Unai Emery once led Sevilla to a whole season without an away win, ironically, the season they won the Europa League in 2015-16. The Spaniard has found it tough away from home with the Gunners this season, but why?
Arsenal have won just 10 games away from home in nearly 2 seasons of Premier League football, this the same amount they managed in the whole of 2016-17, but why have Arsenal got worse season by season?
Arsenal were often labelled as soft-centred throughout the last years of the Wenger era, despite them managing to win at least 10 away games in 3 of Wenger’s last 6 seasons. in 2012-13 they managed 10 away wins, 2013-14 11 away wins, the most of any club that season, 10 in 2014-15 and 8 in 2015-16. So why have Arsenal become so bad away from home?
Well, you could argue that since a soar in TV revenue the competition is stronger than ever – so trips to places such as Everton, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are tougher, as well as the usual big six improving every season; and with the recent rise of Tottenham into the Champions League places and resurgence of Liverpool since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival, Arsenal have more contend with.
Is Arsenal being mentally weak the reason for our downfall? I was listening to the Arseblog Arsecast podcast and it was interesting to hear that they were talking about Arsenal’s away form being down to mentality more than tactics and team selection and for a while I thought nothing about it, but looking at our home form in comparison to our away showings, it is highly possible for this to be the case.
Over the past 2 seasons Arsenal have been amazing at home but awful away; the weakness in players’ minds and their inability to play in front of crowds who boo their every touch, are behind the opposition, and the referee who gets influenced by this and makes decisions based on it. Maybe our style of play doesn’t always help us – we are having less shots – and it feels as if we are creating less chances, even at home, so when we go away from home, our natural mentality is weak and there are too many players who are mentally fragile to face teams away from home.
Is it style? Our style means we are often leaving big spaces and have a real lack of structure and often look spineless. This season we are having less shots and away from home the attack has look bereft of ideas. Against Leicester, they had 24 attempts compared to our 6.
Emery already knew he had a tough job on his hands, but changing mentality and style are the two hardest things he has had to do since arriving, he has often been criticised for poor team selections and tactical mishaps but away from home we are toothless, insipid and spineless and is this down to mentality? I think there are a multiple of things that contribute to our shambolic away form, I’m not trusting Emery to make the right decisions based on this season, but what do you think? Let us know.
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.