‘When Better is Average ‘
Positives, Needs and Hopes
If I was the Arsenal board then yesterday’s game would have troubled me more than all the others.
I’d say that when you’ve had a group of miserable performances and then (finally) play better, even if it’s a little better, and you still can’t win…. ouch!
This is with a fully fit first team squad too.
What I saw was a group of talented players all playing below their level. More than that they looked hampered.
Hampered by their coach who yet again gave them another new formation and set of tactics to try to conquer before they could even begin to create.
Many are wondering why we don’t create many if any clear-cut chances.
The primary issue will be that the players must look and then look again to identify where their friends are. It’s hard enough to break down a block of eight anyway, let alone when your team cannot play with any ‘automatic,’ because your coach is once again trying to ‘amaze us’ as his website states.
I’m fully understanding that it’s hard to go from being poor to very good in one game but it’s the struggle that the board need to identify.
Our best chances came from David Luiz long balls and a backup right back occasionally getting into position to provide very little.
I’m hoping our attacking game plan wasn’t David Luiz and Callum Chambers.
To illuminate the issue, we didn’t have one shot on target after the 32nd minute.
There’s a common thought that if we lose to Leicester then they will use the international break to change coaches.
That’s a six pointer and if it were me, I wouldn’t need 5 minutes let alone 2 weeks.
I’d put Freddie in place and then give myself 2 months to breathe, evaluate and interview if needed.
* Ozil made a clear difference.
Wasn’t brilliant but was often available in his usual intelligent positions and gave us about the best he could without much movement ahead of him.
* Much credit to the team for defending the many corners.
Apart from our large blip at Sheffield Utd, this may be the biggest single improvement under Emery. It may also be one of not very many but….
* It was very evident that they were playing for possible penalty kick opportunities.
They frequently picked the ball up between the lines and drove at speed into the box.
The back four resisted the temptation to tackle when not needed which was intelligent.
* David Luiz’s passing hasn’t been as productive recently but early on it opened them up twice. Always good to use this unique weapon, especially when Ozil is playing because it encourages their defenders to back off, leaving space between the lines.
* Nearing the end of the game I remembered that Xhaka wasn’t playing.
Over the period that he is absent I hope to feel this way more. I think it needs to be crystal clear to Emery that he doesn’t bring anything unique that the others don’t have.
This has nothing to do with the disciplinary issue or his captaincy, simply that others are more worthy to play in our midfield.
* Tierney dealt with Traore extremely well. Got close to him quickly therefore stopping him getting into his stride.
Also showed him onto his left repeatedly which proved crucial.
* One more performance like today’s or like any of our days and the ‘We want Emery out’ chants will start.
Do the board want to wait for that because it’s inevitable.
* Was Pepe injured?
If not, then the confidence he’d gained from his last two good games may we’ll have evaporated when he was benched then not chosen over Martinelli and Saka.
Yet another bizarre decision by Emery.
* We need a Lacazette goal to get him out of his slump. Yesterday’s goal will have helped Auba who was looking equally slumpy.
* Chambers often gets too tight too late and gets spun or passed around. When he’s chasing the play it’s not a good look for him.
* I remember watching Auba counter attacking on the US tour. Running at full speed with and without the ball. What’s happened?
We now look like we don’t know how to counter attack.
* The team needs to be instructed to use Tierney more than Chambers when choosing the wide option.
Tierney has proved to have a far better delivery, yet Chambers gets twice the opportunities.
* Why was there such little dynamic movement upfront?
* It’s a vain hope but that somebody will sit Emery down and talk to him about getting on the front foot against Leicester before they do.
They need to be respected but my oh my, it shows how far we have fallen and how quickly that many feel like we have little chance next Saturday.
What on earth am I talking about….
My hope is that Freddie is coaching is next Saturday.
This would energize the fans and players both.
As I mentioned last week, I feel that the club is moving forwards behind the scenes and backward on the pitch.
If Edu, Vinai, Josh and Raul aren’t proactive and change coaches early this week and we lose, many will see them as culpable if we don’t achieve our targets.
I see not one reason to keep Unai Emery either with my eyes or when looking at the stats.
If something was good, I might have hope but I see a man that doesn’t see and so I’ve lost hope.
When you lose hope, what’s the point?