A miserable performance for Arsene Wenger's side saw Arsenal lose 3-1 to bottom-of-the-league Swansea City. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his debut but was however powerless to the eventual defeat. Here are five lessons that have been learned from the loss:
Defensive frailties remain
As Mkhitaryan comes in to replace Alexis Sanchez and the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deal seems to be all but finished, the Gunners still appear to be looking in the wrong areas to strengthen their team.
Over the years Arsenal have built up a reputation of playing football the way it’s meant to be played, as Arsene Wenger brought his free-flowing mentality to England.
Wenger’s Arsenal side are very rarely short of goals, however over recent years have suffered going the other way. For years, the Gunners have missed a Patrick Vieira-type player in the midfield and a no-nonsense Tony Adams in defence, with many believing they have never been replaced in North London.
These frailties were evident at the Liberty Stadium as Nacho Monreal’s opener was canceled out within minutes by Swansea’s Sam Clucas. The forward ghosted past two Arsenal players before getting on the ball and slotting beyond Petr Cech, who’s wait for a 200th Premier League clean sheet goes on. It got worse for the former Chelsea man, as a defensive calamity allowed Jordan Ayew a tap in.
If Wenger plans solely on out-scoring his opponents, Arsenal may be in trouble for the second-half of the season.
Jack Wilshere’s must be tied-down
Jack Wilshere’s absence was so obvious it hurt. The English midfielder has hit form in recent weeks after overcoming numerous injuries and has sparked life into the Gunners centre midfield position, however was unable to play against Swansea due to illness.
To say Arsenal missed Wilshere would be an understatement. The Gunners midfield showed no intent of attacking with the ball, which Wilshere does so well.
Wilshere made his debut when he was just 16 years of age, however has never really fulfilled his huge potential, but is showing signs of being the player so many believed he would be.
Not yet tied down to a new contract, Arsenal need to do everything in their power to keep the English midfielder in North London.
Wenger era dwindles further
Yet another loss will inevitably have people questioning Wenger’s ability to continue to manage at the top level.
Arsenal have been out of the title race for some time now; knocked out of the FA Cup at the first try to Championship side Nottingham Forest; and have now conceded more goals this season, than bottom of the league West Bromwich Albion.
Though the Carabao Cup or Europa League may come to Wenger’s aid, he finds himself against the league leaders Manchester City in the Cup Final and may have to face the likes of Atletico Madrid and Borrusia Dortmund after they dropped into the Europa League, winning either of these trophies looks extremely doubtful.
A trophy-less year as well as finishing outside of the top four would rightly give every Arsenal fan right to be angry and could eventually seal Wenger’s fate.
Cech past his best?
When Arsenal signed Petr Cech from Chelsea, it was expected of him to save the Gunners 15 points a season. Initially that appeared to be true, but more recently the Czech international has not shown signs of saving any more than five points, let alone 15.
A huge mistake tonight saw Cech fail to clear his lines leaving Jordan Ayew a simple tap in to put Swansea City 2-1 up.
This is not the first time Cech has been at fault, costing the Gunners points and it wouldn’t be a surprise if his time at Arsenal comes to an end once the season finishes.
Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang need to impress
In what has been a so far calamitous season for Wenger’s side, Mkhitaryan as well as the potential signing of Aubameyang are the only positives that Arsenal fans can be happy about right now.
However, should the former Dortmund duo fail to impress in North London, the future could be very grim for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Though Alexandre Lacazette has failed to live up to his prolific goal-scoring reputation, these two signings could help bring the best out of the Frenchman and once again make Arsenal’s attack a thing to be feared.