The 2-2 draw against Spurs was disappointing, mainly because of individual errors and Arsenal could have and should have won it, especially with a really decent second half effort.
However there are a number of things Unai Emery should ponder urgently, so let’s get cracking.
1. Dani Ceballos
Dani Ceballos should be an automatic choice if fit to play every match. There’s absolutely no point of benching the only genuine, creative outlet against any of the top sides. When he finally came on against Spurs to replace Lucas Torreira, he made a huge difference in terms of style, class and endeavour. He is, as far as we know, only at the Emirates for one season and fans need to appreciate him for his array of gifts.
2. Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka should never be an Arsenal captain unless everyone else is unavailable and by that, I mean that I’d rather give it to the head groundsman before he even got a sniff of the armband. Nor should he be encouraged to remain at the club for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Fans have had enough of his half witted, bulldozing, misplaced and idiotic tackles and his lack of appetite and skills. He shows no sign of learning from his mistakes and is always on the verge of a red card or a penalty. Emery should see Xhaka for what he is – an expensive mistake.
3. Unai Emery Needs To Fix His Midfield Dilemma
Unai Emery needs to find his best creative midfield line-up if Arsenal are going to make a dent on the top four slot this season. On that subject, Matteo Guendouzi had his best game for the Gunners to date and has developed very quickly into a combative and creative force.
His constant prodding and probing asked questions of a floppy Spurs defence and he created the goal for Aubameyang with a precision pass that left the opposition backline bewildered. The near perfect performance should have been crowned with a goal but regardless, he was incredibly impressive.
4. Arsenal’s Error Prone Defence
David Luiz has not solved Arsenal’s defensive issues and Spurs were able to whip down the left flank with ease. At times, the defence was scattered and fractured to such a degree that Son in particular could have helped put Spurs beyond reach, but for a handful of last minute interventions and the cat like Leno, who pulled off a number of impressive stops to make up for his earlier glaring error. Son was a constant source of irritation during the contest.
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5. More Transfer Market Work Required
There is more work to do in the transfer window to put options on the bench due to Emery’s much needed clear out. The fact that Ozil wasn’t used again should suggest to even the most ardent Mesut Ozil fan that the German is soon to be put out of his Arsenal misery.
Aside from Saliba, the Gunners will need to splash the cash for another central defender and if Ceballos and Ozil depart, they will need an expensive playmaker. The other problem of course is, at present, Emery isn’t sure who his first choice 11 are and with Tierney, Bellerin and Holding out injured, it’s hard to see the complete puzzle.