This is our 13th draw this season, and it’s not looking good really.
We’re only seven points above the drop, and we need to do better.
Since Burnley joined the Premier League, we hadn’t lost to them. And this was the first time that we hadn’t beaten them since their entry in 2016.
A draw was fair though – as both sides had chances.
Overall though, these points piqued my interest:
First Arteta mistakes?
The line-up, in my view, was questionable. Was Torreira injured? Why didn’t he start?
Mustafi next to Luiz?
Lacazette over Pepe? Why didn’t Pepe play?
Yes, no manager is perfect. But these were selections that didn’t need to be made.
And overall, the side lacked edge and vitality. Perhaps Arteta cannot be blamed for this fully.
But then I believe the line-up, unless there were some mitigating factors that fans aren’t privy too, was not up to scratch.
We didn’t lose the game, but then Mikel didn’t set us up in a way to win it, frankly.
I’m not being harsh here – but for me, it was more LACKazette. I say this since he has been lacking lately.
We all know of the issues in his personal life. Many players before him have had allegations of infidelity, and he is not alone. I doubt he’d be the last either.
However, who knows why his form has dipped?
He had a header early in the game, but then this went way wide.
Other than that, what did he do?
Clearly this is an issue Arteta needs to fix, and fast.
And he doesn’t warrant starts if he continues this form.
It’s a shame, since he cannot become a bad player overnight.
However, he is not contributing positively and needs benching pronto.
Look. Ozil has had a good career. There are players who are amongst the GOATs that never won the World Cup. Messi and Ronaldo haven’t, and the late Cruyff never did. Neither did Puskas or di Stefano.
But despite his evident talent, what is he contributing?
He didn’t get on the ball much today, nor create telling passes or chances.
He is highly sporadic, as his initial burst under Arteta has withered away.
There is talk of how his big pay packet hinders sales (even though there are rumours the club turned down a deadline day bid from Qatar). But why not just pay half his wages, and let the new club handle any bonuses?
This isn’t to knock Ozil, but then we need a holistic rebuild. And it has to include players who can and will contribute. Ozil isn’t, I’m afraid.
We did have good chances in this game, but they were not down to Ozil’s brilliance, or lack thereof.
Mustafi and Luiz
Our German world-cup winning running joke had a good game.
And if anything, this makes him a joke figure.
I don’t mean that unkindly. However, he often has one good game in four or five. And this confuses people since it shows how well he CAN play.
Such inconsistency shows he is not to the level – but most know that already.
Even still, as Bournemouth were loading the box with crosses, he dealt with them capably.
And he didn’t let Chris Wood bully him either.
Luiz too, after some prime early-season gaffes, has settled down lately.
He has looked more assured in the air and positionally, and this showed at Turf Moor.
He set up Auba for a key first half-chance which our captain missed. But whether it’s a coincidence or not, he has looked better since Arteta came in. And our defence overall, bar some goals conceded due to lack of attention, has looked more solid and rugged.
Hector came in the side in 14/15 and 15/16 and looked a wonder kid. He dipped in 16/17 and 17/18, but did recover somewhat in Emery’s time.
And today, and since his return from injury (or second return this season), he’s looked solid.
He didn’t get fazed by their widemen today and has looked as quick and pacey in recent times as he did before now.
Maybe the addition of Soares can boost him, by means of better competition.
Overall, this was a frustrating display. We didn’t lose, but then we didn’t’ do enough to win.
It’s another draw in our season – and at this rate, Staedtler should sponsor us since we both have as many draws.
Saka went off injured at half-time but has been our best Academy-trained young player this season. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious, or which would keep him out for a while.
Arteta – 4 – He made his first line-up error today. Some players aren’t cutting it lately, and he should not have included them.
Man of the match
Sky Sports chose Bernd Leno. And I can understand that, as he was solid.
For me, I’d say Mustafi.
He gets plenty of flak, and rightly so in some regards.
But when he’s bad, he’s bad. When he’s good, he’s good. And today he was good.