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Gunners are now just 5 points off from the relegation zone after suffering an embarrassing defeat

granit xhaka pierre emerick aubameyang mikel arteta arsenal vs burnley premier league 2020 21 1dc5itvom41by1ppqm7u0tnld3

According to Goal, Arsenal are now just five points off the relegation zone of the Premier League after losing 1-0 at Emirates Stadium to Burnley

As the Gunners plunged to their worst league start in 39 years, all the good work that had been done during the second half of last season has been crumbling away in recent weeks.

And the self-destruct button was well and truly pressed on Sunday night.

It began with Granit Xhaka being inexplicably sent off to catch Ashley Westwood around the neck and ended with Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going past Bernd Leno in North London to hand Burnley a 1-0 victory.

The end result was a fourth consecutive home loss for Arsenal in the championship, something that has not happened since 1959.

In the table, Arteta’s side now sits 15th and is just five points above the relegation zone.

Since the Spaniard was hired, it’s coming up to a year now and, while he remains a hugely successful figure at the club, it is unavoidable that his work will come under question given the disastrous run of outcomes on his side.

Arsenal have now lost 7 of their last 10 league games and have failed to score in six of them. Unai Emery got sacked for less than that.

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If Arteta’s side were playing well, there might at least be some reason for hope, but that is not the case. For months, Arsenal have been awful and Arteta seems unable to find a solution.

He was not aided against Burnley by the idiotic Xhaka, who inexplicably got himself shipped off to catch Westwood by the neck at a time when the home side was dominant and likely to break the deadlock.

But in fact, when trying to put a finger on what’s going wrong, Arteta has to take a long, hard look at himself.

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Why did Xhaka even begin? The international from Switzerland was terribly out of shape late, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who was so impressive in the Europa League, had to watch from the bench.

This felt like the perfect opportunity to shake up his team selection after the successive defeats against Wolves and Tottenham, especially after his second-string had scored eight goals in two games against Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in the Europa League.

But Mohamed Elneny, coming in for the injured Thomas Partey, was the only change he made from the team that lost the North London derby last weekend.

For the likes of Xhaka, Willian, Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette – players who have consistently underperformed this season – that meant another start.

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So can there really be any surprise in the Premier League that Arsenal created yet another insipid performance?

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Arteta is curiously hesitant to make progress. Senior players continue to be allowed to get away with bad results, while when they do well in the cup competitions, youngsters are not rewarded.

In midweek, Emile Smith Rowe was outstanding against Dundalk, but remained an unused substitute on Sunday night. The 19-year-old playmaker may be inexperienced, but he currently lacks all of Arsenal’s characteristics in the final third.

Folarin Balogun, who scored and got an assist on Thursday night, at a time when Arsenal are trying to persuade him to sign a new deal, didn’t even make the match-day squad.

It seems impossible to believe that Arsenal won the FA Cup just four months ago, but they are now facing a possible Premier League relegation battle.

Some will assume that this is still impossible and that it is far too nice for them to go down. But they can’t score, can’t build opportunities, and are once again leaking goals at the back now.

And they are losing their minds and showing a complete lack of control to top it all off.

 

About Kirigaya Kazuto

Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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