Arsenal’s lacklustre draw with Wolves shows how great Emery’s task is

 

arsenal remembers

Arsenal entered the international break having snatched a late 1-1 draw against a dogged and determined Wolves side who had a claim for all three points in north London. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s late cross-shot cancelled out Ivan Cavaleiro’s first-half opener at Emirates Stadium.

It’s now 3 games without a victory for Arsenal, who’d won 7 league games in a row prior to playing Crystal Palace on 28 October meaning the Gunners haven’t tasted league victory since beating Leicester. And it wasn’t pretty viewing, a Wolves side who had 3 successive defeats in Spurs, Brighton and Watford before this, were well-drilled and took a deserved lead on 13 minutes when Ivan Cavaleiro’s finish had Wolves fans dreaming of a win on Arsenal soil for the first time in the Premier League era.

Arsenal barely created a chance in the first half, except Wolves’ rigid defence and midfield stifled the Gunners and Emery substituted Guendouzi on for Iwobi at the interval in a bid to provide a higher creative threat and it didn’t really make a difference, with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Özil all well off the pace, Bellerin’s cross was hit wide from point blank range by Aubameyang in the biggest chance of the game for Arsenal. But then Özil, who had no influence on the game, was substituted for Mkhitaryan – whose cross-shot evaded everyone and found the corner of Rui Patricio’s goal with 4 minutes remaining, but this game shows how much Arsenal have to improve under Emery.

I’m going to pick 3 players who I was raging with during the game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette and Mesut Özil, all three who’ve been on and off the boil this season who were outstandingly poor on Sunday. Aubameyang, who’d recently won Player of the Month, was largely an isolated figure and if I’m honest I haven’t been totally pleased with him this season, yes he’s playing wide but missed a gilt-edged chance when he hit the post with the goal gaping from 3 yards out, which summed up his night. He keeps having games where he isn’t in them and I have a different feel to when he was scoring nearly every game towards the end of last season whereas now, despite being on 7 league goals, he doesn’t seem to get involved in the games and we really need to work out how we can get the best out of him.

 

Lacazette and Aubameyang

Alex Lacazette, now a player who didn’t play on Thursday night and hasn’t been picked for France this season, has absolutely no excuse for his 1 in 5 9/10 performances recently, yes he scored against Liverpool but he was poor against Palace, missed a few chances against Leicester and today he just couldn’t get into the game. Now I really like Lacazette and think he’s been one of our best players this season it’s just recently I think he’s tailed off and I think the big task for Unai Emery is getting the best out him and Aubameyang in the same side.

 

Last but certainly not least, Mesut Özil. Now Özil has arguably played well once this season, Leicester at home when he grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to turn things around. It’s so frustrating that he is so inconsistent, it’s really starting to annoy me, how can you not get your best player to play a little bit more consistently? Anyone who knows me will know how much I love Mesut Özil and he’s been my favourite player since he joined but it’s sometimes really hard to back him up when he just doesn’t get involved in the game, it’s hard to see because we all know the incredible quality he has. I just think at the moment, tactically we aren’t really getting the best out him, we need him in the half spaces and in the pockets trying to find the gaps, but instead he often drops deep to get the ball and isn’t really influencing the game, again, this is another indicator that Emery has so much work to do.

In summary, Unai Emery has done well so far but this game was a reality check that there are still many problems in the Arsenal team and some of the players need to wake up. Wolves are a good side but Arsenal were just so lacklustre and lazy with the ball and didn’t try to break Wolves down enough. It’s now 1 win in 4 league games and next Bournemouth who’ve had a great season host the Gunners which is another big test.

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7 Responses to Arsenal’s lacklustre draw with Wolves shows how great Emery’s task is

  1. Iain Adams November 13, 2018 at 8:43 am #

    whinge whinge whinge. Come on really?

    Arsenal are still unbeaten thus far. This squad isnt good enough and Emery hasnt had a couple of seasons to sort that out so why incessantly carp on. Your life is gonna be pretty damn frustrating for the next two years if the current run of form perplexes you.

    Relax and get behind the team..oh and Ozil will ALWAYS be Ozil and drift in and out, one of the worlds best strikers will not look that good on the wing and the other needs service- which has been scant of late.

    This is typical Arsenal at the mo- had you considered Wolves are a good side, who also held Manchesters City and United to a draw recently!

    • Alex Burns November 13, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

      We were dreadful and it’s not the fact we drew it was the performance and the performances of our 3 most influential players going forward.

  2. chris November 13, 2018 at 10:34 am #

    Emery inherited an unbalanced Wenger squad. We took Mhkit rather than let Sanchez go for nothing. He is very ordinary and wildly overpaid. Anyway Ozil and Mhkitaryan are too similar – allegedly play makers … who do not challenge for the ball. We should only use one at a time.
    Laca and Aubang are also too similar – only really good (sometimes) inside the penalty area. No great possession skills, not good link players. Again, we should only use one – not both.
    Emery started by filling the glaring gaps – in defence and dmf. And we are now harder to beat. But Wenger’s squad was full of passing players who do not offer great threat on goal. Meanwhile we have no dangerous wide players at all !

    • Alex Burns November 13, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

      I agree our squad isn’t perfect. I also agree we need transfer windows which I will write about in the future, but Laca and Auba are very different, Auba is a more in behind forward and Laca is better back to goal with his link up, as Auba is so ineffective when out wide trying to break teams down.

  3. Nigel Benson November 13, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    I just know I’m gonna sound like a grumpy old bastard, but I question the mentality of many modern day players. Too much money and too many distractions. A player like Ozil should be tearing up the league. Instead, he’s in a comfort zone. He knows he doesn’t have to give 100% and he’s still good enough. Besides, as his agent constantly reminds him, he’s got to protect the commodity he’s become. As a fanatical Gooner since 1977, I find all this hard to accept. I want to see our players fight with everything they have for the cannon badge. I’ve known many barren years, trophy-wise, and I’m old and wise enough to know that you can’t demand success. But, we are The Arsenal and we do demand fight, passion and effort.

    • Alex Burns November 13, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

      It’s a good point and one that pissed me off actually that Özil gives a good performance once in 5 as I have stated and Auba has not been effective when he starts games compared to when he comes off the bench, which is annoying but given the state of our squad we need to give Emery 2/3 windows.

  4. DEW November 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

    I think it is also good to realise how difficult the Liverpool game was. People understood that there was hangover issue when Liverpool got defeated mid week in champions league. Today’s PL is much tougher than the one 5 years before. The physical demand and the committemt levels are so high that it is theoretically almost impossible for players to produce same level of performance week in week out. You might disagree or argue with it, but I believe the fierce competition in the league results tremendous fatigue on players which in turn hampers individual performance and team results.

    As for the Wolves game, it was indeed a mixed chance to narrow the gap with the top four and to keep the momentum going. Ozil and Xhaka are kind of players whose performance also depends with the performance of there surrounding players, because they are mainly made for passing. Lacazette doesn’t really need feedding, most of his goals are wonder goals, and he doesn’t have to score in every match. Auba yes the team hasn’t yet exploited his potetial in full. Yes there is still more work to do to get the maximum from these top players, but it is also important to realise how demanding each PL match is for any player on the planet.

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