The young manager has done plenty of good things in almost a year in charge but he has not addressed the lack of central creativity in Arsenal’s squad

It is perfectly normal for a manager to protect his players after a high-profile defeat and Mikel Arteta was happy enough to leave himself open after Arsenal were held off comfortably by Spurs. “In terms of performance they did everything I asked them to do, absolutely everything,” he said. “We played in a way that I believe we had to play this game.”

Arteta knows perfectly well that half of the players who passed, passed, crossed, rinsed and repeated for long periods of the north London derby have no place in a functioning, progressive Arsenal side. But it is his job to get the best out of the resources available and, since the summer’s tactical triumphs at Wembley, he has fallen short. Arsenal find themselves needing a win over Burnley on Sunday, and preferably some shoots of progress beyond that, to breathe anything resembling fresh life into their season and it is hard to see how repeating their approach of recent weeks will bear fruit.

Related: Premier League: 10 talking points from this weekend's action

Related: Harry Kane and Son Heung-min a lethal Tottenham double act against Arsenal

Continue reading...