The Warm Down: Arsenal 0-1 Leicester City 
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jamie Vardy’s close-range header secured all three points for a rejuvenated Foxes, in their first league win in three games.

Arsenal dominated the first period, even having an early goal dubiously disallowed.

Granit Xhaka adjudged to have interfered with play, in what was the only real chance for The Gunners’, despite registering 11 first half shots.

The Gunners controlled the first half, and set up in a positive 4-3-3 formation, the expected way forward under Mikel Arteta. 

Thomas Partey made his home debut but didn’t produce a performance of a similar ilk to his display in Vienna.

Arsenal’s second half performance was a stark contrast, with only one shot in the whole 45 minutes, Hector Bellerin hitting a volley which was comfortably saved by Kasper Schmeichel. 

The introduction of Jamie Vardy spelt trouble, with 10 goals and one assist in 11 games, and he added another to his tally.

  • The same old story for Arsenal

Arsenal’s lack of creativity cost them again, and there was no attacking outlet from the midfield. 

Bukayo Saka’s success for Arsenal has come from the wings and has been pushed into a central midfield role which hasn’t ultimately worked out. 

Willian’s display in the false nine didn’t fill Arsenal fans with confidence.

It was the perfect game for Mesut Ozil, but of course he is unregistered for both Premier League and Europa League competitions.

This decision has angered and confused many Arsenal fans, who have seen the lack of threat in the final third and player to play the final pass.

Emile Smith-Rowe could be an option in that role, but similarly to Saka and Willian is a natural winger and may find some discomfort in playing in an unnatural position.

Arsenal may struggle to find another player of Ozil’s type and class for a long while.

  • Alexandre Lacazette – The right man to lead the line?

Alexandre Lacazette struggled in this fixture and despite having the ball in the net early on in the match.

He performed poorly and has been questioned as to whether he should be starting centrally for the Gunners.

Lacazette leads the goalscoring charts for Arsenal, joint top with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang yet his appearance in the Leicester fixture left a lot to be desired.

The French striker missed a number of great chances for Arsenal and couldn’t convert, ultimately costing The Gunners’ any form of points from the evening. 

Aubameyang makes the most sense to play centrally for Arsenal, and has found more success through the middle, his threat quantifies the chance to play this position. 

Gunners fans would relish the chance to see a front three of; Saka, Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, which is an attacking line that could work well with a strong midfield behind them.

 

  • Where is William Saliba?

Arsenal’s young centre-back William Saliba was initially signed under the tenure of Unai Emery

He spent last season on loan at St Etienne, where an injury plagued season-went in hand with the ‘Coronavirus’ limited him to 17 appearances. 

His arrival to Arsenal this season had fans hoping and assuming to see him put straight into the first team, and alongside new central defender Gabriel would have been an exciting and long-term partnership. 

Saliba has however yet to make an appearance in the first team and has not been registered for the Europa League campaign.

Fans have been clamouring to see Saliba in the first team, and they may get their wish to come true, following a potential injury to David Luiz, who alongside Rob Holding picked up injuries.

The pair who have played together on numerous occasions for Arsenal have formed a strong partnership, could both be ruled out for the next few games. 

Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers both still ruled out with injuries, Chambers only returning to first team training this week, are unlikely to feature, could see Saliba make his Arsenal debut.

There could be an issue on Thursday in the Europa League, following the exclusion of Sokratis and Saliba could see Kieran Tierney or Sead Kolasinac drop into centre-back. 

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