So this is what it feels like to be a mid-table team. Win most games at home, grind out a result here and there against a top side, and lose away. Arsenal now have 5 away losses this season and are mired in 6th place in the table.
The club has not won in five straight matches in all competitions. Things are bad.
The performance against Bournemouth was another turgid one. That’s not to say there was a lack of effort from the side - rather there was a lack of quality. Without Alexis Sanchez (who did not travel because of the transfer drama) and Mesut Özil (injured), Arsenal create little going forward.
Alexandre Lacazette has now gone 9 matches without scoring, and he didn’t really come close to doing so today. He doesn’t create his own chances, which is fine - he’s more of a finisher, but the type of service he needs hasn’t been there for a while.
Most clubs that have trouble scoring rely on defense to keep them in games and to give them a shot to steal the points on a counter. Right now, Arsenal’s defense is about as poor as the attack. Once or twice a game, like clockwork, the defense breaks down in almost comical fashion.
Today was no different. On the first Bournemouth goal, no fewer than four Arsenal players were sorta-kinda close to, but not really pressuring Ryan Fraser before he played the killer ball. On the second, Granit Xhaka lost track of his man, which happens way too often, and could be seen in the background as Jordan Ibe ripped it past Petr Čech.
This team isn’t “one piece away” from being competitive. Arsenal need a rebuild. TSF writer alsonamedphil said it best, “Welcome to the long, dark road Gooners.”