Watford 2-2 Arsenal
Premier League Review – 15th Sept., 2019 – Vicarage Road, Watford
Same old Arsenal.
Always a bad culture..
It always creases me up when I hear the chant “same old Arsenal; always cheating!” It often arises when we’re awarded a foul, and one that is legitimate per the IFAB Laws of the Game. It’s funny because opposition fans are that desperate to denigrate us.
Watford fans sang this often, and in many ways, it was the same old Arsenal. Not by “cheating” but due to our attitude, mentality, and outcomes.
We looked good going forward, but defensively we were very weak.
Moreover, the same spectre of mistakes emerged again.
Players are human – but we’re seeing the same errors being committed time and again.
And nothing is seemingly being corrected.
So what happens from here? And is Emery’s tenure on its last legs?
Since Wenger was at the club, we’ve had a culture of weak defending.
And a lack of organisation, with players who lack concentration at key moments.
If we look back to the Graham era, then we can see how the famous back four was constructed. It was an entire team culture of being hardened and organised.
Since the mid-2000s, we’ve lacked this, and we urgently need to get back to it.
This game showed we also lacked a good mentality.
Our captain on the day, Xhaka no less, said in the post-match Sky interview that the team were scared. Really? Scared of what, perchance? Why should we have been apprehensive? It makes no real sense.
A major step in our reinvigoration has to be a cultural change in structure.
We still haven’t changed defensively over the past season.
And this could, again, cost us top four.
We also capitulated again, and after a relatively comfortable lead at half-time.
This also ties in with a self-destructive complex, which has lasted for many years now.
I was happy to see Luiz come in during the transfer window. He is experienced and could add something at the back for us.
However, I was pretty misguided.
Many Chelsea fans in the media said that he is prone to great errors.
Well…they were right.
Luiz’s penalty was vexing.
Yes, he was turned. Delefou could have had a clear shot on goal.
But then a defender of his calibre should know better.
I’m not sure he is or ever was the answer.
People from other clubs often call us a banter club.
I can see why. Or this game reinforced why.
Guendouzi has done very well to get into the French national side. But his “2-1” hand gesture backfired on him and us BIGTIME.
Luiz was his usual self.
Sokratis gifted them a goal from a poor “playing from the back” move.
Graeme Souness had his usual “weak/soft Arsenal” rant. And he was right – we folded in the second half after looking comfortable.
And Mr. Deeney was in the stands at Watford, but must have enjoyed his side’s comeback on many levels. They didn’t win, but he clearly must have thought “you lot haven’t changed…” and we haven’t. We still lack “cojones”.
Losing a lead whilst we were on top, and conceding 30 shots on goal (really?? THIRTY??!) against a team at the bottom of the table all adds to the jokes.
Thing is, we are THE Arsenal. We shouldn’t be a joke. A club with our achievements shouldn’t be a joke. To list one of MANY achievements, look at the growth of women’s football. No other club has had greater influence in the women’s game than us. Yes, Man City is strong, as have been Chelsea or Everton. But we’ve been dominated the women’s’ game for many years, and have been the benchmark for others to follow.
But we’re still a joke, and there is no need for these continual gaffes.
I’m not sure what to think of Emery now.
His line-up and formation were OK. The midfield balance was questionable, though nothing to rant about.
The first half bore it well – since whilst Watford had chances they didn’t have anything to hurt us, and Auba got an expert brace and we looked sound.
Sokratis and Luiz’s errors cannot be Emery’s fault in themselves.
But he is creating a culture of error-making. Or at the least hasn’t corrected it since he took over from Arsene Wenger.
Our defence also is weak. And we’re not changing at all.
Our marking and attitude are weak, and teams can sense this.
Emery for me is on thin ice. Yes, he shouldn’t get sacked now. But then he has to pick up, or surely he is gone in time.
I can understand the playing at the back move. It’s not just at Arsenal but seemingly a new trend now in England. I don’t get the reason why – maybe it frees up space in the midfield, or allows us to maintain a better structure. But it got caught out, and when teams remain high up in our defensive third, it can lead to goals.
Emery – 1 – this may seem harsh. But longstanding faults aren’t being corrected, and that arguably is the critical objective of his tenure.
Man of the match
The heir to Wright and Henry. He’s gold (like his Boot).
He also doesn’t dive like a certain striker from a club somewhere near us.