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Watford 0-1 Arsenal: 3 points without pressing, impressing or showing any cojones – we’ll take that! [Positive Needs & Hopes]

deeney torreira elbow

‘4 points, 2 points or none’

POSITIVES, NEEDS and HOPES

I have no interest in working at FIFA.
Well, I might take a medium sized bung then take a sabbatical to Montego Bay for 30 years!
I also don’t think that they should change the 3 points for a win system. It’s fine.
When I watch Arsenal this season I feel like they rarely ‘deserve’ 3 points when they win.
There have been some games including our previous game vs Napoli at home, where we played a top team, created so many chances, nullified their best players, played with such intensity and purpose and were so good that if more points could be given for winning a football match we would have got four.
Equally there have been many games this season where we have won and have been very fortunate to do so as our performance was unconvincing and frankly, quite scary.
This would be last night.
Thankfully they don’t take a point away for winning in a fortunate manner. If they did, Arsenal would have got two points against Watford.
As with all teams there are games that you lose (like Everton away) and thoroughly deserve your zero points.
As crazy as all this madness sounds my point is that Arsenal have rarely won a game where they weren’t very impressive or a little fortunate as they underperformed.
The clue to which performance we are going to get is the intensity of the collective press.
So, you can tell within two minutes.
I have often wondered whether Unai Emery intentionally tells them to play without this press, step off and conserve energy for key parts of the game whilst in his mind, saving energy for the bigger games.
I think he does. The difference in intensity is too stark for him not to.
The good news is that we have proved this season that we can hang with the best.
 I believe that if Emery figures out how he can play with this intensity each game or at least for longer parts of each game whilst adding some key signings, then Arsenal Football Club will challenge for the Premier League.

leno crossbar

POSITIVES:

* Bernd Leno won us the game. Lightning reflexes. Man in form.
When Joachim Low finds his guts and drops Neuer he will have a tough choice between Ter Stegen and Leno.
* Kudos to Mustafi who showed us his focused non kamikaze side.
* As much as we want a top class centre back at Arsenal, it’s hard to beat Koscielny and Sokratis.
Understanding that Koscielny looks like he is being managed and that Emery has frequently used a back 3, there is a clear need for another top defender.
It is interesting however to remember that we have a back five at the club that have individually had very good seasons…. Bellerin, Holding, Sokratis, Koscielny and Kolasinac.
Would have been nice if they’d played together as I believe they have not had even one opportunity.
* Interesting to hear Sokratis say that Mavropanos has a higher ceiling than him. Sokratis doesn’t seem to have the personality for unnecessarily dramatic statements so I’m (yet again) excited to see more of Mavropanos. It was bold of Emery to start him but Emery has been bold all season so…
* To wrap up the Iwobi debate… I’ve read many contrary views on his performance.
I think he is good, not great.
I think in time there is a chance that he may be what we are looking for.
I think that ideally his skill set would be suited to playing as a line breaking central midfielder in a three man midfield.
I think that his lack of composure in the final third will always leave him short of being a top level attacking mid/winger.
alex-iwobi
* Will AMN compete with Bellerin next year? Looks like it.
I’d prefer (if we have extra money) to sign Wan Bissaka and use AMN as a centre midfielder.
I think Wan Bissaka is another level and will end up at City taking Kyle Walkers position.
“Whenever I play Arsenal, I’ll go up and think, ‘let me whack the first one and see who wants it”
~ Troy Deeney, October 2017
Maybe you should do this,Troy?
Maybe you should also not tell the whole world before you do it though?
I’d imagine referees read the papers.

NEEDS:

* I’m yet again frustrated by comments about Auba’s lightning pace. Last night it was Leno telling Foster how ‘rapid’ he is.
I just get the feeling that Auba will come and go at Arsenal and we will not fulfill his potential as we don’t utilize his pace.
Ask yourself this…. when was the last time you went away from a game marveling at his speed?
Me neither.
* Hoping that Xhaka’s performance was sketchy as he lacked sharpness.
* Auba needs a fantastic performance as well as a winning goal OR maybe he just needs to keep scoring and not worry about it 🤷‍♂️?
* More away clean sheets please!
aubameyang foster

HOPES:

* Again, I plead (like Emery is reading this 😳) to play the same team that played Napoli at home but more importantly to play with the same intensity. The ‘four point’ Arsenal.
* I’m hoping that the players lacklustre performance wasn’t because they sensed that their coach was prioritizing the game on Thursday. This is what I sensed.
* This is nothing to do with the current but I’m most convinvced that Krystian Bielik will have a future at Arsenal.
I’ll stick my neck out and say that of all the loanees and current crop of Academy stars that Bielik and Amaechi will make a significant contribution for Arsenal’s first team in the coming years.

FINAL THOUGHT:

* The goal was a product of opportunism as well as a little luck. The sending off was a tad lucky too as even though I thought it was red, I doubt most officials give that.
I don’t think we’ve had much ‘luck’ this year.
Will need a little in Naples I think.
Thanks to all those that have followed me recently 👍🏻
@mike_mmcdonald
@GunnersTown

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One Response to Watford 0-1 Arsenal: 3 points without pressing, impressing or showing any cojones – we’ll take that! [Positive Needs & Hopes]

  1. lari03 April 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks for the review, Mike.

    If you get to see the picture used on arseblog today, there was a mix of fear and anxiety on Xhaka and Mhkitaryan’s faces. I may be wrong, but the knowledge of our away form and the personnel cock-ups, led to insipid performances as we saw yesterday.

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