The Gunners were expected to dominate the Premier League this season, but a disappointing defeat at Crystal Palace served as a warning for Arsene Wenger’s threadbare squad.
Arsenal now face an uphill battle in their quest to go back-to-back and win their 14th FA Cup this year.
The club needs reinforcements fast if they have any hope of competing next season
Arsenal’s loss at Crystal Palace served as a warning for Arteta’s threadbare squad in the top. The Gunners were beaten 3-1 by the Eagles, with their manager saying that his side “were not good enough.” Read more in detail here: arsenal transfer news.
LONDON, United Kingdom — Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were trounced 3-0 at Crystal Palace nearly five years ago today, prompting away fans to scream “you’re not fit to wear the jersey” at ineffective full-back Hector Bellerin.
The team’s loss by the same score on the same ground on Monday saw another shambolic performance from a defender, Nuno Tavares, but it did not draw the same level of scorn considering Mikel Arteta’s previous success. Yet, for Arteta, who has spent much of his time since taking over in December 2019 focusing on removing a culture of underperformance that developed under Wenger and has resurfaced here, that feeling of history repeating itself will be particularly frustrating.
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In a performance that raises significant doubts about Arsenal’s resilience in the battle for a Premier League top-four finish, a motivated Palace team cruelly exploited Arsenal’s flaws. With no European or domestic cup football to occupy a large squad, Arteta trimmed his squad in January, allowing five players to leave without a single first-team signing, in the belief that a leaner Arsenal would be better equipped to capitalise on a promising position to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 2017, the club’s 19-year stay in Europe’s top competition came to an end.
Recent results — six victories in the last eight league games — have made it appear like a wise decision, but a couple more injuries would highlight the magnitude of that risk, and that is exactly where Arteta is now. Kierney, the club’s defender, will consult a specialist on Tuesday, with the club concerned that a knee ailment might keep him out for the remainder of the season.
“The sense he got wasn’t particularly favorable, and neither were the scans,” Arteta added, “but we have to wait and see what happens.”
In January’s FA Cup third-round loss against Nottingham Forest, Tavares, his natural understudy, played only 34 minutes before being replaced. In disgust at being singled out, he flung his gloves to the ground. This time, in his first start since then, he was taken off at halftime, and Arsenal had already thrown in the towel.
“We weren’t at our best today, particularly in the first half,” Arteta said. “We were late to every ball, we were soft in duels, and we didn’t earn the right to play.” “We were sloppy on the ball when we did a little bit. We didn’t have any domination, any phases of play where we could take control of the game, and we also allowed two terrible goals, so that’s unacceptable; we’ll admit it, apologize, regroup, and try again tomorrow.”
Palace started brightly and purposefully, with Jean-Philippe Mateta scoring a 16th-minute header after Joachim Andersen deflected a Conor Gallagher free kick. Ben White’s penalty allowed Gallagher to score, but Gabriel’s placement eight minutes later was even worse, as he failed to cut off Andersen’s pass to Jordan Ayew, who drove a low shot past Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal’s style remained unconvincing, and their pushing was ineffective. Given the Gunners’ collective lethargy, Tavares was probably unlucky to be singled out at halftime, a decision that seems even more significant in light of Tierney’s potential absence.
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Arsenal improved in the second half, but unlike in past games when the supporting cast was able to compensate for Alexandre Lacazette’s lack of goals, Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe were all unable to take good opportunities that might have sparked a comeback.
Arsenal had a horrible night, with a goal difference identical to Tottenham Hotspur, who finished fourth this weekend and have now emerged as the Gunners’ most significant top-four challengers. Spurs won by a seven-goal margin thanks to Palace’s shutout.
It was also another proof of Patrick Vieira’s excellent work at Selhurst Park. Following Wenger’s departure, he was a contender for the Arsenal position, and on this evidence, he will very certainly be a candidate to return to his previous club in the future, but Arteta may properly continue to feel the club is on an upward track despite a terrible night.
He will, however, be cognizant of Arsenal’s past. Arteta has talked often about the team’s link with fans, and he went to full-time to thank the away section, many of whom lingered to express their support. They’ve gone a long way together, far enough that one bad performance won’t be enough to separate them.
Arsenal, on the other hand, bounced back after a loss to Palace in 2016-17 by winning seven of their next eight league games. Despite winning the FA Cup, the Gunners were unable to match Spurs for a top-four finish, falling to their bitter rivals in the last game to fall short by a single point. This humbling occasion must serve as a cautionary tale.
Arsenal’s loss at Crystal Palace served as a warning for Arteta’s threadbare squad. The team has been struggling to find consistency, and the match against Crystal Palace was a prime example of this. Reference: arsenal vs crystal palace.
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