Arsenal Ran Out 2-0 Victors Over Leicester City To Take Them Joint Fifth In The Table At Full-Time

It is a result that is crucial in the fan debate surrounding Mikel Arteta. Supporters have remained very much divided on the young coach and despite the unbeaten run of six league fixtures prior to the early kickoff in the east midlands, the performances have lacked consistency.

Yet, Arsenal were determined to answer the questions laid at them and they did with considerable vigour. In back-to-back league games, there were no performances below expectation and the side played with great tenacity and unity.

This is a team which are enacting everything their manager is asking from them. Players like Emile Smith-Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were coming back to defend. The pressing was consistent and the build-up from the back was regimented.

Furthermore, the introduction of the new set-piece coach is clearly having an impact. In each of Arsenal’s last three games against Aston Villa, Leeds United and now Leicester, the Gunners have scored directly from a dead-ball situation.

The difference between Unai Emery at the end of his tenure and Mikel Arteta during a period of doubt has been the reaction of the players.

Emery had lost the dressing room. The playing staff had simply downed tools which is as much a disgrace on them as it was for what their then-coach was delivering in results.

Yet at no stage has Arteta lost his dressing room. He has made big decisions to move out players like Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil, despite their obvious quality, because they didn’t fit with what he wanted in his team.

He, alongside technical director Edu, has begun building a team. The emphasis on that word ‘team’ is what separates this Arsenal side along with a sense of accountability.

Edu and Mikel Arteta have worked together to build the current squad and are reaping the rewards of their labour in recruitment.

Edu and Mikel Arteta have worked together to build the current squad and are reaping the rewards of their labour in recruitment.

Even players such as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah whose futures are uncertain have been rewarded with opportunities for their hard work in training and they are delivering.

Mikel Arteta was challenged after the Villa fixture not to see a repeat of what occurred post the north London derby win. Two drab draws and lacklustre displays against Brighton and Crystal Palace brought with them questions and doubts began to resurface.

The win over Dean Smith’s side was another foundation built to go forward and the performance seen against Leicester City took that one space forwards – many spaces though in the table.

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Arsenal’s aim to finish in a European place will be determined by how they perform against their competitors of which the Foxes certainly are.

A Leicester side who put four past Manchester United and whose away win at Brentford again showed their quality. Yet Arsenal’s disciplined and dominant Arteta-orchestrated offering has provided further evidence that something is indeed building to progress the club forwards.

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