Manchester United have ended their 2019 on a high, with two consecutive wins over Newcastle and Burnley. As we wrote recently, they won both of those matches in a calm fashion, without many problems and now they will want to bring that streak to 2020.
On New Years’ Day it will be Arsenal who will be hosting the Red Devils at the Emirates Stadium. These two sides have had some bad moments on their own and now against each other they will try to do better than in the first meeting. It was 1-1 at Old Trafford on the last day of September. Now, on the first day of 2020, Arsenal will be motivated to finally start getting necessary results.
How Are Arsenal Doing?
Simply put, Arsenal are far from doing well. They are on four-match streak without a win, since their 3-1 beating of West Ham. But more importantly, before that match, they were also on a streak of seven games without a win, which means they have only one victory since early October. That is such a poor streak of results that simply you cannot talk of poor form. Their whole squad is not good and their managers have been trying to get the most out of it, but it has not worked for any one of them so far.
Their 3-0 loss to Man City truly showed a real lack of fighting spirit, whilst in draws against Everton and Bournemouth they really were not the better side. These two points from the last four matches are pretty much what Arsenal deserved with their performances.
The Managerial Changes
Arsenal started the season with Unai Emery at the helm, but it was soon very clear that the Spaniard will not be able to turn things around. Too much tinkering and changing did not bring anything good and after a run of bad results he was sacked. Freddie Ljungberg came in his place as the caretaker, but apart from that 3-1 win over Hammers, he could not do much more.
Now it is Mikel Arteta who became the head coach of the side and his start was not ideal, though it must be noted he arrived at the toughest part of the campaign, with a match against Chelsea included. We are yet to see what the Spaniard can do in the early days of his coaching career.
Imbalance Is Their Middle Name
If there is one word to describe this Arsenal side, it is imbalance. Looking at their squad in attack and defence and you can clearly see the problems. Defensively, they have been very poor for years now, with David Luiz being far from the solution, but also the attack is not functioning as well as it used to, due to a lack of real structure.
Arteta has probably realized that and he already made a big change. He gave Lucas Torreira a new role in which has not been used at Arsenal, for some reason, as he is now more of a sweeper ahead of the defence. He simply does that very well in a 4-1-4-1 formation and he will offer more protection to that vulnerable backline of theirs.