Emery needs to be ruthless with those making ‘Individual Errors’ if Top 3 finish to be a reality


Star on the rise

I am delighted to say that Guendouzi was most people’s man of the match. I have previously cautioned some fans who were trumpeting his skills because he had many faults caused by naivety and lack of experience. I did say though that he was a future star in the making. If he produces this quality of performance regularly, then I would have to say that we have a star already.

Lacazette was very close behind him. I think Wrighty would have been the only player that we have had apart from Laca who could have scored that goal. It was a cocktail of speed, determination, close ball control and sublime skill in a confined space to marvel at. The deadly trio of Auba, Pepe and Laca announced that they are in business and had it not been for Leno`s mistake and Xhaka`s customary brainstorm, we would have won the game hands down. I don`t share Marble Halls (match review) opinion that a draw was a fair result.


Wrightyesque from Laca

We scored two spectacular goals, which were the product of two examples of extreme skill for which they deserved their rewards. Spurs goals were two gifts, which were down to luck for them, and bad play for us.

On top of the fact that we played some smooth and clever football with which Spurs could not contend. Kane became “Dirty Harry” when he resorted to diving because he did, precious little else for his team other than to say, “Thank you very much Mr. Xhaka”. I mentioned last season that he had developed a technique of getting in front of a defender; particularly when jumping for a high ball, and a split second before contact, he backed into him and fell forward pretending he had been pushed. We conceded a lot of fouls like that. I think referees are onto his cheating because it was an instant decision by the ref. to wave play on and ignore Kane`s protest.

What I didn`t understand was if it is accepted that Kane`s Superman Act was not a foul but he tried to get one (his screaming confirmed that) then why was he not booked?


Why no booking?

It pains me to give credit to Spuds players but for several years now, I did envy them for having Harry Kane, but I think that his best days are behind him. He has very heavy legs, which is where he gets his powerful shots from but unfortunately, for him it takes strong muscles to carry those legs. Harry is not getting any younger and his speed has dropped noticeably. The Erikson problem will not go away and Deli Ali is well off form. Sanchez and Sissoko are poor players and Rose is injury prone and a bit of a hothead, so all in all when we have Holding and Tierney available and Chambers is given a chance to cement the performance he provided at Newcastle, I believe that we have a better squad of players than Utd. Chelsea and Spurs so we should be capable of third place this year.

One reservation though, is that Emery needs to improve his selections and his tactics. We need a solution to the mistakes we keep making in defence, but we also need to realise that we have three flair players as good as anyone in our attack and he needs to allow them room to demonstrate what they can do. It would be a mistake to bridle them to suit a more mechanical brand of football.

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4 Responses to Emery needs to be ruthless with those making ‘Individual Errors’ if Top 3 finish to be a reality

  1. DEW September 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm #

    Your title is ruthless but the content is more balanced. I agree with you arsenal has visible strong squad compares to the other three. Kane performance, for me, is always fitness related. He needs break at certain intervals, but because of leadership staff he is dragging his legs every single game till he gets injured then after he got break through injury, his bravery and decline cycle begins. Overall, as you said it, some of their star players are not at their best this season and same is to united and Chelsea. Third place is there for the taking for Arsenal this season.

    Arsenal defense is something to look at. Last season, I had some bad feelings about Sokratis, but he had improved his game in both occasions and now I am guessing the same could happen for Luiz-sokratis combination as they continue to play together. If you ask me, however, I want chances to be given to other defenders as well.

    Guendouzi was one of remarkable players on the pitch. People put their faith in ceballos, but For me it is Guendouzi and Willock that make the midfield much more competitive. Ceballos is technically gifted player, but the intensity of PL games will still be a challenge for him. We will see how he is going to address this issue.

    On Xhaka, I still believe the level of criticism he got for penalty is very unfair. Son got the ball in dangerous position, in a box, with his face to the goal with no arsenal player besides him. Honestly, I was expecting him to shoot, probably second goal. Meanwhile Xhaka throw himself knowing that he is late. Cunning Son take this as a gift, pass the ball in opposite direction, wait little for first touch and flew into the sky, then penalty. He has done the same thing in the second half, he dribble through the diffense with speed in the box parallel to the goal. He was on promising position to attempt on the goal, instead it was clear to me that he went for penalty. Overall, Xhaka’s tackle is not as clumsy as people think. It was indeed a mistake, but much of it is orchestrated by Son and its team which prioritize penalty to descent chance on the goal. Moreover, we have to see his desire to help the team as well.

    I still believe Xhaka is so vital to the team tactically. It is not only his passing range, his distribution skill without losing his defensive position is also unparalleled by his team mates. I am guessing that most of the frustrations against him is not because he is bad player, it is because they see him play regularly than his team mates. I will be happy if others are given chances in his place and see if they are better. Abusing him and comparing him with Mustafi is however very unfair because he is top top class payer who is able to find many suitors for himself.

  2. Victor Thompson September 4, 2019 at 11:07 am #

    Thank you DEW, your comments always merit reply.

    Xhaka was the most carded player in the Bundesliga with Munchengladbach before he came to us. He is probably our most booked player but he has improved from his performance when he first arrived. I don`t condemn him frivolously because as an example in the second half he was in a left midfield ( the old left half ) position at running speed when he got the ball with three Spurs players around him and he instantly swept a pass with one touch right across the field to Maitland Miles and opened uptheir left side.

    Nevertheless, a persistent trait is to get booked and often in the box. Its not quite the same thing but Ozil can make passes of that sort and frankly the assist to Auba that Guendouzi provided was the nearest I have seen to his standard. It is beautiful to watch but Guendouzi has many other skills as well, including non-stop commitment. Nobody would be happy with him being dropped, but lately nobody seems to be bothered that Ozil does not play. It is getting close to that with Xhaka. A talent wasted or frittered away by careless tackles.

  3. DEW September 4, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

    My comments on Xhaka is my overall reflection on what is being said about him from other sources as well. Your article is a balanced one.

    I have no objection on Guendouzi, he has improved a lot this season and he is as good as any one at least. Same is with Willock. I am hoping that Ceballos will also be much better through time from where he is now. Many times players improvement have been a surprise to me.

    Regarding Xhaka what concerns me a lot is the level of criticism he is receiving. One, it is unfair; and the other, some of it is wrong. As you said it above he has improved a lot since his arrival on the fouling aspect of his game. One way or the other, he is expected to make more fouls and do the dirty work of DM. Flamini, Song, Cocoline ets, if you have per minute data they probably be more carded players.

    As much as technicality is loved in PL, tactical players are not. It could be due to the huge emotional investment, or else I don’t know. If we want to win games properly, tactical players like Xhaka are also important. Guendouzi prefers free role and develops his game that way. It is still a challenge for him to play with tactical discipline. It won’t help his development as well.

    The problem with Xhaka comes from the team’s incapability on imposing its plans as it wanted it, and the vulnerability of the defense. He carried all this with his shoulders, while others are doing what ever they want freely. In Tottenham game, believe it or not, he was marked the whole time. If there is better solution to his role, I am as much interested to see that. Meanwhile, don’t put doubt in your head that coach Emery, who seated Ozil and Lacazette, plays Xhaka regularly for no reasons against all pressures.

    Sorry, if my comments bothers you. I am writing this kind of staff all over the places. If you have ideas or counter arguments, please forward them I want learn more.

  4. Victor Thompson September 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm #

    Hello Dew,

    I cant add anything to my previous comments but I welcome your assesment and appreciate the debate.

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