Could Arsenal and Arteta learn something from Hassenhüttl’s Southampton revival? (Match Preview)

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Match Preview

Arsenal welcome high-flying Southampton to the Emirates on Wednesday evening, in an attempt to turn around their miserable home form, which has seen them lose four league games in a row for the first time since 1959.

The Gunners will look to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Mikel Arteta by picking up their first win since early November and elevate themselves away from the approaching relegation zone.

Despite adopting the Spaniard’s preferred 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks, his sides distinct lack of creativity and goals still runs prevalent throughout the squad, as Arsenal have only netted twice in their last five Premier League fixtures.

After 12 matches played, Arsenal currently sit in 15th place on 13 points, just five above Fulham in the danger zone making this their worst start to a campaign in the top flight since the 1974/75 season.

For the visitors, the situation couldn’t be more contrasting with the Saints thriving under boss Ralph Hasenhüttl, who’s stubborn philosophy has turned their fortunes around since the damning 9-0 loss to Leicester last season.

Southampton’s combination of high intensity pressing, along with fluid passing, movement and innovation in the final third has seen them reach the heights of 4th in the Premier League this season, just two points from the summit.

They come into the fixture off the back of hitting three past Sheffield United last time out and Hasenhüttl’s side will be eager to test the waters at the Emirates in order to exploit an Arsenal side low on confidence.

Could Arsenal and Arteta learn a trick or two from Hassenhüttl?

Just 14 months ago, Ralph Hassenhüttl’s Southampton side suffered the heaviest defeat in Premier League history, as Leicester City ran riot scoring 9 goals without reply at St Mary’s – putting the Austrian’s job in major jeopardy.

The defeat came at a time when the 53-year-old was being ridiculed for his brave philosophy of setting up with a high defensive line in order to carry out the high press, as most fans believed he didn’t have the players to execute it.

However, since then he’s persevered with his idea of how Southampton should be playing approaching games, which has worked wonders in creating the right environment and breeding confidence for his set of players to thrive in.


It appears Arsenal are currently in a similar position to the Saints just over a year ago, in terms of the managers philosophy getting lost after such a promising end to the season.

Undoubtedly, Arteta’s side is nowhere near up to the level of competing for the Premier League, however at the start of his reign it was the core values he instilled into the team which made us competitive such as relentless work-rate, passion and belief all while ensuring all his players were tactically aware of how to carry out his game-plan.

Although the recent performances have displayed any of these aspects, the style he wants to implement is one in which many Arsenal fans can get behind and marries perfectly with the traditions of the club.

As a club we are now at a cross-road, which could see it end badly for Arteta, however with this set of players we must all be able to invisgiune the manager we bring in finding themselves in a similar situation where the players down-tools after an initial up turn in results, a further year down the line.

Despite the terrible start to the season, the players Arteta has been able to bring in look promising, therefore Arsenal it could be argued Arsenal need to take a leaf out of Southampton’s book and allow him to assemble the squad he requires to fulfil his philosophy.


Arsenal’s form last 5 games: L, W, L, W, L

Southampton’s form last 5 games: W, D, L, W, W

Team News

Arsenal team news: Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka will miss out due to suspension with the latter set to be out for the next three fixtures after his straight red card against Burnley. Summer signing Thomas Partey suffered from a reoccurrence of his thigh strain and will be unavailable for the upcoming matches. Arsenal will welcome Nicolas Pepe back into the squad as he has now served his three match ban, while Gabriel Martinelli has also returned to full training.

Southampton team news:  Ralph Hassenhüttl will have everyone fit and available for selection, as he welcomed star striker Danny Ings back into the starting eleven against Sheffield United last Sunday.

Predicted Lineups

Arsenal predicated lineup (4-3-3): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Elneny, Ceballos; Willian, Lacazette, Saka; Aubameyang

Southampton predicted lineup (4-4-2): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Adams, Ings








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