Stay in your lane! Arsenal crushes Spurs in pulsating North London Derby

arsenal flag

Arsenal were everything ….

Positives, Needs and Hopes

Energy gives attitude
Attitude gives belief
Belief gives confidence
Confidence gives hope
Somebody asked me last week what the major change has been this season.
I said, ‘hope.’
If we are losing I have hope that we will turn it around.
If we lose I still have hope that it will get fixed.
If a player is under performing I have hope that my coach will not be afraid of confrontation and do something about it.
Some folks say that this year’s Arsenal doesn’t look a whole lot different.
Sometimes I see their point.
My point is that Arsenal’s biggest improvement has not been in how they look but in the way they make me feel.
In the four parts of the game; technical, tactical, physical and mental there have been obvious improvements in the 2nd and 3rd ones.
There has however, been a vast change in the mentality which is the most important because it has such a dramatic effect on the others.
Arsenal were everything today.
Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

POSITIVES
* The intense and fast start.
The difference in the start vs Liverpool and Spurs and the others makes me think that it’s a deliberate Emery strategy to conserve energy and only play with ‘90 min intensity’ in big games.
* Being intense is fine but you have to match that with anticipation to make it worthwhile.
Throughout we anticipated and gave Spurs little time especially in central areas. Torreira, Sokratis and Mustafi led in this.
* I loved Kolasinac’s fire 🔥
I like that he seemed to understand the occasion and was more intense and focused.
* We won significantly more duels.
Read that again ⬆️
Never happened in big games in the past (very long time).
* The fight.
Again, we had become a soft touch in previous seasons. Wouldn’t stick up for each other. That confrontation mattered.
Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

* First time I’ve seen Auba give his best physical effort.
His second goal oozed confidence too. He played with the same fire as Kola.
* Nice to see the insistence of playing through a compact defensive unit has left.
We used the big switch to Bellerin to alleviate the compact block.
* Another clear change is the shoot on sight rather than infuriating over passing. See both Auba and Laca goals.
Not convinced by Holding shooting from 38 yards though 🤣
* Lucas Torreira’s goal is already one of my favorite all time Arsenal memories.
* Pre-season I wrote about Kolasinac’s ability to pick out a player from the wing. I also mentioned and we saw today how quick Sokratis is.
So important when the other CB’s are not.
* I describe Mustafi as a ‘wreckless warrior.’
Today he was just ‘warrior.’
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

* Bold and early substitutions winning games. Heard that before.
* The Ozil situation.
I have a theory.
I think there are two big issues….
Firstly, he only gives us his best performance once a month.
Secondly, it’s hard for Emery to instill a change in team work ethic if your ‘star player’ who is on almost double the next guys salary won’t conform.
I have a friend that I coached as a kid who is now a professional here in the US.
His team signed an MLS player midway through this season. The player wouldn’t dress in club clothing, showed up late, questioned the coach publicly etc…
My friend told me that it changed the entire team dynamic as respect changed.
So….. considering we don’t yet have the amount of cash we’d like, I think the decision makers have decided that there is more negative than positive with MO.
I also think that they have targeted players that they don’t have the money to buy so they have decided to be ruthless and sit Ozil so that he will push for a January move.
torriera
NEEDS:
* Will lack of quickness and pace hold Rob Holding back from being a long term first choice?
He’s got most everything else.
* I’d far rather sit 5 yards deeper at free kicks and attack them than give the GK the room to come out.
The quality of the players delivery is creating repeated free headers 8 yards out.
* Whatever work is being done on corners needs to be relooked at. It’s not working right now.
* Iwobi and Mkhi should have been more intelligent first half. There was no room between the lines yet a need for hugging the touch line.
* Torreira is so good at passing between the lines. Needs to turn his hips more/get communication from his defenders so that he can utilize this skill.
* Auba needs to hold/bend his runs. His quickness got him offside many times.
* Hector Bellerin was marking Dier or Kane on set plays 😳😬😳
* Players should perhaps rip their shirt/beat their chest or something other than getting an automatic yellow in an aggressive NLD!
Actually, I don’t care.
It was beautiful.
torreira 2
HOPES:
* First half I was (again) crying out for ‘individual brilliance.’
Iwobi is growing in this but not a natural.
Hoping that this is in the works for January.
* Nobody is talking about this. Just me 😊
I wonder if our left back need could  be solved by an outrageous bid for one of the best two left backs in the world…. David Alaba and Marcelo?
Crazy? Maybe.
We did however sign the #1 assist guy in the world years back so why not try?
Alaba is an Arsenal fan. Bayern are struggling.
Marcelo has been at RM for a long time. Perhaps he fancies the PL? Arsenal are on the rise.
Mendy shows that a top left back can provide so many opportunities and we all see that full
backs are wingers too so I say it’s worth going big.
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Final thought….
I feel like I now support a team who could be winners.
Follow
@mike_mmcdonald and @GunnersTown

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