Playing the ball from the back just put extra pressure on Petr Cech and pressing the Manchester City defenders and goalkeeper created extra space for the wingers to run on their flanks. Emery’s training method would certainly take time but in the fast paced English league, he must make sure that his strategies are implemented before it’s too late.
Unai Emery is the first Arsenal manager to lose his opening league game since Steven Burternshaw in March 1986.
Not the ideal start to life in Premier League. ? pic.twitter.com/bBsmL9ptbt
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 12, 2018
Firstly, playing both Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi in the midfield didn’t seem to work. The midfield pair are slow with the ball and don’t have the pace to compete with the average forward, as seen on Sunday. This opened gaps for City and they followed it up by numerous attacks.
Tactical analysis: Arsenal had limited success when building short, mostly if both Matteo Guendouzi and granit Xhaka dropped between the central defenders. This overloaded central presser Sergio Aguero and forced Fernadinho to leave Mesut Ozil free. https://t.co/Dm9as3KOIF pic.twitter.com/wgY7UIdIfc
— AFCPressWatch (@AFCPressWatch2) August 14, 2018
Playing Lucas Torreira instead of either of the one would result in greater efficiency. With Torreira’s quick movement and agility, he would be a perfect complement with either of the two starters from Sunday. We did see the Uruguayan partner with Guendouzi in the last 20 minutes, where Arsenal saw more of the ball and goal scoring chances.
Hence, if Emery goes with the 4-2-3-1 formation against the Blues this weekend, picking the former Sampdoria star would be ideal for Arsenal.
Meanwhile, although Cech’s keeping against the Skyblues was commendable, his distribution was sub par. The former Chelsea man almost kicked the ball into his own net on Sunday in the first half. Playing from the back simply didn’t work because of the shot-stoppers lack of experience in that area.
— The PL Zone (@TPLZNE) August 12, 2018
Many of the veteran keeper’s balls from the back were to the Pep Guardiola’s men, while the rest got contributed to the Arsenal defensive players who were put under pressure real quick. When a new £19 million keeper is at disposal, he should be made of use, especially considering Bernd Leno is known for his easiness on the ball.
Arsenal‘s mistake of not buying a natural winger was evident against the Cityzens. Both Henrikh Mkhytarian and Mesut Ozil saw less of the ball and were unable to take on the City full-backs. They were so engrossed in pressing the defenders, that they left spaces in the back.
Aaron Ramsey wasn’t effective either. Playing as an attacking midfielder proved difficult for him. The Welshman wasn’t successful in pressuring the defenders quickly. Ozil should be the one playing in that role for Arsenal; additionally allowing him to link up with the strikers as well.
Not starting Alexandre Lacazette wasn’t appreciated by the fans. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left isolated majority of the match. But once Lacazette came on, we could see the spark between both of them.
The gaffer must try some new tactics with Lacazette and Aubameyang as attackers or with the latter on the wing for the next fixture against Chelsea.