn’t as sharp as he has been in latest weeks and the spark simply wasn’t there.

“I do not like to make excuses for gamers as a result of they’re in a really privileged place to be taking part in soccer, however that is the sort of recreation whenever you want the gang. With loads of video games going on for these gamers, however with out the gang, it is virtually monotonous. It looks like a coaching recreation each time and this was a kind of video games that was determined for a crowd to be there.

“The positive was Thomas Partey coming back, I think he’s going to be a real asset to the team if they can keep him fit. But it’s one of those days where you say ‘we weren’t at our best, take a point’ and certainly Crystal Palace had the best chances to win the game.”

‘Xhaka, Partey can complement one another’


Mikel Arteta felt his facet simply did not have the standard within the ultimate third to discover a means to beat Crystal Palace and says they have to be higher going ahead after their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace within the Premier League.

We do not actually know what Arteta’s primary midfield partnership can be, however you’d have to say Xhaka and Thomas Partey can be shut to it.

Their respective video games ought to complement one another effectively. Partey is somebody who can drive ahead with the ball, he can select a intelligent go and Xhaka can maintain a bit extra and he is obtained an honest passing vary.

It can be good to see them play collectively within the coming weeks and construct up some type of partnership.

There’s little doubt Partey can add to the facet and make it a greater staff with what he is obtained at his disposal, and a greater understanding with Xhaka would assist that.

Watch Arsenal vs Newcastle on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7pm on Monday Night Football; kick-off 8pm

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