Arsenal News and Transfer Talk: Leno, Szoboszlai, Arteta

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Arsenal looks lost right now, with no real identity in the team, but the fault for that could rest with a few bad apples in the team, instead of manager Mikel Arteta. The Emirates club has shot themselves in the foot this season with red cards, on a few occasions, and it’s quite hard to manage a result, very difficult to win when you’re playing a man down for long stretches.

The north London side heads into a Saturday clash at Everton as substantial underdogs, and deservedly so. Arsenal come in as a lower table side, hovering just above the drop zone. They must start scoring some more goals, and soon.

Arsenal at Everton FYIs

Arsenal Team News, Starting XI Prediction: coming soon

Kickoff: 5:30 pm GMT, Sat Dec 19, Goodison Park

Everton team news: go to this link

So with that in mind let’s take a look at what’s making the headlines in Arsenal cyberspace today. Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno says blame the squad, not the manager for the current crisis at Arsenal.

“The coach is least to blame for the fact that we are in this situation,” Leno said to Sky Sports.

“If you look at the way we were running around on the pitch at times, then the players are the only ones to blame.

bernd leno

“We’re getting red cards, making mistakes, standing out of position. These are things that we have clearly addressed a thousand times. In the end, it’s a lack of focus on the part of the players.

“The coach is not an issue in the dressing room, there is no criticism of him. We criticise ourselves and the players know that they are responsible.”

It is of course the duties of the manager to instill leadership, keep the team in line, foster discipline and motivate. On the other hand, Arteta is just one man, and there is only so much he can do. These are grown adult professionals after all.

“The attitude is bad, the discipline is lacking and we have no self-confidence,” Leno continued.

bernd leno

“There are many factors at play here. We have addressed this very clearly internally and everyone agrees that we have to change this very quickly.”

A Calciomercato report last week said that Arteta had just three games to save his job, and that the club was lining up Max Allegri as a potential replacement. That troika of matches began with a loss to Burnley, a draw with Southampton last night and the Everton clash on the weekend completing the troika.

However, it might be best not to read too much into the results of this triad of games, because Arteta, we learned two days ago, has the backing of the board at this time, in spite of the poor results.

Finally, we cover some transfer talk, and unfortunately, it’s also a bit of bad news.

RB Leipzig have confirmed it, Hungarian attacking midfielder and creative playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai has been acquired from brother club RB Salzburg. The 20-year-old, Salzburg’s best player, was a transfer target of Arsenal’s.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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