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How Arsenal Need to Improve This Season

While Arsenal may have ridden on the crest of a wave for much of this season so far, they came crashing to a halt at Old Trafford last weekend.

Here, the Gunners were consigned to a 3-1 defeat in front of a raucous home crowd, as their defensive vulnerabilities were laid bare and the side suffered their first loss of the EPL season.

But what lessons do the side need to take forward, and can they improve enough to mount a title challenge?

#1. The Need to Control Games Better

For all of Arsenal’s ability to dominate possession, they’ve failed to do this consistently during their EPL games so far this season.

Even more alarmingly, they’ve often found themselves maintaining possession without playing with the necessary tempo to trouble the opposition, only to over-commit in attack when they have stepped on the accelerator.

This is a clear imbalance that needs to be addressed, especially if the club is to control matches better and sustain attacks with genuine menace.

#2. The Need to be More Compact in Transition

On a similar note, the loss at Old Trafford also highlighted significant issues in transition and immediately after losing possession.

Take the second United goal, for example. As Arsenal flooded forward and an attack broke down, Eriksen managed to find space off the back of Ødegaard deep in midfield. The Dane then supplied a first-time pass to Bruno Fernandes between the lines, before the Portuguese’s through ball was converted centrally by Marcus Rashford.

Here, the Gunners’ defence was cut apart by just two passes and four touches, highlighting the failure of the side to transition to its defence shape quickly and remain compact at all times.

#3. Jesus Needs to Attack the Box More

Gabriel Jesus has added a touch of quality to Arsenal’s attack, with his technical ability, movement and pressing have contributed numerous goals and assists so far.

However, his willingness to drop deep and link play left Arsenal lacking in attacking presence at Old Trafford, particularly with few runners from midfielder and Bukayo Saka holding his position on the right flank.

Often, Arsenal had as few as one or two players in the box when attacking, and Jesus will have to play a little higher and more centrally if he’s to fulfil his tremendous goal-scoring potential.

The Last Word

According to the sportsbooks available at, Arsenal are still rank outsiders to win the EPL, while they remain among the four favourites to claim a coveted Champions League place.

However, for all of their improvement and eye-catching style of play, the side has numerous issues to address if they’re to win consistently and enjoy success.

This is especially true against the top sides, who will ruthlessly expose any defensive or attacking flaws if they remain.

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