Mikel Arteta On The Spotlight Ahead Of Arsenal’s Visit To Portsmouth

Mikel Arteta will be a man in the spotlight when Arsenal visits Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday night. The Arsenal manager has come under criticism from a section of the fanbase after his side blew an away lead to get knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiacos.

Arteta has made massive changes since he was appointed as the man to replace Unai emery in December last year but was overshadowed by an unexpected loss at home to the Greek side.

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One of the main problems that Arteta has been unable to fix is the team’s vulnerability during set-pieces. Arsenal has conceded three goals from set-pieces in the space of a week.

It why it will be interesting to see how the Gunners line up against Portsmouth especially with the news that the January transfer loan signing Pablo Mari is fir to start. The center back is exactly the type of player that Arsenal needs in their defense, tall and composed on the ball.

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With Arsenal already out of the running for the League, the FA cup presents Mikel Arteta with his only chance of silverware this season. He will, however, have to do it the hard way as almost all the top teams are still in the competition.

Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool will all be in the fifth round and there is a very high chance that Arsenal could draw any of them should they advance to the quarter-finals.

Arsenal needs something to hang on to this season and the FA cup is basically the only silver lining to what has been a stormy season.

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