Well, that looked like a true team against a new team.
Not an excuse, just facts in action.
* Maitland Niles’s glides in possession and exudes so much confidence on the ball. I hope, as he gets older he keeps this carefree love for the ball and does not over think or get over coached.
Hope he is not injured.
* I know Guendouzi was nervous and made poor decisions especially first half, but I applaud Emery for picking him. If you pull three MOTM performances in pre-season and are not picked for at least the first game, you might lose hope.
Loved even more Mateo’s guts in not hiding. He improved as the game went on.
* Bellerin needed to be better. He was.
* Lichsteiner trusts his left foot. Nice to see that he did not slow game down to cross.
* BIG positive was hearing players communicate. Sounds almost pathetic to applaud something that should be an automatic for any team aged 15+ but I am afraid Emery inherited this sorry state.
* Sokratis made many good and composed decisions.
* Lacazette’s touches under pressure were very good.
* We subbed Ramsay. What does this mean? It is another positive change from Wenger’s fear of confrontation.
Ramsay was ineffective, he should have been subbed.
* Emery adjusted at half time. It’s a good day. I’ll leave it there.
* Cech saved us twice when we were living in a chaotic phase
* Perhaps we haven’t worked on building from the back through the midfield as it either looked like it or City shut it all down.
Alternatively, watch game again…. Xhaka hid.
* Marking on crosses. Second goal, all of them are marking space and playing zonally. Too easy for Bernardo.
* So many first touches and passes were off. I guess that is first game stuff and less focus pre-season on endless passing drills and small sided, neglecting shape and tactics.
* Not sure we have the defenders to play out of the back. Wrong keeper too.
* We started the game ultra compact in not only defence but midfield too. I understand the need to negate Fernandinho but we gave Walker and Mahrez in particular 50 yards of room to advance the ball.
* Next time we play City I am thinking Ramsey and Ozil need to switch roles. Ramsey gives more defensively. Guardiola picked on Ozil.
* Aubameyang falls over the ball a lot and gives it away. Not too worried. He will get his groove.
* Should I complain that we did not create one clear-cut chance vs City?
* closing players down who are shooting
* Interesting and worrying that there was very few times when we tried to play from back to front. We frequently went long which rarely worked and rarely ever does.
I am assuming this was a game tactic rather than a team design.
* As an Englishman, it is obvious last season and today that Sterling plays much better for Pep than England.
* I am not in the ‘I’m not going to blame Wenger for the situation he’s left.’
What I saw today was a team who was thinking instead of playing. All the best sports teams rarely think, they play on instinct. See City.
Wenger did not so much leave a mess; he left a new man with so many parts of the game untouched. Off the ball organization, exposure on counter attacks, lack of communication, lack of accountability, almost zero use of in game management etc….
Any new coach was always going to look at the gaping holes in the huge lack of coaching and hope for time.
Today Arsenal looked like a team who had been working on all of those things above. Not great at any of them yet but having to constantly think. We lacked flow. Do not blame Emery.
Unfortunately, for Arsenal we came up against the world’s best ‘flow’ team.
* I look forward to seeing us press like City. Rather than complain that our midfielders rarely opened their hips and played forward, I am aware that we did not because we thought we were being pressed when we were not. Credit City.
* We didn’t buy a winger. I assumed it was because Emery trusts Nelson.
Reiss wasn’t on the bench. We needed width second half. I hope we learnt our lesson and put him on the bench.
* I know the performance and result was disappointing but the crowd need to learn the importance of encouraging the team. Second half could have been recovered but crowd did not help.
Crowd went flat, team went flat. It was only 0-2.
Crowd went home early too. I had hoped for much better than that.
I truly believe that we will get better and better. City are just 2 years ahead of us