If you had thought the international break would give Mikel Arteta the time to try and change some of the things that has been plaguing his Arsenal side this season, then you were sadly mistaken.
The Gunners have looked toothless in attack all season – before the game against Leeds on late Sunday afternoon, they had managed just nine goals in their opening eight Premier League games – and it was a real test for Arteta to fix that.
Having made the call of using Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle, the Gunners boss opted for both Willian and Nicolas Pepe to start either side of him.
And whilst the latter may have gotten himself sent off for a stupid headbutt early in the second-half, it was actually the north London side’s summer signing, Willian, who was the real let down for Arteta.
As per Sofascore, he had absolutely no shots on goal whatsoever, delivered no key passes, and saw the only cross he attempted fail to find its mark.
Despite showing a couple of neat touches here and there to try and evade the Leeds press, it just seemed like the game passed him by, and he couldn’t cope with the speed and intensity of it all.
In the end, even Arteta had seen enough, and made a fairly rare decision in terms of his managerial career so far, of hooking a player at half-time.
Reiss Nelson and then Bukayo Saka, the Gunners’ two homegrown academy products, delivered the kind of pace and punch that Arsenal sorely lacked. The fact an experienced star like Willian couldn’t do that was bordering on a disgrace.
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