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8 Thoughts on Arsenal during the break: fast breaks, lucky breaks, breakthroughs and breakdowns

8 thoughts on Arsenal 

Some bold thoughts here.

Would love your opinion.

Pepe

Speedy on the break

1) This may not be a popular thought but Arsenal’s attacking options often give me reason to wonder if we could be more effective as a counter attacking team.

Give me a minute to explain.

I know we loved the days of possession domination but do we have the players to dominate?

Where did we struggle this season when in possession? For me it was during the times of trying to break down a low block. The intricacies of football. 

I’m not saying that Arsenal need to park the bus.

There are a variety of ways to do it.

You can simply back off to a compact 30 yard block and wait at the halfway line. Still playing a reasonably high line 10 yards outside your box.

Arsenal have one of the fastest forward lines in Europe.

Aubameyang, Martinelli, Saka, Pepe etc…

I remember seeing the YouTube highlights of both Pepe and Auba before they signed for Arsenal. They were destroying teams, but mainly on the fast break.

Are we missing a trick here?

2) Upon return to football I wonder who is going to break through next?

Not so much a player we haven’t seen in the first team but a player that has the potential to make a bigger impression.

Got a feeling that Soares and Mari could be astute purchases, if we decide to.

Tierney could break loose if he stays fit.

I’d love to think AMN would get the chance to be the line breaking Central Midfielder that I think the team needs. Like Oxlade-Chamberlain I think he may be sold and get to prove that elsewhere.

Nketiah could start playing with more hunger and save the club 10’s of millions. 

You’d think Pepe would vastly improve in his second season.

The two players that I think stand out are Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe.

reissnelson-3

Much like Chelsea last season but for different reasons, Arsenal may be forced to rely on the younger players. Much like Chelsea we may find that this was a blessing in disguise. 

Here’s a bold thought…Reiss Nelson  might actually have the highest ceiling of any player at Arsenal.

He’s got competition, mostly from Saka and Martinelli but a ‘high ceiling’ is based on the breadth of talent. I simply think that Reiss Nelson has so much natural ability and so many strings to his bow that he could be the ‘new Jaden Sancho’ bubbling under the surface.

Emile Smith-Rowe isn’t far behind in my opinion.

The reason that I put Nelson above ESR is that Smith-Rowe has progressed well. Nelson has shown glimpses but we await.

3) The Guendouzi conundrum.

Clearly a good player.

Potentially a leader.

Loves adversity.

Impressive start to his Arsenal career.

Could be an elite player considering trajectory so far.

BUT…. in a climate where we may need to sell a player that we’d rather keep, do we come to the conclusion that he may not be what we need and cash in?

4) Is it ridiculous to think that the market may force us into two decisions we may otherwise not have chosen…..

I speak of Mohamed ElNeny and Jordi Osei-Tutu.

I’m sure that Arteta would love to at least see if free transfer Cedric Soares works out, but he will cost an extra £50,000 a week more than JOT.

Osei-Tutu has impressed on loan, but is he Arsenal ready?

ElNeny may be needed too. I always thought he was underrated at Arsenal as he was always consistent. A solid 6 or 7/10, rarely more but never less.

Just thinking that if we want to improve the team with a couple of big signings then compromises will have to be reached.

5) It bothers me when I think of possibly losing Torreira.

I like him as his energy lifts the Emirates and he is often very effective.

Is he enough though?

torreira

Most PL teams have at least one similar player. The issue is that said player is 6ft+ and can win the aerial battle in the midfield and at set plays.

I’ve always thought that Xhaka plays regularly partly because we need his height.

I’d rather not have to pick a player out of fear.

6) If traveling around Europe becomes prohibitive in the current climate, will the EL and CL temporarily become 1 month tournaments in one location like the Euros and World Cup?

7) Whether the rumour that Axel Disasi  is true or not, I think it’s super smart to pursue a cheap, fast, athletic  French CB.

The French have an overflow of these players and at approx £15M

this would be an intelligent risk.

8) Last thought is another issue I have with football in general.

I’m thinking that in 10 years we will have memes (or whatever the latest comedy vehicle is) of the first years of VAR.

As I say often, I put all ideas on scales and weigh up both sides to stay balanced.

VAR solves one issue but kills the most important moment in football…..the goal.

More games are won by 1 goal than any other margin. The current ridiculous system kills this precious moment. I’m sure the players would tell us that they can’t fully celebrate for risk of looking an idiot when it is disallowed.

Technology in other sports works as the outcome is rarely decided by one moment. On top of this it seems that they can’t even get it right more than 75% of the time anyway. 

I also have an issue that others seem to disagree with.

I see no purpose in BOTH a pitch side monitor AND the VAR crew. One or the other. It’s such an embarrassing lack of trust. 

How can you employ a group of people and give them 6 different angles to review an incident and then essentially tell them that you don’t believe them? If they aren’t fully trusted then they need to be upgraded or ditched, surely?

Bad comedy that will be ridiculed in time.

My best thought is either make the judgement line 1 ft deep and use this thicker line as a grey zone that the attacker can be within. This would speed up the decision dramatically and give the advantage to the attacker which I think the game wants. Alternatively, bin VAR so we can all lose our minds again when our team scores rather than start running around the house but have to come back to check with your spouse if they disallowed it or not!!

The comments are below 👍🏻

@mike_mmcdonald

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