Arteta must fix the away form and leadership vacuum at Arsenal
- Credit: PA
Arsenal are coming off a turbulent two weeks in the Premier League, having beaten Southampton and Newcastle at home, and lost to Everton, Manchester United and Liverpool away.
It leaves the Gunners in sixth, two points off of West Ham in fourth, but the beginning of the festive period has raised a concerning fact - Arsenal are not good away from home.
This has been a problem that has continually popped up for many years at Arsenal, and the latest round of matches showed that the issue still remains.
After an intense and unconvincing start against Southampton at the weekend, Arsenal kicked into life, scoring a fantastic team goal, capped off by Alexandre Lacazette, which got the Gunners in the groove for the rest of the afternoon.
A similar pattern emerged against Newcastle. A 10-minute period of uncertainty alongside 80 minutes of dominance.
However, when Arsenal have been on their travels, their mentality seems different.
Against Liverpool we saw the team lose their heads under the pressure and mistakes emerged.
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Against Manchester United we saw a lack of control over the game and defensive errors that we are not accustomed to with this team.
Against Everton we saw the team go into their shell, inviting the Toffees back into the game.
The contrast between home and away performances has been bizarre, and of late, costly.
It is difficult to pinpoint whether it is a lack of confidence, inexperience, bad luck, or any other combination of factors. But one certainty is that the so-called leaders of the team are not leading, which does not help the situation.
Most notably, club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of the squad for the Southampton game having breached an agreement to take a short trip for personal reasons, with pictures later speculating that he went to get a tattoo.
The dip in away form cannot be helped by the leadership vacuum at the club and Arteta has to take action to remedy both situations, or Arsenal risk being left behind by those around them.