Should Arsenal be looking to replace Emery?

November 12, 2019

The following paragraph is taken from an article written by Adam Bates for sky.

Unai Emery was brought in to improve Arsenal but the decline has accelerated under Arsene Wenger’s successor, writes Adam Bate. Faith in Unai Emery is fading fast but he doesn’t help himself. The pressure is building.  Some of the stats are damning. The Gunners conceded 25 shots against Wolves, the most that any Premier League team has faced in front of their own fans this season or last. It is the most that any Arsenal team have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. And yet, it is still not as many as the 31 shots they faced at Watford recently – a Premier League high this season.

Emery was brought in to address defensive problems but the systemic defensive issues are still there. The team is neither pressing, neither possession-based neither controlling the game. Instead the team seems to be set up to counter the opposition rather than impose a style/game plan on the opposition. Against City and Liverpool, the approach can be understood but against the rest of the teams? His tactics seem confusing. They have however improved in fast transition and seem to be focused on being a counter-attacking team. It is however only creating less than 2 big chances per game and if Auba (and Laca) were not so good in front of goal, the team would not be able to score much as the chances are simply not created.

Emery has now a solid squad at his disposal and it seems that he is  not getting enough from it. When you have Auba, Laca, Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli and even Saka at your disposal up front, you would hope that the team can create more chances and that the game plan is more exciting than it is at the moment.

The heat is on Emery but who would you like to replace him?

 

  1. No one, he should stay until the end of the year.
  2. Ljunberg should be given a chance a la Ole style
  3. Allegri, and his trophy-laden record in Italy. He is, however, very much a fan of the team shape rather than a fan of pressing. In the EPL, it seems that pressing is key to success. He is, however, an astute coach with the ability to play in various systems depending on what is at his disposal. He is not one to ask for shiny signings.
  4. Arteta, our former captain who is being groomed by Guardiola, He knows the club, he knows the players and he was a leader on the pitch respected by his peers although his captainy coincided with the declining years under Wenger. Guardiola rates his tactical awareness.
  5. Mourinho, our nemesis. A man whose ego tends to cast a shadow on the club he manages. A man who had success with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real and Man Utd. He knows the EPL, he is obsessed with winning and he would try to address our defensive issues. He is a diva and may make some fancy demands and play the spoilt child if he does not get the toy he wants.
  6. Blanc, an underrated coach. Knows the EPL as well, favours possession football. He likes the Barcelona type of game so he wants his team to also be able to get the ball back and to conserve it.
  7. Ten Hag, Ajax magic coach. Ajax philosophy, nurturing the youth and playing pretty and effective football.
  8. Favre, Dortmund coach. Similar to Ten Hag and Blanc in a away but likes also more direct football.
  9. Vieira – Henry, former heroes looking to make an impact as coaches. Vieira more successful so far.
  10. Ralph Rangnik – the visionary that has made RP Leipzig a solid club in the Bundesliga
  11. Someone else

RC78

 


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

November 10, 2019

 

The Good:

The team line up looked more balanced and cohesive from the outset, both on paper and also in practice for large parts of the game. We looked to have a greater threat going forward and, although ultimately still well below where we need to be, seemed better than in previous games in defence.

We have allowed far poorer teams than Leicester a greater freedom of our penalty box. The best way I could describe it is that we were “in” that game for large parts of it. It felt the type of game that could have swung in our favour at certain points if we could have landed the first blow. There were some promising performances in Ozil, Bellerin and Aubameyeng.

The Bad:

Quite simply we lost another 3 points. We are now 9 points adrift of Leicester and Chelsea who don’t boast, in my opinion, as many good players as we do. Despite looking “in” the game for large parts of it there was always the feeling that we could capitulate at any moment if they landed the first blow…… That we would surrender control of the game and retreat deep for some Alamo style defending (and rely solely on quick counter-attacks) if the game started to turn against us……This all came to pass.

There were some players who didn’t look up to it. Sadly one of them was Guendouzi. He has been lauded as a future great but he also shows on many occasions that he is still very much a rough diamond. Right now he is not on the level of Maddison. If Douzi is to fulfil his potential, and not go the way of pretty much every promising youngster we have had over the last 6 years, then he needs the right environment and coaching.

Tactically Leicester seemed to have all the freedom in the world in the wide areas to play in a number of (unchallenged) dangerous balls across the face of our goal, particularly down our left. Conversely we seemed to have to work a lot harder to get the better of their full-backs, and always looked challenged in that area. Is this where you see the back 4 trump the back 3 or was it some other coaching issue?

The Ugly: 

More the “Ugly Truth” of it really, that we were once again bettered by a club that on paper (individual player for individual player) doesn’t have the same quality level as us. A club that doesn’t have the same pulling power or resources as us, but a club that looks significantly (not slightly) better than us. …not just in this individual game but across all games this season.

If some feel that Leicester are stronger on paper then a sobering thought should be that every one of their players would have been attainable for us. There are no £180m Kyllian Mbappes in there. Even in Maddison, their young crown jewel, you are looking at a player that is likely no more than we paid for Pepe.

Quite simply, Rogers looks to be a manager operating at a far superior level to Emery. I hear arguments about it is too early to judge Emery because he has only had a season and a half. Well Rogers has in a fraction of the time shown what you can do if you develop the team in the right direction with good coaching. Can we really say, at this stage, that we haven’t clicked because Emery’s development of the team is specifically time related and it hasn’t had long enough to come to fruition?

It is that more than anything that bothers me, that we don’t seem to be developing a style or identity as Rogers seems to be doing in far less time with Leicester. That said though, arguably we are developing a style and identity, but just the wrong one.

In the end Leicester just looked to have more confidence in their own ability. They looked slicker and had a greater belief in what they could do. That comes from progressive coaching and you can see that they are on an upward trajectory. Lampard seems to be doing similar at Chelsea.

Each Leicester player, and the team as a whole, are being improved. Our players individually are at best standing still, but in many cases regressing. The team as a whole certainly looks regressive in the last 6 months.

I am not really your man for individual ratings so you can use someone else’s. I will give a couple of alternative ratings as follows:

Team strength individually on paper:

Arsenal 8.5/10

Leicester 7/10

Team strength collectively in real play (in this game alone):

Arsenal 7/10

Leicester 9/10

Manager ratings this season:

Emery 6/10

Rogers 9/10

Many prior games would have seen me mark our real play as a 5/10 so this is where I felt there was more about us in this game for large parts of it.

I would like to ask that we all play nicely today and have a healthy debate. There will be increasingly strong opinions at this juncture with our club, but we must respect each others views. More than that, the contrasting views and arguments are what makes this site the most interesting, so lets embrace that.

Finally I would like to put up an FGG comment from yesterday which very accurately reflects where I feel we are right now and have been in recent years:

He’s just not qualified for this job. Nothing personal, nothing about him as an individual, but the best he’s done in a job is EL football and we are striving for CL football in a very difficult league. Time to move on and fine someone who can do what we ask. The players look lost, the tactics are confusing, and the results are poor. We wasted years waiting for Wenger to re-find his old magic, let’s not make the same mistake with someone who’s never had that magic to begin with.

GoonerB

 


Prematch – Leicester vs Arsenal ………….

November 9, 2019

……………………… Rodgers vs Emery / Vardy vs AFC Defense…OR the game that could end our Top 4 hope.

This game is so interesting in so many ways. There is so much to play for and both teams are in opposite spirals. On one hand, Leicester has started the season very well and everyone is raving about Rodgers, Vardy and the overall team movement, shape and balance. On the other hand, Arsenal who has started the season relatively poorly and there is a lot of negativity about Emery, Xhaka and the overall lack of team movement, shape and balance.

To make things spicier, Rodgers is being touted by many pundits to replace Emery at AFC. Vardy was close to join us but decided to stay at Leicester.

To add to the drama, a loss against Leicester will all but end our Top 4 hopes while a win would not only give us hope to seriously challenge for a top 4 spot but would give a lifeline to Emery until the end of the year and will bring some positivity around our club.

Leicester main performers this year are:

Schmeichel – Ricardo, Evans, Chilwell – Ndidi, Tielemans, Maddison – Barnes – Vardy. So almost the whole squad except maybe Soyoncu and Barnes but again these two had stand out performances as well. That said, I think that we can basically find a way to bother them if we play behind Madisson and if we target Soyoncu. How to do that?

Emery is expected to play in a 3412 tomorrow and I can see him going with

Leno

Chambers  Sokratis   Luiz

Bellerin  Guendouzi  Torreira  Kolasinac

Ozil

Laca, Auba

 

If Ozil can play right behind Madisson and if Lacazette can target Soyuncu, we have a chance to create some opportunities to score BUT I would rather play with another line up where I would trust Willock and Pepe…I know I know but I think they could help us in being more effective in targeting the Leicester weaknesses, at least initially…

My line up:

Leno

Chambers  Sokratis  Luiz

Bellerin  Guendouzi  Torreira  Willock  Tierney

Pepe  Auba

Anyways – I am not holding my breath but I think that the players know that this is a must “not lose” game so they will put in a good fight…If we can manage a draw at half time, we can maybe scrap out a win but given the current team forms, I would say that Leicester will dispatch us 3-1. Goals from Perreira, Maddison and Vardy. For us, it will be Luiz.

AFC – please prove me wrong and win vs Leicester! COYG!

RC78


Arsenal’s Best Strike Partnership

November 8, 2019

We’re heading into what could be a very important weekend for Arsenal’s immediate future and certain subjects have been debated half to death:

Emery in or out.

The Xhaka debacle.

The midfield dilemma.

So how about we change the script just for today by taking another look at a topic that has slipped down the priority list of late, namely: with the talent we have available, how should our attackers be set up to give us the best chance of scoring goals?

(After a performance where we managed one attempt on target it’s not an unreasonable question).

First a caveat: obviously the way we play in defence and midfield has an effect on how our strikers perform. But for the purposes of this exercise let’s just pretend we have a functioning team behind the strikers (I know, hogs might levitate etc) but bear with me.

In those circumstances, which strikers should be starting in our first team and in what configuration?

The options available to us are Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Saka, Nelson, Martinelli and I think we can throw in Ozil and Ceballos if either is played as a Number 10.

My preference is Lacazette central, with Aubameyang on the left and Pepe on the right.

But I know some people have doubts about Laca and would rather see Auba in a central role.

And what about Martinelli? After a blistering start to his Arsenal career, should he be in the starting equation?

Pepe has disappointed so far, but I’m sticking with him because I’m expecting him to come good, but perhaps Saka or Nelson are better options right now?

And one addendum to this discussion: is attack an area where we need to consider strengthening in January?

Over to you…

RockyLives


Xhaka 0, Fan Power 1

November 7, 2019

So Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the captaincy and there are indications he will be allowed (or encouraged) to leave the club in January.

On the face of it, this is a pretty clear cut example of fan power claiming a scalp.

Some (perhaps many) supporters will celebrate that the Swiss international is now out of the team and probably on his way out of North London. I find the whole episode disturbing and not a little upsetting, as I’ll explain below.

Xhaka has never exactly been loved by the Arsenal faithful, although there have been periods when his play was at least somewhat approved of. But during last season and, particularly, in the current campaign he has been the focus of considerable discontent.

It’s not uncommon for individual players to become lightning rods when their team is going through a rough patch. In recent times at Arsenal, players including Mustafi, Ozil and Ramsey have all fulfilled that role.

But now, with the current season slipping into mediocrity and recrimination, Xhaka has been a lightning road in the eye of a rapidly growing thunderstorm. With hindsight, it’s not surprising he ended up burned.

It was a “victory” for fan power because it has been clear that Unai Emery (like Arsene Wenger before him) saw Granit Xhaka as an important component of his first team and had no desire to lose him in the short term.

This may be, as LB has suggested, because he is seen as the best option among those that are currently available rather than him being thought of as a world class star. But either way, Emery continued to pick Xhaka even as the social media cacophony for him to be axed grew louder and louder. Not only that, the head coach made him captain (after an admittedly bizarre process).

As we all know, everything came to a head when Xhaka was subbed off during the Crystal Palace game. When his number was held up some fans cheered ironically. Xhaka walked off slowly, to a chorus of boos and took off his shirt before heading straight down the tunnel.

This is why I see it as a “win” for fan power: the fans got their way. The persistent barrage of criticism about Xhaka no doubt weighed on Emery’s mind (as well as on the player’s). When things were going badly (again) for his team, Emery attempted to appease his critics by taking off the captain. The subsequent scenes cemented Xhaka’s place in the Arsenal departure lounge.

If there had not been a background of dissatisfaction with how Arsenal were performing under Emery I am sure he would not have substituted his captain. So “fan power” influenced his in-game decision making. Then the booing did the rest.

Frankly I hate this whole episode. My view of Xhaka is that he is a perfectly decent player in an underperforming team who is being asked to carry out a role that does not suit his skills, possibly in a league that does not suit his skills. But regardless of his footballing merits or otherwise I am appalled that our head coach bowed to fan pressure in this way.

If Emery thinks Xhaka should play every game he should stick to his guns and ignore the fans. Let’s face it, for all we like to think we know plenty about football, we know precious little compared to an experienced head coach who was won trophies at the highest level.

Is this how it going to be at Arsenal now? When the fans get on a player’s back the manager throws him to the lions?

And mark my words, there will be another lightning rod player after Xhaka unless the team suddenly starts displaying top-three form and crushing all opponents.

The whole carry-on has left me angry and depressed. No-one comes out of it well – not the fans who cheered when Xhaka’s number came up, or the ones who booed him off, not the player for his reaction, not the club for their handling of things and certainly not the manager for his apparent weakness.

I don’t want my club or its head coach to make decisions based on the latest scapegoating campaign by a noisy minority of supporters and social media blowhards. The Arsenal should be better than that.

It may well be that, as per the headline, the Xhaka situation makes it: “Fan Power 1, Xhaka 0.”

But there’s another scoresheet for this whole business and it goes like this: “Fan Power 1, Arsenal 0.”  And that’s not good.

RockyLives


Arsenal …… not good …….. again

November 6, 2019

First half was horrendous, second half was better. We were exposed every time Vitoria put some pace on their attacking movements. We did not create much going forward and we did not really defend well when tested. No stand out performer.

Lessons learned:
1. Ceballos cannot play in central midfield
2. Holding can only play at the base of a back 3
3. AMN-Mustafi are not a good combo covering the right side of the defense
4. Saka needs a rest
5. Emery does not rate LT anymore
6. Willock is the real deal
7. Pepe set-piece delivery is good but he still needs to do better in open play

Player ratings

Martinez – 5.5
AMN – 4
Mustafi – 5 (just b/c of the goal)
Sokratis – 6
Holding – 5
Tierney – 5
Ceballos – 4
Willock – 5
Saka – 3
Martinelli – 4
Pepe – 5

Subs

Douzi – 5
Laca – 4
Torreira – N/A

Emery – 5 (for trying a new formation but not playing the right players)

RC78

 


Arsenal v Vitoria pre-match

November 6, 2019

Good morning Gooners.

Although some find themselves in the midst of doom and gloom – Emery in Emery out, Xhaka in Xhaka out, Ozil in Ozil out – we have a game this afternoon in a competition that thus far has brought some much needed fun – Martinelli’s headed goals and Pepe’s free kicks to name a couple of things. Plus we are top of our group with 9 points and have a goal difference of +8, what’s not to like.

This afternoon we are in Portugal for the return fixture against Vitoria. A fixture that has been arranged for 15.50 to make it easier on the local traffic 🙂 Europa games are not allowed to be played the same time as Champions League games so that’s why this game is in the afternoon.

The Europa league has given Emery the chance to play some of our young talent and I expect we’ll see the likes of Martinelli, Willock, Saka and possibly Nelson and Smith-Rowe too. Add to that we have the players returning from long term injuries Bellerin and Holding, possibly Tierney (although he played 80 minutes on Saturday).

Vitoria gave us a bit of a scare at the Emirates a couple of weeks ago by scoring two goals – but then everyone scores against us – and I expect their little spud reject Marcus Edwards will be up for making things difficult for us again.

How many Arsenal supporters will be able to watch the game? It’s an unknown isn’t it, so for those that do watch it, their thoughts and feelings will be important, something to remember when reading social media after the game.

I’m hoping we’ll see a similar team to the one that took to the Emirates pitch previously – something like this.

Martinez

Bellerin  Mustafi  Holding  Tierney

Maitland-Niles  Torreira  Willock

Pepe  Martinelli  Smith-Rowe

As no-one will be watching they can just go for it and have some fun 🙂 good luck guys, win this one and the U18’s can play in the next rounds.

peachesgooner


Arsene Wenger Is Helping Unai Emery Keep His Job

November 5, 2019

Arsene Wenger was probably Arsenal’s greatest ever manager (and certainly the best since Herbert Chapman).

And his influence on the club persists long after the man himself exited the building stage left, fiddling with the zipper on his puffer jacket.

Indeed I have a theory that the ghost of Arsene is currently playing a significant role in keeping Unai Emery secure in his position, even though our head coach has a recent record that’s patchier than Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant.

How so?

It’s all about psychological conditioning. Cast your mind back to the time when Bruce Rioch was let go as Arsenal manager and replaced by a man of whom few if any of us had heard.

It wasn’t “Arsene Who?” for long. In quick succession he became:

“Arsene Wow” (winning the Double in his second season).

Then “Arsene Knows” (as he piled success upon success with a team that was a joy to watch).

After that it was “Trust Arsene” (when the money dried up after the stadium move but he somehow kept us competitive for years while spending net zero on transfers).

Finally it was “Arsene Why?” (as the money taps started flowing again but the long awaited success in the Premier League did not).

His time at our club was like a marriage: a long-term relationship filled with love, togetherness, shared triumphs, crushing disappointments and, finally, a cooling of ardour and a parting of ways.

But the important thing in today’s context is not the emotions, but the sheer length of time the relationship lasted. As Arsene’s tenure rolled deep into its second decade (almost unprecedented in the modern game) we fans took great pride in the stability of our club.

Not for us the casual casting off of managers as if they were fashionable training shoes: one minute a must have accessory, the next dangling by their laces over a telephone cable on the Holloway Road. We could laugh at the shenanigans at clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and the N17 miscreants, not to mention Manchester United after Fergie’s retirement.

Those other clubs displayed characteristics we were glad not to share: disloyalty, capriciousness, impatience, ungratefulness, a type of mercenary shallowness. While the likes of Ancelotti, Rogers, Di Mateo, Hughes, Pellegrini, Hodgson, Redknapp, Hiddink and Benitez came and went through the revolving doors, Arsene Wenger remained a permanent fixture. And that’s something we were proud of (rightly so).

Many younger fans grew up knowing only the Arsenal of Arsene and for us older ones, the days of George Graham (and his playing style) seemed an age ago.

In psychology there is a concept of conditioned behaviour. When things have always been a certain way, we have a tendency to believe that that is how they will (and should) always be in the future. We have conditioned ourselves to close our minds to change.

in our case, we have become so used to being a club that sticks with managers through thick and thin that even now we are more reluctant than supporters at other clubs to call time on a head coach who is just not cutting the Colmans. Loyalty to our manager has become a virtue we’ve embraced and now we feel duty bound to embrace it further.

The serious doubts about Emery should really have started during and after the capitulation at the end of last season, but for most of us the instinct was to make excuses: “He hasn’t had a proper transfer window yet… these are not really his players… it’s his first season in a new league… he’s just beginning to get to grips with the language…”

They are all legitimate points, but they were influenced by the fact that we just don’t see ourselves as a club that might sack a manager after only a season. We would rather rationalise away obvious shortcomings than see our club behave in a way we have criticised at other clubs.

If Emery’s first season at Arsenal had been replicated at, let’s say, Chelsea or Manchester United, he would likely have been out on his shell-like in the summer. Just look at what has happened at Bayern Munich this week.

But that’s not the Arsenal way, so here he still is, making the same mistakes, continuing with the same brand of joyless and shapeless football, persevering with players in roles that don’t suit them (Granit Xhaka being Exhibit A).

The tide is beginning to turn against Emery among supporters now, although it’s clear that we are doing it with a heavy heart. We don’t want to be another Chelsea but, reluctantly, many of us are coming to the conclusion that we would rather change the habits of a (recent) lifetime than see things descend into a vicious spiral where results and performances continue to deteriorate, causing us to miss out on the top four and for our world class players to up sticks and leave.

I take no pleasure in saying that it’s probably time for change and time for a new head coach.

As I said in comments the other day, if the club sticks with Emery and he proves me wrong I’ll be all over that humble pie like Phil Dowd in a doughnut factory.

There is a French saying that goes “le plus ca change le plus c’est la meme chose.” It means “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” But like many things French, it’s all cockeyed. The real problem is that “le plus c’est le meme chose, le plus c’est le meme chose,” (“the more things stay the same, the more they stay the same”).

As another Frenchman once said: “At some clubs success is accidental. At Arsenal it is compulsory.”

The speaker was Arsene Wenger of course. And If he’s right, then the time for the club to act is fast approaching.

RockyLives


Is that as good as it is going to get Arsenal?

November 3, 2019

Well that was better, wasn’t it, sort of, a bit? The problem that some are going to have trouble coming to terms with, is today, this game, this team and the quality of football that they played is as good as it is going to get. Yes folks, that’s it, that is as high a standard of football as we are going to get to watch this season. Not sure?

Emery had use of his full squad, all fit, and for the first time this season was able to field his strongest side and were you impressed? It intrigues me as to what people envisage, for those who expected this side to evolve into vintage Arsenal circa 2004 I think they going to be very disappointed.

Selection wise it was probably better than anyone dared punt for: the defence is what it is; Bellerin is not clearly better than Chambers at the moment and anyone who thinks that Holding is better than Luiz right now needs to go a lie down in a dark room and reconsider. The midfield was a diamond with Guendouzi at the foot rather than Torreira as most expected but they both did perfectly well. Ozil was expected to play but the addition of another creative in Ceballos impressed me. The attack with Aubamayang, Lacazette and then Martinelli was, of course, right.

Wolves are good, they are really good in a non Liverpool, Man City kind of way and their organisation in defence and flair in attack is impressive and yet we found a way to get past that and put ourselves ahead. We were holding this lead reasonably well, not comfortably but well enough.

Now for as much as I have just praised Emery for his team selection I am going to do a one eighty and say that the man should be stood against a wall and shot for his substitutions. Not for the first: Martinelli for Lacazette, no problem there, in fact, it is debatable which of these two is better (at the moment anyway), although, I don’t think this will be the case by the end of the season.

No, the issue is the next substitution: Torreira is tiring so Wolves are finding their way through the middle, creating attacking opportunities easier than they should, something has to be done. Emery has a choice of the straight swap, Willock for Torreira, or Kolasinac ahead of Tierney and bring Ceballos back, or Chambers in the middle with Bellerin going out on the right but no, Emery swaps a key defensive player in Torreira for the most non defensive player available in the form of Saka; this young man offers nothing, rien, nada by way of defence and as soon as that change happened Wolves exploited the weakness on our left and scored exactly, exactly, exactly as Liverpool were able to do in the dying minutes in the week when defensively Saka was equally non-existent.

Emery must be playing a long game here; he must know that he will not survive this season if he fails to get us into the top four and so I can only guess that he wants to get Saka up to the level that he has in his mind’s eye which must be scoring match winning goals that, in turn, get us into the top four – very dangerous if that is the strategy.

On a positive note it did make a refreshing change not having to listen to people around me moaning about one player or another, we were scape goat free today, at least on the field, Emery caught a bit on the way out the ground and I obviously add to that a bit above. No VAR incidents as well, which was welcome, but aaaaaahhhh, we could have won this.

Leno: I haven’t seen the replay so I don’t know if he was at fault for the Wolves goal, made a fantastic save in the first half. 7

Chambers: with Bellerin breathing down his neck he seems to be upping his game every week. 8

Sokratis: regained his confidence after scoring last week, a bit flat-footed for their goal. 6

Luiz: I would say that his game was nigh on faultless. 10 and MOTM

Tierney: still finding his feet but has clearly increasing the over all collective pool of talent. 7

Guendouzi: filling in for Xhaka, seemingly in more ways than one, gave the ball away twice in quick succession in the beginning that almost gifted Wolves goals, made up for it as he settled, surely he has made that position his own now. 7

Ceballos: plateaued a bit; seems to have lost the goal scoring part of his game. 7

Ozil: in the same way that a cat chooses to live where he wants, Ozil seems to choose as to whether he fancy’s playing for Arsenal, glad he is in the mood right now because he has upped the over all quality by some distance. 8

Lacazette: keeping this position warm for Martinelli, the Brazilian’s close control is so much better. 7

Aubamayang: Auba did what Auba was supposed to do and score. 8

Subs

Martinelli: shame he didn’t start.

Saka: can someone tell me why this young man is playing in the EPL right now?

Kolasinac: happy earning his sqillions and coming on for a cameo here and a cameo there.

LB


Arsenal vs Wolves: Will Emery get the balance of the team right?

November 2, 2019

Our defensive issues are still glaring and it is not having a go at the defenders but rather at our team set-up or cohesiveness on defensive and attacking phases.

We have an amazing strikeforce with Auba, Laca, Pepe and now supplemented by Martinelli and even Saka.

We have a midfielder who seems to have what it takes to be our box to box in Guendouzi and we have two very slicks passers of the ball in Ozil and Ceballos.

We also have some pace in our full-backs that are good going forward and our CBs may not be the best but they are rather robust and have heart and two of them (Holding and Luiz) have a decent passing range so why is it that we are still conceding chances for fun?

I believe it comes down to the set-up and instructions to the team and although we do not have the most talented squad, I certainly think that it is more talented than Leicester’s and more capable than the current Chelsea and Utd’s squad this season.

Finishing outside the Top 4 this season would be a massive disappointment to say the least. I am hoping that Emery is going to have the wits to try something else vs Wolves, who almost beat us at the Emirates last year.

Wolves have a good squad with some good players like Traore, Jimenez, Neves,Vinagre and Jota for example not to mention Moutinho, Dedonker and Boly. They are strong, good at handling the ball and offer a pacy yet physical opposition.

Here is my team:

Leno

Sokratis, Holding, Luiz

Bellerin, Douzi, Torreira (or Chambers or Willock), Tierney

Ozil

Laca, Auba

Emery’s team:

Leno

Chambers, Sokratis, Luiz, Kola

Douzi, Torreira, Ceballos

Pepe, Laca, Auba

I am hoping for a 2-1 win but recently we have given up leads so…it may end up as a 2-2.

COYG!

RC78