The performance, if thats what you call it against Watford , was a fine example of everything that is wrong with Arsenal and Emery right now. They can go from a position of strength to complete collapse within 50 minutes. They can go from graceful attacking force, to spineless capitulation in the time it takes to make a pot of tea.
Transfer expert Ian McGarry: 'It was a bit more by luck than design that they [Arsenal] finished as high as they did last season. And there's a little bit of doubt creeping into the Arsenal hierarchy about Unai Emery, specifically with Josh Kroenke.'
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) September 19, 2019
Social media is again on fire with porridge brained supporters demanding the head of Unai Emery but this is the reasoning of a handful of idiots who can’t see how much needs to be done after 22 years of the Wenger empire.
So let’s examine where it’s currently all going wrong. The reason Arsenal are defensively poor is that they mysteriously agreed to loan William Saliba back to Saint-Étienne and never pushed hard to secure another player in the calibre of Samuel Umtiti. That seems a fairly simple appraisal of the clubs plight but there is more worth considering.
As I said before the season started, Sokratis has the heart of a lion but unfortunately he has the footwork of a rhinoceros and lacks rounded defensive skills. His lame pass which cost a goal against Watford, could just as easily have been a penalty instead.
Sokratis is unable to mix physicality with finesse and with the introduction of VAR, it’s highly likely he will collect cards or find himself having an early bath. Emery and Arsenal need desire at the back but Sokratis has limitations in his game that will eventually lead to his departure.
David Luiz needs to move into a defensive midfield role to enhance his forward thinking ability. As a last line of defence, he is sadly not the answer but playing a mixture of attack and defence would certainly suit his skills.
According to TheAthletic:
-Emery rarely works on Arsenal’s pressing, it's not one of his tactical plans
-The players enjoy working under him, but are frustrated with the same repetitive drills in training
-Players often zone out during 2
hour video analysis sessions pic.twitter.com/OESnSbzFq6
— afcSource™ (@afcSource) September 17, 2019
Could Calum Chambers have performed as badly ? Not really and Emery should clearly look back at the Newcastle game. Chambers is less likely to hang out a leg and the error of judgement by Luiz is another example that Arsenal may have been sold lemons when they asked for limes.
On to Kolasinac, he’s not a left back ! He’s not a winger either, so where does he go and what Emery thinks of him ? Transfer time, pure and simple ! Emery has to look at the overall fit of the side and although he gets forward and occasionally puts in a peach of a ball, it’s not enough.
Emery also has to cast aside Ozil for good. A few cute, eye catching passes will not improve Arsenal’s current situation. They need players that can cover ground and fight for the ball when they aren’t in possession, that’s not Ozil.
I supported the German for some time and looked for positives but he’s the type of guy that takes without giving. When Dani Cabellos is available, he should take over the traditional number 10 role and Emery needs to be bold about that.
Ozil has the official shirt but he really doesn’t deserve, it has tragically been completely devalued since the days of the legendary Dennis Bergkamp. Ozil will never match his quality or commitment in the time he has left at Arsenal and in ten years time, the German will not even be mentioned in the same breath as the Dutch master.
Emery also needs to work out what his best line up is. We know players are coming back but surely Torriera could have started instead of Captain Vanilla ( Xhaka ) The Swiss just continues to indulge himself in his role and hasn’t got the strength of character to lead a dysfunctional and disconnected side.
In the Watford game, Xhaka was responsible for Cleverley’s early shot on goal by attempting a short pass to Aubameyang. Capoue intercepted, it was fed to Hughes, back to Capoue and onto Cleverley, who had to extract a save from the flying Leno. It’s another lapse in concentration that could have cost Arsenal and Emery dearly and comes on the back of his penalty gaff in the NLD.
Let’s move on, it appears that Emery is trying to establish a team that is as fair to experience as it is to youth, a blend of academy potential with seasoned campaigners but it’s just not working and one could be forgiven for thinking that this muddled thinking is part of the problem.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 17, 2019
It’s clear that Arsenal’s summer rebuild has only papered over the cracks, the foundations are still unstable and the team lacks cohesion and that is where Emery should focus on and and find a concrete and best formation with set of the players he has now.
Emery needs to find a solution to this wishy washy Arsenal and insert a spine. He needs to find the balance between flair and toil, between industry and artistry, whilst avoiding the self district button.