The three main priorities on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal to-do list

first_img Arteta’s philosophy is almost inseparable from Guardiola, yet it took two summers and £200m on centre-backs to make his defence title-ready. Stylistically he looks to dominate, press high and push up: the further the opposition are away from your goal, the harder it is to score. But it is instances when Arsenal have played a high line, and when players must take individual ownership of defending space and winning their one-on-one duels, that they have looked most ragged. Ewan RobertsWednesday 18 Dec 2019 7:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.1kShares The novice Spanish manager faces a daunting task at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)With Freddie Ljungberg having failed to steady the increasingly turbulent Arsenal ship, the Gunners’ hierarchy have turned to another familiar face to try and resurrect their season. Former skipper Mikel Arteta – who was overlooked for the role when Arsene Wenger departed – is set to return to his old stomping ground after serving a three-and-a-half year apprenticeship at Manchester City. Now he must step out from Pep Guardiola’s enormous shadow.The task awaiting Arteta is no less gargantuan, with the Gunners having won just once in their last 14 matches in all competitions – and even that was only secured thanks to nine frantic minutes against West Ham that belied the lethargic and lacklustre play that had preceded it. On and off the pitch, Arteta has a plethora of issues to address but, in the middle of the packed Christmas fixture list, very little time to deal with them.AdvertisementAdvertisementWith just a few days until the Gunners take on Everton – another of Arteta’s old teams, just to add to the narrative – the Spaniard is facing a real baptism of fire at his new club…His coaching team What Arteta must do, immediately, is settle on an XI. Right now the players feel muddled and confused, a group of individuals rather than a team. Down the road at Tottenham, Mourinho named the side’s first unchanged team since March 2017 when they visited Molineux and secured a massive victory. Familiarity, structure, clarity, it is all hugely important. And it’s all been missing at the Emirates.The fans need it too, a sign that somebody knows what they’re doing; somebody has a plan. A former club captain, a player who understands the DNA created under Wenger as well what is required to win back-to-back Premier League titles. Get the fans up off their seats, thrill them with ferocious defending as well as incisive attacking, and get the Emirates rocking again. Over to you, Mikel.Will Mikel Arteta be a success at Arsenal?No0%Yes0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Mikel Arteta gets front row seat to the Arsenal horror show awaiting himAdvertisementMORE: Pep Guardiola opens the door to Mikel Arteta taking Arsenal job after Manchester City victoryMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Arsenal’s current setup is light on coaches and short on experience (Picture: Getty)‘If you look at the person who was here before, he had a lot of staff and maybe I don’t have so many. So if you keep on going like that for months and months, it’s not so easy,’ explained the Swede. ‘I have Per but at the same time he is academy manager but he is helping me with coaching.’Arteta will not be taking any of City’s staff with him – not with the champions having been so angered by the way Arsenal moved for their assistant – while so many of the experienced heads left behind by Wenger, such as Steve Bould and Jens Lehmann, have been culled. Getting his backroom team just right, finding the ideal blend of expertise and stylistic fit, will be one of his key first decisions. Most managers experience an element of trial and error when cultivating the necessary trust and harmony from an inner circle, but Arteta will have to hope he and his staff click from the off.The defence Arsenal fans have voiced their displeasure with both the team and the board (Picture: Getty)Even after almost a year-and-a-half in the job, Unai Emery had little concept on what his best XI actually looked like and interim boss Ljungberg has fared little better in his five games in charge. Striking the right balance in the team eluded both men, even after the latter had restored the exiled Mesut Ozil and reinstated Lucas Torreira to his natural position as a holding midfielder.Arsenal’s youngsters, meanwhile, have shown the most promise – rare bright sparks in otherwise dreary matches – and Gabriel Martinelli’s performances against West Ham and Manchester City validated Ljungberg’s decision to start him. Equally, it feels hard to justify leaving £48m man Alexandre Lacazette on the bench in both games, even if the Swede feels the side are more solid with only one of their star strikers on the pitch. Arsenal have been giving up more goals and shots than in Wenger’s final season (Picture: AP)In most mid-season rescue jobs, the manager parachuted in has a very specific profile, and very specific formula, for arresting the slide: think Roy Hodgson or Sam Allardyce spending hours on the training pitch repeatedly drilling the defence, working on tightening the space between the back-line and midfield. But Arsenal’s position is rather more curious than what we’ve seen before.AdvertisementAdvertisementDespite the state of chaos that envelops the club, and a run of form that has had some fans even fearing relegation, they are actually only seven points adrift of the top four. This season is no write-off; they have an abundance of firepower up top, but just lack a solid, dependable platform. Two clean sheets in 17 Premier League matches is the joint-worst in the division, though even that miserable record owes overwhelmingly to the reflexes of one of the league’s best goalkeepers. Strange, then, that Arsenal’s hierarchy have plumped for a project manager noted for his attacking coaching.Most shots conceded per Premier League match 2019/201. Aston Villa18.402. Norwich16.603. Arsenal16.404. Bournemouth15.40 Share Commentcenter_img Ljungberg on Aubameyang and Lacazette ‘We looked vulnerable defensively. But of course, they are both great players, that’s why I wanted them both on the pitch, but we became very vulnerable defensively. So we took the route against West Ham where we changed it and played one of them and then had more defensive organisation.’ There’s a stark contrast between City’s defence with and without £57m Aymeric Laporte (Getty)Any scenario that has David Luiz high up the pitch or exposes Sokratis to a foot race is something that should be avoided and this Arsenal back-line – as well as the passive midfielders meant to shield them – feels entirely unsuited to playing the way City do and the way Arteta wants to.City themselves have often had a vulnerable, makeshift backline and protect it by making tactical fouls early in transition and high up the pitch. Ljungberg noted it after Sunday’s game, admitting Arsenal needed to be more ‘cynical’ and street-wise like their opponents. For Arteta, striking the right balance between his own attacking principles and the limitations of Arsenal’s defence will be paramount, as well as introducing some more ugly elements to the beautiful football he advocates.AdvertisementUnite the team… and the fans The three main priorities on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal to-do list Advertisement Advertisement Arteta was praised for the one-to-one work he did to help Raheem Sterling (Picture: GettyIt is very rare for a new manager to be given a job as difficult and tumultuous as the one that awaits Arteta at Arsenal. Usually a new project begins in the summer, with months to adapt to the new job, build a coaching staff and install a philosophy during the off-season. In the other half of north London, Jose Mourinho spent his time out of the game adapting and learning, poaching two coaches from Lille to join an already well established backroom team.ADVERTISEMENTBut time – the one thing Arteta will need most – is precisely what he is lacking. The most pressing concern he will have, and which will be preoccupying him right now, is the coaching staff he assembles. Freddie Ljungberg has been forced to work with a skeleton staff since Unai Emery’s departure, leaning on Per Mertesacker and even talking through ideas with technical director Edu.last_img read more

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Steelers in race but win against suprising Browns a must

first_imgLE’VEON BELLThe Steelers struggled to get past the winless 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars, 17-9 and now must face another poor quality team in the Cleveland Brown, 2-2, this weekend.The Steelers have played down to their competition all season, as they did with a last minute victory over the Browns in the first game of the season. The Steelers played a great first half but totally fell apart in the second half. It took a last second field goal to win the game. But that’s the kind of ball Cleveland has been playing.Led by Brian Hoyer at quarterback, this team is extremely young and unpredictable, which means nobody knows who will show up this weekend.Hoyer who was 21 of 37 for 292 and 3 touchdown passes has weapons around him but no one has consistently stepped up so far in this young season. His top receiver is Taylor Gabriel who had 4 catches for 95 yards in their 29-28 come from behind victory over the Tennessee Titans. Terrance West, 7 catches for 31 yards and Miles Austin 2 catches for 54 yards are improving as receivers. Ben Tate had an outstanding day on the ground with 123 yards on 22 carries.If the Browns can pull off the upset they could challenge for the division title with games against three very poor teams following the Steelers. They play the winless Jacksonville Jags, the winless Oakland Raiders, and the slow rising Tampa Bay Bucs. They could very easily be 6-2 before facing any real competition.The Steelers had better beat the Browns because they have the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and the Baltimore Ravens, all playoff contenders which means they could be looking at a 3-6 record if they don’t improve their play.Now 3-2,the Steelers defense looked good against the lowly Jags, but the offense looked terrible. But that was partly because Jacksonville has a good defense and a weak offense.Ben Roethlisberger was 26 of 36 for 273 yards and one touchdown. Antonio Brown only had 5 catches for 84 yards and Heath Miller had three for 46 yards. Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount looked good the few times they had the ball.  Bell had 84 yards on 15 carries, and Blount had 29 yards on just 8 carries.If the Steelers are going to compete in the AFC North against the Cincinnati Bengals 3-1 and the Baltimore Ravens 3-2, they have to pull out the victory this weekend against the Browns.The Bengals lost to the New England Patriots 43-17 and the Ravens three game winning streak was ended by the Indianapolis Colts, 20-13, keeping the Steelers very much in the race.Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hllast_img read more

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“Being Mortal” Explores End-of-Life Care at Free Screening

first_imgFacebook329Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Providence Health and ServicesProvidence and Senior Services for South Sound are proud to present a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on July 12 at Olympia Senior Center (222 Columbia St. NW) and July 26 at Lacey Senior Center (6757 Pacific Ave. SW). The time on both dates is 1:00-3:00 pm.After the screening, audience members can participate in discussion and a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.The Olympia Center is located in downtown Olympia on Columbia Street.“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest. The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions.Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.In February 2015, “Being Mortal” aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline.” Click here for more information about the film. The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name. More information about the book found here.The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.For more information about the free screening, contact Providence Advanced Care Planning Program Manager Sandy Adams at 360-493-5377 or [email protected]last_img read more

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