It was another miserable week for Mikel Arteta after Arsenal tasted defeat yet again in the Premier League. With the Gunners desperate to breach the top four, this was a missed opportunity after Tottenham also lost.
Arsenal boss Arteta will have to return to the drawing board after another damaging defeat in the Premier League. Southampton claimed victory through a Jan Bednarak strike in the first half to avenge their 6-0 mauling against Chelsea last week.
But for the Gunners, their chances of reaching the top four took a hefty blow as they failed to capitalise on Tottenham’s defeat to Brighton earlier in the day. It is now three losses in a row for Arsenal after also being downed by the Seagulls as well as Crystal Palace.
And Arteta will have to find some answers quickly with time running out to claim a Champions League spot while there are some big matches on the horizon. Chelsea are up next midweek before games against Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham.
Squad depth exposed
Injuries have been cruel to Arsenal and the loss of Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey has exposed the frailties of this current squad. At left-back and in midfield, the Gunners have simply not got quality depth to help alleviate those absences.
Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga came in to replace the two – both of whom were signed in the summer by Arteta to help that exact problem. But they have made little impact and the Spaniard might have to delve in the transfer window this summer.
Gabriel out of form
Against Brighton, Gabriel had a tough time as Arsenal lost at home to deal a huge blow and he simply has not recovered yet. It was his bizarre playacting for the first goal that played several Southampton attackers onside.
Only when the ball reentered the fray did he spring into action – by which time he was too late as Bednarak smashed one past Aaron Ramsdale. Arteta likes having a left-footed defender at the back but Gabriel will have to buck his ideas up fast with the Gunners in a real slump.
Covid struck Arsenal this week with Alexandre Lacazette missing out as a result which meant Eddie Nketiah deputised. However, the striker has failed to score in the Premier League all season.
And that does not look like it is changing anytime soon with the former Leeds United loanee failing to make much of an impression. Arteta has plenty of work to do to get this Arsenal team firing.
Dark days loom
After Tottenham stumbled across Brighton, this was a real chance for Arsenal to put pressure on their local rivals. The fact that they failed indicates that this team might not have the right mentality.
For a team without any European competition, this was a leggy performance and there was little oomph from the visitors. This was a fourth defeat in five and, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham to come, dark days loom.