Arsenal made some huge signings. Now Arteta should ship

Football

Spending cash is one factor, however spending it properly is one other matter completely. Arsenal‘s much-maligned homeowners have stepped as much as the plate this summer time, maybe greater than anticipated, backing Mikel Arteta with greater than £130 million of recent expertise in a bid to bridge the hole between the Gunners and the Premier League’s main contenders. Now it’s time for Arteta to ship.

– Report: Lukaku scores, Chelsea cruise past Arsenal

It stays too early to guage him on the signings Arsenal have made this summer time — defender Ben White, a everlasting deal for Martin Odegaard, a brand new goalkeeper in Aaron Ramsdale, amongst others — however Arteta has been given the part components and the accountability of moulding them right into a workforce rests squarely on his shoulders.

It is value remembering that Arsenal really promoted Arteta from “head coach” to “supervisor” in September 2020, symbolic of the better affect he would now have over huge swathes of the membership’s operations, not least switch coverage. The Spaniard had received the FA Cup a month earlier, however it felt on the time like a leap of religion in a thirty-something embarking on his first managerial position. The choice was partly based on his clear imaginative and prescient for the trail forward and big promise as a coach, honed throughout three years underneath Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, however Arsenal now must see that on the pitch.

It was virtually painfully predictable how Romelu Lukaku bullied Arsenal’s makeshift back-line, and it may have been worse had Pablo Mari earned a second yellow card for hauling down Lukaku on the finish of a torrid afternoon. Referee Paul Tierney opted in opposition to it, though a sending off might have been the better mercy within the circumstances.

It was a metaphor for the 2 groups as a complete: one, expectant, purposeful and highly effective, the opposite desperately clinging on for pricey life, by no means convincing and finally outclassed.

Lukaku marked his second Chelsea debut — 3,648 days after his first — with an all-action show, encapsulated by the opening objective. He did not rating in 15 appearances between 2011 and 2014, however having returned as a £97.5million signing, he wanted simply quarter-hour to open his account on Sunday. After holding off Mari with ease, he laid the ball off to Mateo Kovacic, who fed Reece James in acres of house on the Chelsea proper. Lukaku’s intuition after passing was to drive into the field, the place he met James’ supply to side-foot the guests in entrance from shut vary.

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The temper amongst a house crowd at most capability — other than a smattering of empty seats — for the primary time for the reason that begin of the coronavirus pandemic in March final yr had been one in every of fervent help, however that started to dissipate because it dawned on them there was little to rally behind.

James doubled Chelsea’s lead 10 minutes earlier than the break and though Arsenal improved a bit after half-time, they have been unable to place Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy underneath any sustained strain. The truth is, Lukaku may have prolonged the Blues’ benefit with a close-range header that Bernd Leno saved fantastically, simply one in every of a number of harmful moments Chelsea did not capitalise on.

It was too simple for them. Lukaku has confirmed to be an elite striker throughout two years at Inter Milan and his acquisition, whereas costly does really feel as near a assure of success as is feasible, particularly given his private motivation and better maturity now aged 28. Chelsea are underneath a lot much less monetary strain to make each penny depend, however afternoons like this underline how good they’ve been out there compared to lots of their rivals.

On the opposite aspect, Arteta was and not using a host of first-team gamers. White, his £50m centre-back, was unwell, Gabriel has a knee harm, Thomas Partey is battling an ankle drawback, Hector Bellerin sustained a “tight thigh” in line with the membership, Martin Odegaard couldn’t be registered in time following his arrival from Real Madrid, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian had not sufficiently recovered from testing optimistic for Covid-19 and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was solely match sufficient a 29-minute cameo off the bench. A scarcity of cohesion was subsequently comprehensible to some extent, however one of the damning features for the second weekend operating was the way it stays troublesome to discern how Arsenal have been making an attempt to get again into the sport.

The Gunners managed six pictures in 90 minutes; Lukaku had eight on his personal. Arteta’s aspect had simply three pictures heading in the right direction, and the final got here within the 63rd minutes as Aubameyang tried his luck from the sting of the field.

It have to be famous that Chelsea are European champion, working with loftier goals than Arsenal at current, however Tuchel arrived in mid-season and organised a workforce that had grow to be ragged underneath Frank Lampard, shortly establishing an identification that is delivered speedy success.

Arteta, in the meantime, has been dealt a troublesome hand, however he has to show he is aware of find out how to play the sport. Final season resulted in these components with fan protests at Kroenke Sports activities Enterprises as Arsenal’s involvement within the failed Tremendous League venture reignited longstanding antipathy in direction of the membership’s homeowners. That hostility stays, however the focus will quickly shift to the dugout if Arteta can’t discover a critical quantity of enchancment within the coming weeks.

Not less than they’ve solely acquired a visit to Manchester Metropolis away subsequent.

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