Positives, Needs and Hopes
Well, those were 4 ridiculous goals!
If you’d see the goals only, you wouldn’t think you were watching elite players.
The game itself was a true test as Utd (as ever) gave at least 100% effort even if they are a team with no offensive plan.
Halfway through the second half something else dawned on me.
Emery is trying to (and succeeding in) changing the mentality.
He wasn’t satisfied with 2-2. That was absolutely clear. Why would you take the risk of potentially leaving your side down a man or two through injury if you were happy with 2-2?
He left the back door somewhat open in order to push for the winner.
Utd are very susceptible and we are fitter and he sensed that.
We gave Emery credit on Sunday for making the difference. We forget to do the same when he makes a similar difference but bad luck or an easy chance is not taken.
Coaches are not responsible for everything. Auba should have scored and Mkhi could have.
If we win then he gets more plaudits.
I think Emery, yet again, has given Arsenal the best chance to win.
After the game the camera panned to Mustafi. He looked gutted. The result is not too bad though?
Shows how far Arsenal have come since May 👍🏻
* Even though Kolasinac was responsible for the equalizer, it’s important to recognize that in 1 month he has gone from ‘sell him, he’s useless’ to being our main assist threat.
The timing of his runs are great, his fitness to do it for 90 full minutes is remarkable. The tank never slowed down.
With better movement from those in the box and more options in the box he would have been responsible for winning the game.
Much like Emery (see above) I think Kola did all he could offensively. Others needed to do better. Read on…
* Hoping Ramsey and Holding are ok.
Just like we have seen many times, Ramsey finds some form then gets hurt.
Holding is getting better and better.
Perhaps this is Koscielny’s opportunity or perhaps Monreal.
Great timing that they are returning or our back three option disappears.
* I called Mustafi a ‘reckless warrior’ in my last blog.
I didn’t see any reckless today or on Sunday. Just warrior.
More quality coaching at Arsenal changing players fortunes from Iwobi to Holding to Xhaka to Bellerin and now Mustafi.
* Mkhi was better today. Perhaps this is the benefit of playing a player with a point to prove to his former coach.
* Mustafi is also a warrior in the opposing teams box. This isn’t a new thing. Ever since he came to Arsenal I think he is the most dangerous defender at attacking set plays.
* I’m going to give the coaching staff and players both the credit for something I saw the last twenty minutes.
Think about what Utd always do when they get desperate…. they lose their composure and any small semblance of an attacking game plan and just chuck balls in the box.
I’m thinking that the coaches told our players to not give Fellaini what he wants the last 20 and not foul them in the final third.
I can’t prove it, but four times tonight, including both goals, it looked like a lack of communication led to confusion.
When Emery started I read an interview with a player who stated that Emery’s first task he took on was getting the players to talk on the field.
This is embarrassing that he had to do this but maybe we are still seeing the holes from the past.
* Alex Iwobi is a better horizontal dribbler than vertical. He keeps possession very well with his pillow feet and his strength when dribbling laterally.
He doesn’t look quite as natural dribbling directly at an opponent.
My feelings always reveal my thoughts. When Iwobi is being harried I don’t feel like he will lose it.
When he’s attacking a defender I feel surprised when he goes by him.
* Not wanting to be too critical of Guendouzi as he played quite well and very maturely but sometimes his lack of awareness puts him in an emergency situation. He got out of all of them tonight but something to improve for sure.
As he improves we will see him muscle up so he can win more aerial duels too.
* The first 30 minutes did not see our CB’s stepping to deny their forwards time to turn when they were all floating between the lines.
* Is it laziness, lack of creativity or maybe I’m missing something…., when we attack the top of the box most of the time all the players ahead of the ball are standing in a horizontal line alongside their defence.
I understand that combinations are possible and there is an opportunity for incisive movement from here. It just seems to me that most counter attacks start from a very obvious pass to an attacker who has a defender 3 yards on both sides of him. The defence seems very comfortable with this.
I’d rather have a natural winger hug the sideline, give him the ball and those wanting to be part of the goal scoring opportunity attack the box at different speeds and locations.
* Please understand that my thoughts are based on trying to perfect what impressive work Emery is already doing…..
I say that as we have scored more goals from low crosses this season than probably in the previous three.
I just see a big difference in City’s chances created from the same tactics, to ours.
Their players have better timed runs into the box. Often we get there too early and have to finish from a static position.
The other issue is deception.
City have players who sprint and stop. Normally around the 6-12 yd area or drag defenders out of position to give themselves an extra yard.
Our players run in straight lines and have to finish under pressure or simply don’t get the first look.
Tonight we unfortunately only seemed to have Auba and Bellerin attacking the crosses from Kola. Needed Mkhi, Iwobi and Ramsey as options too. The one time Mkhi offered himself he almost scored.
* Are Arsenal better when we are behind?
It seems to give everybody clarity.
There is only one choice at this point, attack.
* As we improve as a team I think we will see the ball move faster. It’s rare to see 1 touch from Arsenal this season.
I think Wenger’s teams did it more as I believe that they worked on little else compared to Emery’s Arsenal who have clearly been working on all aspects of the game.
* I hope Utd keep Mourinho.
He has been a fading force for a while and many others have overtaken him and figured out his one style of play.
Emery is an example of this type of coach.
He seems to almost have too many formations, strategies and tactical changes.
Ever since he gauged the eyes of Tito Villanova I lost what little respect I had for him. I think he is a despicable human.
His insecurities lead to him constantly trying to make the headlines about himself. He also has a far greater fear of losing than a desire to win which is why Utd made a massive mistake.
Their name used to have an aura which is fading.
Jose has lost this team a while ago. Couldn’t even persuade Lingard to help Dalot who was trying to deal with Kola and never did.
* Check out Morgan Gibbs-White at Wolves. Would look good in red 😉
* If Ramsey leaving in January so we can get £20M out of the deal is important towards our incomings I sure hope he recovers soon.
* The dribbler that Arsenal need would have helped make the difference tonight. Utd worked hard and put man to man pressure on us. To alleviate this we need to dribble past one defender bringing another towards us, opening up an option.
* If rumors of Bailly to AFC are true I was impressed tonight.
* I struggle to think of a game where I watch Fellaini and he doesn’t intentionally smash at least one opponent with his elbow.
Should have been sent off for it tonight.
If it’s possible to get 2 red cards, his cowardly hair pull on Guendouzi was an even easier decision. That level of chicken starts fights.
I am still disappointed.
Thank you Mr Emery for making me feel this way.