Arsenal are in real trouble.
When last season finished, there was an enormous belief within the Gunners camp that they could grab a top-four spot.
Mikel Arteta had taken this team on and made them a more defensively sound outfit and they were picking up results regularly against some of the top sides in the Premier League.
However, fast forward to the present day and things are starting to go drastically wrong. Arteta’s men haven’t won in their last four league outings dating back to the start of November and they can’t seem to buy a goal from open play.
As of last weekend, the Gunners had managed fewer shots per game than each side at the bottom of Europe’s top five leagues.
A 2-0 defeat to Spurs, therefore, only made things worse for an under-pressure Arteta. Arsenal are now 15th in the league and nine points off the top four.
Their players look like they lack confidence and one of the most disappointing performers on Sunday evening was Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard’s performance was typified by an abysmal foul throw in the first half, and it didn’t get much better. His poor pass when Arsenal were on the attack led to Spurs countering and Harry Kane scoring.
That summed up a day where Bellerin completed just 75% of his passes and produced only one accurate cross from six attempted.
When he got in a promising area, he wasted possession, losing the ball on 20 occasions. This was a night to forget for Bellerin, someone who proved successful with just one dribble. Granit Xhaka was also poor, committing four fouls, but it was the Spain international who was caught out even more.
There have been cries for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to start in this Arsenal side and this performance from Bellerin justified those shouts.
Since being linked with a move to Wolves in the summer, he has started just two Premier League matches, being shoved to the substitutes bench on a regular basis.
This game showed he should be starting more. It’s time to drop Bellerin and bring in Maitland-Niles.
He deserves to be on Arteta’s team sheet.
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