Premier League

Arsenal squad ranked after disastrous start to season under Mikel Arteta

The Gunners are hovering perilously close to the relegation zone after failing to build on a strong start under their manager.

 
4:51pm on Wednesday 23rd December 2020
By
David Lynch

Pressure on Mikel Arteta continued to mount on Tuesday evening as Arsenal suffered a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at home.

Out of the League Cup, without a Premier League win since November 1, and just four points above the relegation zone, the Gunners have endured a woeful start to the Spaniard's first full season in charge.

After ending last term with FA Cup success and starting this with the Community Shield, hopes were high that Arteta could restore the north London club to the heights they scaled under Arsene Wenger.

But that hasn't happened, with Arsenal's performances going from bad to worse as the first half of the campaign has progressed.

Here, we take a look at the players behind those off-colour showings, and assess how they have contributed to a worrying situation for Arteta.

Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers rated

PlayerMark
Bernd LenoPass
Alex RunarssonFail

Arsenal's current malaise has kept Bernd Leno busy between the sticks so far this season. The German has largely stood up to this stern examination, proving to be one of the more impressive performers under Arteta. However, the lack of depth beyond Leno was somewhat exposed during Tuesday evening's defeat to Manchester City in the League Cup, with Alex Runarsson enduring a night to forget.

Defenders

Defenders rated

PlayerMark
Calum ChambersFail
Cedric SoaresFail
GabrielPass
Rob HoldingFail
Sead KolasinacFail
Pablo MariFail
David LuizFail
Shkodran MustafiFail
Sokratis PapastathopoulosFail
William SalibaUnproven
Kieran TierneyPass

The initial success Arteta enjoyed at Arsenal was built on a defensive solidity that appears to have evaporated this term. Kieran Tierney has continued his good start to life in north London, while Gabriel looks an astute addition, but beyond that it has been slim pickings at the back. Mystery continues to surround the future of William Saliba, the highly rated teenager whose wait for a debut goes on.

Midfielders

Midfielders rated

PlayerMark
Ainsley Maitland-NilesPass
Mohamed ElnenyFail
Granit XhakaFail
Dani CeballosFail
Thomas ParteyFail
Reiss NelsonUnproven
Bukayo SakaPass
Mesut OzilUnproven
Nicolas PepeFail
Emile Smith-RoweUnproven
Joe WillockPass

A lack of creativity has severely hampered the Gunners this season and it's hard to imagine they could get any worse by reintegrating Mesut Ozil. The only bright spots in midfield have been youngsters Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, and Bukayo Saka, who have all proven in bursts that they could be part of a better Arsenal side in the future.

Forwards

[header: Forwards rated]

{Player}{Mark}

{Willian}{Fail}

{Eddie Nketiah}{Pass}

{Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang}{Fail}

{Alexandre Lacazette}{Fail}

{Gabriel Martinelli}{Unproven}

The signing of Willian on a free transfer from Chelsea is already starting to look like a disastrous misstep, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's form has gone rapidly downhill since he signed a new deal. Again, the only positives for Arteta come from the young players in his squad, with Eddie Nketiah among the goals whenever he gets the chance and Gabriel Martinelli exciting during an all-too brief outing against Man City this week.

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