Tony Cascarino has claimed in his Times column that he was deeply impressed with Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as three other Gunners stars despite their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta has taken just one point from his first two matches in charge of the Gunners, though there is a much better feeling around the club following the two performances under the Spanish manager.
However, Arsenal do still remain in 12th place with just 24 points. They are an enormous 11 behind the top four, and face a fight to qualify even for European football this season – let alone the Champions League places.
Cascarino has been heavily critical of Arsenal’s players, most noticeably Aubameyang for a lack of effort. But Cascarino ate his words in his latest column, praising the Gabon striker – as well as Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
“Mikel Arteta can still take plenty of positives from his team’s performance. Their workrate has improved considerably in the two games since he took over,” Cascarino said. “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked far hungrier.
“I have criticised him for his poor attitude but he and Reiss Nelson were tireless in their running down each wing. Bukayo Saka, an 18-year-old winger, excelled at left back and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the right proved he can fit into this system.”
TBR’s view – Arteta needs first win and Arsenal will be confident again
With such an expectant fanbase that have been treated to years and years of success under Arsene Wenger, the pressure on the players to perform is enormous. Unfortunately for the squad and supporters alike, the team is not good enough.
However, a first win under Arteta and the doom and gloom will finally lift at The Emirates. A win over Manchester United on home soil come Wednesday would be the perfect tonic to a desperate few months.