Before the arrival of Arsenal’s current coach Mikel Arteta, the team were obviously not playing to the height of their ability. All the players seems disjointed and lacked in almost all areas of football as a team.
Hardly does the team have an outstanding performer since the start of 2019/2020 season. The former coach Unai Emery’s tactics, preparation and style of play seems to be lacking. Most players suffered under his tutelage.
During the uninspiring period, most of the senior players became a shadow of themselves while some got a backlash from the fans. Most notably, Granit Xhaka, Mustafi and few others.
Mustafi lost his place in the team, while Granit Xhaka lost his captaincy after he had one of his numerous poor outing which made the fans to let out their frustration at him after he was subbed off against Crystal Palace during an home match.
Some of the players were already considered to be playing their last games for the club till the January transfer window opens. Many speculations were constantly going round about the likely departure of Xhaka to some interested clubs from the German Bundesliga league, while Mustafi was seen as a weed that needed to be flushed out of the team as soon as an opportunity arises.
The club’s record breaking signing Nicolas Pepe couldn’t also make any impact on the team as he has done at his former French club Lille.
Fans were already thinking what would have been if they’ve gone for his National team partner ‘Zaha’ from Crystal Palace, whom was also been seriously linked with the club during 2019 summer transfer window, before Arsenal’s recruitment team decided to change their focus on Nicolas Pepe.
Amidst the decline in the team, the end for Unai Emery’s reign at the club became more imminent as time went. In Emery’s last 15 games, Arsenal had only one clean sheet and also ridiculously conceded 28 goals during that period.
The team lacked dimension, hunger, grit, understanding and motivation. On 29 November 2019, following a series of poor results and a winless run of seven games, Emery was sacked by Arsenal.
On 20th December 2019, Mikel Arteta was appointed has the head coach of Arsenal. Since his arrival at the club, the team have been on a progressive level in all areas and levels, conceding fewer goals (12) and earning more clean sheets (7) in his first 15 games. His appointment coincided with the rejuvenation of several key players, especially those considered to have played their last games under the previous coach.
Arteta’s appointment has brought a sigh of relief and better footballing quality into the team, which had been lacking since Wenger’s departure. Mikel Arteta has managed to bring out the best from key players like Xhaka, Luiz, Mustafi, Ozil etc, who were previously written off before his appointment.
This rejuvenation proves that all the players deserves a second chance to also turn around their dwindling career, most especially those on-loan at the moment. But among the players sent on loan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been on a good form with great performances for AS Roma. The Armenian looks to have rediscover his spark.
Mkhitaryan’s attacking ability and experience seems to be what Arteta needs to add to his present crop of players. Considering how he had performed at Dortmund, his early days under Arsene Wenger and at AS Roma.
Though his dip in form under Emery led him out of the team and was sent on-loan to the Serie A club AS Roma after failing to get a permanent deal elsewhere due to his high wage demand.
But it can be argued that no Arsenal player actually played convincingly better under Emery. Does Mkhitaryan deserves one more chance to prove himself at Arsenal just like his other teammates?
If Mikel Arteta can get the best out of Xhaka, Luiz, Mustafi, Ozil to name but few, within his early days at the club, it won’t be too much to see him also performing his magic on Mkhitaryan as well.
Mkhitaryan’s form at AS Roma has proved that he still has what it takes to play at his top level. So giving Mkhitaryan another chance at his parent club shouldn’t be a bad idea for Arsenal.