Arsenal’s spark has been diminished by Mikel Arteta’s changes.

The struggles of Zinchenko and Havertz’s new system are weakening the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta has made subtle adjustments to his Arsenal setup ahead of the new season following a more than £200 million summer transfer budget. The majority of the players and the guiding principles from last season remain, but the manager of Arsenal has made an effort to improve and develop his team’s organizational structure.

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Arteta needs to make simple decisions regarding Gabriel and Havertz and return to the fundamentals.

With Mikel Arteta overanalyzing and trying too hard to be Pep Guardiola, this Arsenal system has been chopped and changed unnecessarily. Kai Havertz needs time to adapt to this system.

Strangely, none of Arsenal’s back four against Fulham played in the same position they did all of last season. Gabriel Magalhaes may have been the most impressive of the group, but Oleksandr Zinchenko, William Saliba, Benjamin White, and Gabriel Magalhaes all had excellent 2022–2023 campaigns. Compared to his three defensive teammates, he definitely avoided attention more.

It is therefore strange to see him benched for the season’s first three games, especially given the interest Saudi Arabia is showing. There cannot be a falling out because everyone is aware of the characteristics of a fallout with Arteta and this is not one.

Arteta needs to go back to the fundamentals, starting with the defensive four, when Arsenal plays Manchester United the following week. Replace Thomas Partey, who must play in midfield, with White at right-back, Saliba at right-center-back, Gabriel at the Frenchman’s side, and Oleksandr Zinchenko back at inverted left-back. Thomas Partey must move to midfield.

The usual set-up will see Bukayo Saka re-link with White because all four players are at ease with the ball. The latter’s overlaps and chemistry with Saka gave Arsenal a threat to every left-hand side in the Premier League and gave the 21-year-old more freedom, reducing the desire of the opposition to double- and triple-team him.

It was never going to be easy with Kai Havertz. It is fair that many people wrote off the German before he kicked a ball for the Gunners because of his time at Chelsea, especially considering that he cost somewhere around £65 million. For a player who requires more patience than such a signing should typically be given, his first two games did show some promise. The majority of Arsenal supporters agree that he shouldn’t start against Manchester United after he appeared lost against Fulham on Saturday.

The best position for Havertz after being used as a No. has always been a subject of debate. Fans are questioning whether or not he is capable of taking over for Granit Xhaka as Arteta’s box-to-box left-sided central midfielder given his struggles to fit in with Arsenal’s dynamic midfield. 9 at Stamford Bridge, and they are wondering whether or not he is up to the task. Fabio Vieira’s very impressive cameo against Fulham as a substitute did not help the German.

He does, regrettably, appear to be completely and utterly lost in this Arsenal midfield right now. Everyone likes to compare Arteta to Pep Guardiola, and because of these similarities, you must remember that only a player of the very highest caliber could join this Arsenal team without initially seeming a little lost. Even though Arsenal supporters are much less patient and quicker to react than their rivals in the north west, it may take Havertz a year to develop into a significant player for Manchester City, as it did for Jack Grealish.

The Guardiola comparisons are plain to see (for what it’s worth, we don’t think they are comparable), and the Manchester City manager’s desire to abruptly change things and risk being accused of overthinking has been cemented. Arteta is currently doing exactly that, and Mikel needs to stop it immediately because you are not Pep Guardiola.

The dynamic 4-3-3 formation that Arsenal used last season, which would switch into a back three when in possession, with Partey in the No. 9 position, helped them win the Premier League. Arsenal was not expected to be title contenders, but they ended up as the favorites. White moves up to support Saka in the No. 6 position, while Saliba, Gabriel, and Saliba form the back three when in possession. Zinchenko inverts.

Oleksandr Zinchenko of Arsenal is getting ready to receive a throw-in.

Even though Arteta opted to replace Eddie Nketiah against Fulham on Saturday with Leandro Trossard, who had his worst game in an Arsenal jersey, the attack hasn’t really changed much in Arsenal’s opening three games.

Partey can move out of right-back, where Arteta should not be starting him, because Declan Rice was brought in as a player who can play as a lone 6 or in a more advanced position, which is where he should replace Havertz.

Goal-setting is another modification that might be worthwhile. Ultimately, it will depend on Arteta’s strategy for taking on Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya in their goalkeeping duel. Perhaps I am now the one who overthinks. The 2-2 draw in which Arsenal appeared to be fairly at ease and had plenty of chances may be the cause of my jerking knee. Nobody knows.

It is certain that this Arsenal team does not require a radical makeover or fanciful tactical change. With a strong young squad comprised of players who understood their roles, they became title contenders, so there is no justification for making such significant changes.

It is more complicated with Havertz because he needs more time to develop and understand his role and because his lack of confidence significantly impairs his team’s ability to play fluid football. He should start the match against Manchester United from the bench, but there is hope that he can develop into a key member of Arsenal’s midfield.

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