The long wait may be over for Arsenal fans as Unai Emery considers including the missing trio of Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney, for the Tuesday night clash at the Emirates.
It’s come as a relief to the majority of Arsenal fans who have seen a goal fest at the wrong end of the pitch as the usual defensive issues come under scrutiny again.
Against Aston Villa, they were carved wide open with particular confusion between Luiz, Guendouzi and Sokratis. It was noticeable that Emery has employed the scatter and panic technique that is usually employed by those under threat of relegation.
A lifted ball over the top, a cut in from the wing or a move straight through the middle, saw Arsenal’s defence implode and although some may point out that the Maitland Niles sending off caused the chaos, I doubt it would have made much difference had he still been on the pitch.
Arsenal are too easily rattled and as the opposition go forward in numbers, Arsenal lose their shape and everyone appears to forget their job.
Xhaka (not him again) was running back and forth with only minimum input. This guy watches the ball a lot, for about 40 minutes every game.
??????? Rob Holding
??????? Kieran Tierney
?? Hector Bellerin
Arsenal could have a new-look defence in the Carabao Cup this week…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 23, 2019
Rob Holding’s return after about ten months out for Arsenal will be especially welcomed and perhaps there’s a chance that Calum Chambers will partner him in the centre of defence. He certainly deserves his shot after a near perfect performance at the Emirates at the weekend.
Good news indeed but the inclusion of Bellerin and Tierney will add much needed speed for Arsenal when they have to reel back in defence but it will also add pace going forward with the likes of Pepe, Aubameyang, Nelson and Saka ahead of them.
It’s an exciting prospect and is almost like three new signings and it could pave the way for a drastic rejig which could remove Xhaka, keep Ozil on the bench and end the recent run of appearances of Sead Kolasinac.
Arsenal have had to make do for too long but they are just one injury away from that situation again. If January arrives and Arsenal don’t add to the defence, this will be a recurring problem without a likely solution and it will have been presided over by two managers who should have the ability to spot and eradicate weakness.
Emery obviously thinks the answer is not to be found in his existing players such as Calum Chambers or in the host of young academy talents, so he may have no option but to spend.
Emery and Edu should move heaven and Earth at Arsenal to buy Dayot Upamecano and Daniel Rugani but we are talking a hefty fee. Red Bull Leipzig’s Upamecano will be available to anyone who starts the bidding at £92m, which will trigger his release clause.
See who's been training ahead of our third-round clash with @NFFC ?
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 23, 2019
Juventus might do business for Daniel Rugani for a figure in excess of £30m plus and he is certainly the cheaper option but it’s said that he refused a potential move to North London in the summer.
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