Arsenal’s leadership woes over Tottenham and could cost them a spot in the Champions League

LONDON — The one excellent news for Arsenal, after a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur within the North London derby, was that they remained within the fingers of the Champions League qualifiers, regardless of scenes of celebration among the many house followers on the finish of the match. Mikel Arteta and his staff.

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It in all probability did not really feel that method, as Gunners captain Martin Odegaard directed his humble teammates to thank his followers by apologizing to those that stayed till the tip, however the math is obvious – if Arsenal win their final two video games away from Newcastle United on Monday and 6 days later at Everton’s house, Emirates Stadium, Regardless of the Spurs do of their house last in opposition to Burnley and their final sport in opposition to Norwich Metropolis, it’ll host Champions League soccer for the primary time since 2017.

“Disappointment shouldn’t seize the nice alternative of the 2 video games forward,” Arteta stated after Thursday’s defeat. stated. We will not wait to play on Monday, that is how I really feel and that is all I need to say.”

But when Arsenal are to beat the Spurs to the end line within the fourth-place race, they must overcome a check of nerve and character to attain their aim, and we nonetheless do not know if this Arsenal facet has the {qualifications} to take action. And midfielder Rob Holding will miss Newcastle on suspension after being despatched off for 2 yellow playing cards—each for fouls on Son Heung-min—and Gabriel is nearly sure to be out of the sphere with a hamstring damage within the last. Arsenal have crucial defensive points to deal with in opposition to the Spurs.

Nevertheless, Arteta can repair his protection. Arsenal supervisor can fee Granit Xhaka within the mid-half and hope Ben White’s hamstring damage heals sufficient for him to begin at Newcastle. The previous Brighton defender was on the bench for the Spurs, however Arteta selected to not danger his kind in spades for a shedding motive at halftime. However whereas Arteta might change his squad, this season’s outcomes present his gamers will head to St James’ Park with no concept if they’re going to deal with Newcastle after which Everton.

Will they do what they’ve achieved at Chelsea and West Ham United in latest weeks by responding to stress with a assured, agile and three-point efficiency, or will Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton final month?

In a nutshell, this query has been Arsenal’s drawback for a really very long time and predates Arteta’s arrival as supervisor after Unai Emery was sacked in December 2019. He ought to go to Newcastle and win. These three defeats in opposition to Palace, Brighton and Southampton – video games Arsenal have to win – but may even see them miss out on Champions League soccer as soon as once more.

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