Get his own Fernandes, away wins, and bounce back like Pogba January 30, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday evening – live on talKSPORT.
The 5:30pm kick off sees coaches who have both seen off perilous circumstances to show improvement this season.
Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to be on the brink at the start of November but a sensational spell, which ended with defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday, has propelled them into a title challenge.
Gunners gaffer Mikel Arteta isn’t quite as far along in the process of turning things around, with their upturn starting in mid-December, and the Spaniard still has plenty to do if he’s to elevate his side into a similar position to United.
But with Solskjaer a year ahead of Arteta in his process, just what can the latter learn from Saturday evening’s opposite number?
talkSPORT.com have taken a look at the areas where he could pick up some tips from the Norwegian.
Sort out the away form
As you may, or may not be aware, Manchester United just love heading out on the road in the Premier League.
Against Arsenal, they have the potential to make it 18 games without defeat away from home and this season they have won eight of their 10 away matches – the best record in the division.
The Gunners, though, have lost four of their 10, despite winning five, leaving them with the eighth best record and just a small uptick in form in this area could have them back int the top four in this wild season.
Break the bank for a playmaker
Sadly for Arsenal, players like Bruno Fernandes don’t grow on trees.
The United ace has had a stellar first year in English football and settled quicker than snow in the Arctic.
His arrival and the exit of former Emirates ‘Assist King’ Mesut Ozil has highlighted the lack of creativity for the Gunners.
Willian still has the most assists for the club in the Premier League but it’s only three – with two coming in the first game of the season against Fulham.
Fernandes, meanwhile, has seven on his own and Marus Rashford has five.
Arsenal have at least been given some hope by Emile Smith Rowe’s form and the loan arrival of Martin Odegaard but for the start of the 2021/22 season it’s vital they have their main creator in position and ready to rack up the assists.
Goals win games
Mikel Arteta has done wonders improving his side defensively.
Even if David Luiz still looks like he has a clanger in him, the Gunners have the third best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding just 20 goals.
Only Manchester City and Tottenham have allowed the ball to hit the back of their net less.
But, it’s all about balance, the Gunners have only managed to score 26 times – six more than they conceded.
As Arteta’s side continue their improvements, he needs to make sure they offer more penetration and may need to allow some stars to play with the handbrake off.
United have netted 11 more goals than the Gunners, and let in just seven more. Sometime attack can be the best for of defence.
In a chaotic season like this, no team has avoided being behind in a match at half-time, although Tottenham have only been in the situation once.
Arsenal have seen this game state in seven out of their 20 matches but, crucially have never turned any of these around into wins, while only one became a draw, it’s one of the worst records in the league.
Manchester United, though, have a habit of bouncing back and it’s helped them gain an extra six points this season.
On five occasions they have had a deficit at the break but twice they have turned things around for victory, whether it’s tactical tweaks, substitutions, or a powerful half-time team talk, Solskjaer is doing something right.
Arteta could do with tapping into this as their league resurgence continues.
Right now, Luke Shaw is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League.
He’s have a tremendous season in terms of ball progression, chance creation, and defensive ability, but after the summer transfer window ended it looked like his time in the United first-team was set to end.
Alex Telles was signed by the Red Devils from Porto as they looked to increase their offensive output from left-back, and for £27million too, United weren’t messing about.
Now the Brazilian is being kept on the bench by Shaw and Arsenal could do with signing top quality competition to help one or two of their key men push to the next level.
Cedric’s reemergence in recent weeks is certainly helping, as will an in-form Nicolas Pepe if he can build on his showing against Southampton in the league.
The signing of Martin Odegaard may already be the answer to this in midfield and we will be watching with interest.