Arteta start ends in disappointment

Arsenal fans had been looking forward to Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge as their side went to struggling Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

The Gunners had won just one of their 10 Premier League games under Unai Emery and then the interim spell of Freddie Ljungberg.

That run has extended to 11 games now as Arsenal were held 1-1 at Bournemouth today. The visitors had to come from a goal down when Dan Gosling fired the Cherries into a 35th minute lead with their first shot on target.

Eddie Howe’s side had been depleted at the back through injury, which saw Jack Stacey making only his eight Premier League start at right-back, Chris Mepham his eighth at centre-back, and Jack Simpson his first at left-back.

The performance was at least encouraging for Arsenal fans as they pressed the home side from the get go. Mesut Ozil also put in his best performance of the season. Though seeing Granit Xhaka in the starting lineup wouldn’t have impressed fans. There’s only so much the new manager can do with the defence too, before January’s transfer window.

Arsenal are next in action on Sunday when they host London rivals Chelsea, who were beaten 2-0 at home by Southampton today.