Yet again, Arsenal were flying in Europe yesterday in the day 5 of the Europa League. The Gunners put in yet another stellar performance to dislodge their opponents, Rapid Vien 4-1 in a tie that was no better than a dead rubber for them and a must win for their opponents.
Going into the game, the Gunners had already secured qualification into the round of 32, securing top spot in the process while Rapid Vien were still locked in a huge battle with Norwegian side, Molde FC on who picks the runners up ticket. Many expected Arsenal to be lassie-fare about it while Rapid Vien should jump out of the blocks fighting for their lives but that was not the case as the Gunners ran riot, winning comfortably.
This now makes everyone wonder, why the contrasting fortunes for Arsenal this season? Why under Arteta is the same team having different mentalities and outcomes? The Arsenal in the Premier League has been piss poor to say the least, lost 3 home games already to unexpected foes; Leicester City, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers but the Arsenal in the Europa League have won all 5 games both home and away.
The Arsenal in the Premier League are struggling to score goals as they have only scored a paltry 10 goals in 10 Premier League matches this season and that is an average of a goal per game, very poor stats. That is not the case in the Europa League as the Gunners have scored a whooping 16 goals in just 5 games this season. What could be so right in the Europa League and yet so wrong in the Premier League for Arteta’s men?
It is easier to set a tame defence that Arsenal’s opponents in the Europa League are not top teams as against the sides they have played in the Premier League. That is not entirely true as the sides Arsenal have blown away in the Europa league are top teams in their leagues and are definitely better than Leeds United that just gained promotion who Arsenal could not score against, better than Aston Villa that escaped relegation by whiskers last season but beat the Gunners at the Emirates convincingly amongst other shocking results.
Should it be added that Mikel Arteta fields a second tier side in the Europa league in a bid to keep the bulk of the first team fresh for the Premier League campaign. We are yet to see Pierre Emeric Aubamenyang in the Europa League this season but the youngsters there have been firing on all cylinders, scoring for fun.
Is there something the youngsters have that the older guys are missing? It seems the Arsenal in Europa play with more freedom and expresses themselves better while the big guns in the Premier League keep playing with the handbrake on, little wonder their creativity is stifled. The gunners are not creating chances, Aubamenyang is not scoring goals and Arsenal are losing matches.
It is clear that Arsenal need more creativity but the performance of the team in the Europa league shows it is not as worse as it is looking in the Premier League. Arteta needs to find a way of transmitting the Arsenal Europa spirit into the Premier League even if it means dropping the underperforming senior players for the young enterprising ones, then he should. Arsenal cannot continue the way they are going in the league because with each dropped points, Arsenal’s hope of a top 4 finish fades into thin air.