Odds, Stats & the Future: How Are Arsenal Progressing Under Arteta?

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Not much progression, but signs of a brighter future

Arsenal’s form under Mikel Arteta has been something of a mixed bag since he took over in December 2019, as despite their FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs, they have been sat in mid table for most of his tenure. A number of defensive calamities and individual errors have seen the Gunners drop points unnecessarily, leaving them 10 points off a much desired top four finish.

The 13-time league champions have shown glimpses of improvement under Arteta, including important derby victories over Tottenham and Chelsea, but while ever they continue to languish in 10th, the question of how much they are actually progressing will be asked.

Europa League Odds

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UNITED AND ARSENAL TO MEET IN THE FINAL @ 15/8

Still struggling against the weaker opposition

Arsenal’s record against the ‘big six’ isn't too bad when you take their league position into account, with them picking up 10 points from a possible 24, which is more than Chelsea and Manchester United. However, the manager will be disappointed with his side’s inability to pick up points in games which they are expected to win.

For instance, Arsenal picked up just one point from a possible six against Burnley, lost twice to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, and have only won six of their 14 home league games all season. This season has obviously been unique in that home advantage has almost been eradicated due to their being no fans in the stadiums, but the first step for any top side looking to contend at the top of the table is to make your home ground a fortress.

Home defeats to the likes of Burnley and Wolves do not bode well for the Gunners, so this must be improved upon soon, without question. Just look at United, for example, as they've managed to patch this issue up this season and now sit as the closest runners to the unstoppable force of Manchester City.

Arsenal Odds

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ARSENAL TO FINISH ABOVE SPURS @ 11/2

Aubameyang’s disciplinary is not a good look

In the recent north London Derby, Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was conspicuous by his absence, as the striker was dropped for disciplinary reasons. It later transpired that Aubameyang turned up to the stadium late, so was benched as to make an example out of their captain.

Whilst Arteta can be applauded for not allowing his star players to slack with their discipline, it doesn’t look good for the club that their captain is arriving late for the biggest game of their season against their biggest rivals. The Gabon international's form this season has been the topic of discussion too, as he has not found the net on as consistent basis as he had done in his first two and a half seasons in London.

Luckily for Arteta, the Gunners were able to defeat Spurs without their captain, which may serve as a warning for Aubameyang, as he will surely remain on the bench for the next game after an impressive victory. His form, attitude and overall ability in and around the club right now is damaging, and Arteta making an example of their best asset is quite a statement.

Arsenal v Slavia Prague Prediction

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ARSENAL TO WIN AND BTTS @ 21/10

They have to win the Europa League

Much has been made of Arsenal’s lack of European silverware, as they are still in the hunt for their first major European crown. This season offers the club an opportunity to pick up their first Europa League, as they go into the Europa League quarter-finals as the favourites to progress past Slavia Prague.

With their league position being so poor, the Gunners most realistic hope of securing Champions League football for next season is to win the Europa League, but they will have to fend off tough opposition in the later rounds. Premier League rivals United have in the hat too, as well as Italian giants Roma and the Eredivisie destined champions, Ajax, meaning Arsenal have far from a clear path to picking up their first European trophy.

Arsenal spent 20 years playing in the elite European competition but have not qualified in any of the last four seasons, so this year's Europa League offers the club a lifeline back into Europe's top tournament.

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The new stars giving the club hope

Within this current Arsenal side there are a few players with which Arteta will be looking to build his side around, including 19-year-old Bukayo Saka, who seems to improve every game. Saka has gained plaudits for playing with maturity beyond his years, chipping in with goals and assists on a regular basis.

Emile Smith-Rowe has also been featuring more often for the Gunners this campaign, after breaking into the side in December. Many have been impressed by his playmaking abilities, at a time where Arsenal so desperately craved a creative presence in their midfield. In terms of their defensive-minded players, full-back Kieran Tierney has been a revelation for the Gunners since joining from Celtic and is starting to look like a smart bit of business at £24m. The Scotsman is still just 23, but has shown leadership qualities that make him a potential future captain at the Emirates.

The best of Thomas Partey is yet to be seen as he has struggled with injuries, but once he is fully fit and can consistently play there is no doubt that Arsenal have picked up a top midfielder. The Ghanaian has shown glimpses of promise thus far, but needs to show his ability week after week in order to provide Arsenal with a steady base to their midfield.

By Luke Feather

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