‘The Absent Solution’
POSITIVES, NEEDS and HOPES
I made a prediction back in December that we would fall short this season.
I’m not in the slightest bit interested in being right.
My thought was based on one big missing link.
Arsenal lack ‘individual brilliance’ on the dribble.
We are very capable of collective brilliance (last week) and our use of our attacking midfielders rather than true wingers has gotten us into a favorable position.
As good as the attacking midfielders have been on occasion I just feel we left ourselves without the option of ‘individual dribbling brilliance.’
Iwobi has improved but for me he is not a natural winger.
We’ve been a 50-50 team this year.
Half the time we’ve been very good, half the time we’ve been very poor.
Our new found spirit and fight has often brought us through games where we’ve been poor.
If you go back and watch the games where three points have eluded us you will see many individual performances lacking and the collective crying out for an individual to take over and provide the spark.
Yesterday was another example of this.
Everton crowded us in packs. They allowed us the wings but we didn’t use them and it was most certainly clear that the collective game lacked any form of rhythm and individual performances were all way below par.
Imagine if we’d have had one or two of Nicholas Pepe, Stephen Bergwijn, Samuel Chukwueze, Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Wilf Zaha, Callum Hudson-Odoi. Alternatively, we could have trusted Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka or Xavier Amaechi as an option on the bench.
When Arsenal have been flat we needed sparkle.
The absent solution.
* It was nice to see us recognizing Lacazette’s runs behind. Just didn’t quite connect.
* To his credit, Mustafi’s passing was much improved and he provided two of the balls mentioned above.
* Leno again stepped up and did his part and Sokratis was a warrior.
* That Emery was as bold as ever and didn’t wait to change his team or formation. It gave us better attacking opportunities that they players weren’t able to execute.
* I’m still not understanding the benefit of our short corner
* Wondering what happened to the one touch. It was so good last week and absent when it was needed to get out of the press.
* You can’t lack energy, creativity and confidence and get completely outmuscled all in the same game.
* Aggressive games bring out ‘rash Mustafi’ as he tries to equalize the aggression with risk taking horizontal defending.
* First half Ozil came back into midfield to try to dictate play but Mkhi stayed on the left so there was no connection between the lines.
* That people recognize that Denis Suarez hasn’t been a failure.
He has played a total of two games, has no rhythm and his arrival coincided with the return to form of Ozil, Mkhi and Ramsey.
* Hoping that Koscielny is available against Watford and CP as Sokratis is suspended.
* If we do purchase a left back this summer we need speed and quickness. Everton went to that side all day as Richarlison was quicker than Kolasinac and Monreal.
* We are showing interest in Bruno Guimaraes from Athletico Paranaense in Brazil.
Some say he is a defensive midfielder, some a box to box midfielder.
I’d say only YouTube and our South American friends on Twitter can help us understand if he is good enough.
As the players come out at Goodison they play some rinky dinky ToonTown song (not as bad as the one at Chelsea but…) followed by a war siren then back to the ToonTown tune.
Arsenal played like they were intimidated by the siren and distracted by the hilarity of professional athletes coming out to a song from a 70’s birthday party for a 5 year old.
Maybe Unai Emery should give them some ear buds with the Rocky theme blaring as they come out for the remaining games?