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Arsenal: why Arteta’s men have become accustomed to losing in North London

Four managers, four years, and a fifth consecutive season outside the top four; Arsenal are becoming accustomed to mediocrity.

Since the departure of Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have never really been the same and Arsenal are staring down the barrel of their worst campaign since Wenger was sacked.

The Gunners produced another shocking performance at the weekend, losing their 12th Premier League game of the season against Liverpool in a 3-0 thrashing.

Former Arsenal star, Paul Merson gave Sky Sports gave his verdict after the Liverpool defeat:

“What I watched against Liverpool the other day was as bad as I’ve ever seen.

“People will say about the times under Unai Emery and at the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign, but I never saw anything like that.

“All I saw was rolling the ball back to the goalkeeper and he just lumped it down the field.”

This season has been difficult for all teams, but especially Arsenal, who are struggling to secure European football for next season.

Arsenal are currently in tenth and have the same number of wins as they do losses (12).  Their immediate form is poor, to say the least, with one win in five games.

This season alone has produced fresh produce of problems for Arteta, with issues growing in all areas of his team.

Defensive issues have been the stem of Arsenal’s problems- 35 goals conceded in 30 games – with an average of 1.1 goals conceded a game. This has resulted in only eight clean sheets for the Gunners.

The midfield partnership of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka has seen some success in recent weeks. Most notability in the 2-1 victory over Spurs; the pair controlled the tempo of the game and looked comfortably in control. But injuries have restricted the pair from playing together for a prolonged period of time.

In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a shadow of his former self. In the last two seasons, Aubameyang was in fine form, scoring 22 goals in each and winning a golden boot along the way.

But this season, Aubameyang is miles off the pace, scoring nine goals in the league.

This is another arising issue for Arteta, who could have another Mesut Ozil situation on his hands. Aubameyang was subbed off against West Ham and Liverpool in recent weeks and even dropped for the win over Spurs.

Jamie Carragher said Aubameyang is becoming a ‘passenger’ in the Arsenal team:

“I think Aubameyang’s performances this season have been lazy, at times. He’s definitely a player who doesn’t bring anything to this team if he doesn’t score a goal, and that’s a big problem.

“There will be a big worry at Arsenal that they may have another Mesut Ozil situation where they give someone a big contract at £300,000-a-week”.

This has even fuelled rumours that he could leave the Emirates this season.

With all this said, The Gunners do have a slight glimpse at redemption and still could finish the season strong.

Arsenal are still in the Europa League, which could bring European football back to the Emirates next season – if they win.

In the Premier League, Arsenal have some easier fixtures on the horizon, playing the four lowest teams in their next five games, starting with rock bottom Sheffield United on Sunday.

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