Arsenal take on West Ham United at the London Stadium tomorrow afternoon in the hope of maintaining their position of fourth in the table.
The Gunners have managed to respond to their three defeats against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton in some style, defeating both Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in the space of four days.
Certainly, the majority of the ever opinionated Arsenal fanbase were left frustrated with many decisions Mikel Arteta made from a tactical point of view, but in the north Londoners’ last two fixtures, the Spaniard has reverted back to basics and it’s clearly working.
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Nuno Tavares was allowed to operate much higher up the pitch, tasked with giving the Gunners natural width and in a position where he could flourish, a role that Arteta didn’t give him in games against Crystal Palace and Southampton.
Meanwhile, the former Manchester City assistant manager has also realised that in the absence of Thomas Partey, his side can’t operate successfully with a single pivot and in order to offer better ball circulation and defensive stability, he’s utilised a double pivot consisting of Mohammed Elneny and Granit Xhaka.
These decisions made have been key in the upturn in performances and it has now put them in pole position for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Their rivals Spurs are also in action tomorrow as they take on Leicester City at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in the hope of getting back to winning ways following disappointing results against Brighton and most recently Brentford. Antonio Conte’s men have failed to register a single shot on target in both of the aforementioned two fixtures and it appears that opposing teams have understood that preventing the supply line to Harry Kane essentially nullifies most of Spurs’ attacking threat.
Ahead of this tomorrow afternoon fixtures, Arteta was asked about Spurs and his thoughts on Arsenal playing after the Lilywhites. “I think everybody knows about that,” he said. “The last time they played before us and we didn’t take that advantage and it’s gone the other way around as well so we can just focus on what we can do.”
He was also asked about the benefits a Spurs loss provides and responded with a fairly simple answer. “If we win, yes. If they lose and we win obviously we have one game less in a much stronger position.”
Given the fact that West Ham and Leicester were in European action on Thursday, they are likely to rotate their teams heavily so there is the expectation that Arsenal and Spurs will both take maximum points.
Source by Football London