Where do Arsenal go from here?
- Credit: PA
An EFL Cup second leg defeat to Liverpool and a 0-0 draw to Burnley at the Emirates in the space of a week has placed an emphasis on a difficult January, so where do Arsenal go from here?
January was always going to be tough for Arsenal with players away at Afcon, the number of Covid cases across the league, and injuries plaguing the squad, but that has not made the damage of defeats and dropped points any less painful.
Arsenal’s defeat on New Year’s Day serves as the highlight of the month so far, taking Manchester City to the wire with a superb performance which gave the club hope.
But stumbling out of the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest and the EFL Cup to Liverpool has seen hopes of silverware disappear, whilst dropped points against Burnley has seen Arsenal’s grasp on the top four loosen somewhat.
Sunday’s game against Burnley served as a reminder of what Arsenal are lacking but all seems quiet on the transfer front and it leaves the Gunners in a sobering position.
While Alexandre Lacazette has performed admirably this season, stepping up despite his contract situation and shouldering greater responsibility with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s disciplinary antics, it is clear that Arsenal need to add at least one striker, if not two.
It is also clear that they need a midfielder, highlighted by Granit Xhaka receiving two red cards in two appearances in January, not helped by Thomas Partey’s dismissal on his return against Liverpool last Thursday.
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As things stand, Mikel Arteta has to work with the players at his disposal rather than relying on potential incomings. Players which have provided an air of hope around the club, despite difficult periods this season.
We have seen development from each of Arsenal’s young, exciting attackers, Bukayo Saka, Emilie Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Garbiel Martinelli, and their growth should continue to be enjoyed.
The goal for the remainder of Arsenal’s season is clear – pick up as many points as possible in the league. There are no cups to distract the club, league results are all that matter.