It’s been a rotten season so far for the Reds, who finally notched their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Perth last week.
Almost the entire squad remained in Adelaide over the winter, but new coach Guillermo Amor has struggled to recapture the winning formula that catapulted them to third spot at the end of last season.
And Arnold believes it’s a direct result of the change in the clipboard holder.
“If you look at their starting line-up last week, it was exactly the same starting line-up that Josep Gombau had,” Arnold said ahead of Friday night’s clash in Adelaide.
“It’s hard to judge and hard to speak from here (but), watching them play, there is definitely a difference.”
Arnold said the likes of Tarek Elrich, Craig Goodwin and Osama Malik had all improved under Gombau’s watch and may have had to adjust to the new coach.
“People underestimate the loss of Josep. Josep was a great mentor for those players. He managed to get the best out of each individual,” he said.
“Those type of boys that had left other clubs not probably at their best – Tarek went from that to national team – you’ve got to credit Josep with that.
“Whether they have the same relationship with Amor is something that I can’t tell you. It’s something that the players would have to say.”
But despite Amor’s lack of success through the first nine rounds, Arnold said the Reds were beginning to adapt to life under the Barcelona legend.
“He’s getting his stamp of approval of what he wants with that team and he’s obviously had to make some hard decisions over the hard nine rounds by leaving Carrusca out,” he said.
“But they’re still a very dangerous team and we have to be at our best (Friday) night.”
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