It’s safe to say that we (and pretty much every other Arsenal outlet) have exhausted every angle about Arsenal’s innumerable failings last season. There was no mistake that Arteta would have his work cut out for him, and with the new season set, it appears that he has made a much-needed hire when he signed set-piece specialist Andreas Georgeson from Brentford this weekend.
The hiring of Georgeson comes on the heels of the departure of Freddie Ljungberg, who left Arsenal after several seasons, as both an Academy coach, first team assistant coach, and interim head coach, to seek out a manager opportunity.
That Arteta sought out a set-piece specialist is promising. While Arsenal had many deficiencies last season, set-piece defending was among the worst. According to WhoScored.com, out of the 48 goals the Gunners conceded, 15 came from set-pieces, which accounted for 31% of all conceded goals. Arsenal were not just poor at set-piece defending - they were dreadful. Offensively, Arsenal were only able to score 12 from set pieces out of their 56 goals, good for 21%, and certainly a number that can be improved upon.
For the majority of us who want to know about Arteta’s decision to hire the set-piece specialist, The Daily Mail paint a picture of Georgeson’s short Brentford tenure as a huge success. Despite only joining in January, Georgeson’s impact with set-piece efficiency was “immediate”, as the Swedish coach played an instrumental part in Brentford’s data-driven model for improvement.
Georgeson’s arrival was not the only personnel-related move, however. Goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo has also left the team, according to David Ornstein.
Set-piece specialist Andreas Georgson started his role at Arsenal yesterday, while the club also plan to appoint a new analyst. Assistant goalkeeper coach Sal Bibbo has left the club. [@David_Ornstein] #afc— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 23, 2020
However, the presence of goalkeeping coach Inaka Cana, who joined Arsenal from Brentford as well, has been a welcome one. Joining in the winter, Cana has been credited with the improvements of Bernd Leno and Emiliano Martinez, whose performance in the stead of the injured Leno helped Arsenal secure crucial FA Cup victories.
The signings of players will always make headlines, but with the signing of Georgeson, it appears that Arteta is also making the signings necessary behind the scenes to help Arsenal further turn the corner back toward respectability and stability.