You can’t deny it, Arsenal are currently playing like a wounded and confused animal at present. It’s limping from one result to the next and it’s not clear what the long term prognosis is.
The biggest problem seems to be that they have an attacking instinct that has become tangled with unnatural tactics which are completely alien to them.
The adaptation of the Emery blueprint has looked awkward and clumsy but after such a longtime of complete artistic freedom under Wenger, perhaps that no surprise.
However, if we look at the makeup of the Arsenal team that particular argument doesn’t really stick because the nucleus of the team is new. I don’t really go with the ‘ you can’t teach an old dog new tricks ‘ basically because this group of players aren’t exactly ready for their pensions but it’s abundantly clear that the current game plan is not cohesive and is in need of a tweak.
It’s a collective failure between Emery’s inherited players, his new blood, his coaching techniques and the way each team is set up. The side that faced Manchester United on Monday was unadventurous and was set more for a smash and grab win, rather than a stunning and convincing victory full of class, pace and style.
Despite the spending spree Arsenal lack fluidity and it’s becoming clear that the individual talent available doesn’t equate to a functional, committed or entertaining team.
Arsenal appear to be capable but only in spells, they lack overall control and the ability to contain or dominate. In the contentious game against Watford, Arsenal’s opponents managed to rack up 31 attempts at goal, which suggests they are bereft of leadership and the ability to manage an opponent.
Imagine that approach against Manchester City and it could well be a cricket score as the Guardiola’s men form an enthusiastic queue.
It’s entirely just to question the desire and determination of Emery’s men, not all of them but certain individuals. The mentality that all good sides have isn’t exactly flowing at the Emirates and it’s even less so on their travels. These are all winning ingredients that can turn draws into wins or defeats in draws, yet wins escape Arsenal like a freedom seeking chicken heading for a hole in the fence.
Emery, for all his positives is struggling with this team at present and confidence seems to be diminishing with every match. Unless there’s a drastic change, especially in their level of performance, Arsenal will find this season a long one.
January isn’t far away but it’s far enough to suggest that even if the money was available, it will be too late to have any effect on the current campaign. It’s more likely that Arsenal will soldier on with what they have and make changes in the summer.
I expect there will be a few players going elsewhere to facilitate that change, which is especially needed in the middle. It’s undeniable that Arsenal need a top, top play maker who can influence and change games and perhaps they already have a target in mind. They also need to decide on a central defensive partnership to stop the side leaking goals at the rate they have.
Arsenal so far, are more questions than answers and deem it unfair if you like but something needs to change.