Arsenal will get better – but how much better?

Arsenal's Pablo Mari (left) and Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku battle for the ball during the Premier Leagu

Arsenal's Pablo Mari (left) and Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday August 22, 2021. - Credit: PA

A 2-0 loss to London rivals Chelsea, a second loss to start the season, no goals scored, Covid-19 still around the club, a bloated squad, high profile injuries. It is hard to put a positive spin on things for Arsenal at the moment.

The Gunners started the game against Chelsea brightly, fuelled on by returning fans at a near full capacity Emirates Stadium.

But in the 15th minute the game shifted completely as poor defending resulted in an easy tap-in for Chelsea’s star signing Romelu Lukaku.     

From that point on, Arsenal were second best as Chelsea pulled them from side to side with their passing whilst Lukaku was left to bully the defence. 

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger (left) and Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe battle for the ball during the Premier L

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger (left) and Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday August 22, 2021. - Credit: PA

Despite the occasional five-minute spell, Arsenal looked defeated for much of the game, and it will not get any easier against Manchester City next weekend.  


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Speaking about the Covid-19 situation after the game, Mikel Arteta said: “It is really challenging at the moment. We are missing nine players – and the majority of them are big senior players.” 

On the players that played, he stated: “They are trying their best – and at the moment it is not enough to win football matches.” 

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According to Transfermarkt, the Gunners have spent £208.8 million since Arteta took charge. Against Chelsea, £179.55 million of those players were not able to play. 

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta (left) and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka battle for the ball during the Premier

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta (left) and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday August 22, 2021. - Credit: PA

An Arsenal side with Ben White, Gabriel, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and a fully fit Bukayo Saka will undoubtedly be better than what we have seen so far – the question is how much better? 

Regardless of the issues, Arsenal fans expect to see better performances on the pitch, to at least cause the opposition problems and not give away easy chances.

Against Brentford and Chelsea, we have not seen that. 

A Carabao Cup trip to the Hawthorns to play West Brom on Wednesday night all of a sudden has become a lot more important.

Potential debuts of Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard should lift the team, and a game against a Championship side provides Arsenal with a good opportunity to grab their first win of the season. 

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