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Arsenal receive two pieces of advice from former Manchester City star

Former Manchester City star has given Mikel Arteta a hint on what Arsenal should do to be able to compete with Manchester City

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
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Former Manchester City defender Micah Richard has highlighted two areas Arsenal need to improve in their quest to overcome the Premier League setbacks.

According to Richards, the improvement hinges on improving fitness levels and securing a left-back for his team which he said is the next evolution of the team and why Manchester City has been able to handle the hectic fixture schedule.

Arsenal are in the title race for the second consecutive year, and concerns about their form persist following last weekend’s defeat to Aston Villa. The Gunners’ aspirations took a hit with a 2-0 loss against Unai Emery’s side at the Emirates Stadium, placing them behind Manchester City in the title race. 

Richards, analysing Arsenal’s struggles, highlighted issues with managing a congested fixture list and the need for reinforcement in the left-back position.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta hints on Arsenal summer transfer plans amid striker links

In a discussion with Gary Lineker on the Rest is Football podcast, Richards dismissed comparisons to Arsenal’s previous season collapse, attributing recent difficulties to fixture congestion. He emphasised the importance of adapting to a demanding schedule, drawing parallels with Manchester City’s ability to cope with such challenges.

“If you look at the games where Arsenal have struggled, if you look at the fixtures, it’s when they’ve had three games a week really. I think that’s the next step for them. Man City can deal with the three games a week, that’s the next step for Arsenal now.”

Richards pointed out Arsenal’s instability in the left-back role, citing inconsistencies with various players deployed in the position. Despite possessing talented defenders like Gabriel, Saliba, and Ben White, Arsenal has lacked continuity in performance at left-back, hindering their consistency in the league.

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“I think at left-back, I wouldn’t say they’ve struggled, but it’s been a weaker point with Zinchenko at times, they brought in Tomiyasu who’s not been the same, they’ve had Kiwior and played him at left-back position.

“They’ve not had a constant. You know Gabriel, you know Saliba, you know Ben White. Timber gets injured at the start of the season.

“They’re all very good players at that position, but they’ve not been performing at that constant level. I don’t think it’s one of those things, they’ve done well with a young squad but now they need to not let the wheels fall off.”

The Gunners’ recent form reflects their struggle, with just two wins in their last six games across all competitions. Following their defeat to Villa, Arsenal suffered a disappointing Champions League exit, compounding their challenges as they focus solely on the Premier League title race.

Arteta’s side faces Wolverhampton Wanderers next, aiming to bounce back from recent setbacks and potentially reclaim the top spot in the league table. With rivals Manchester City preoccupied with the FA Cup semi-finals against Chelsea, Arsenal sees an opportunity to capitalise on the weekend’s fixtures.

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