Despite having a fascinating preseason spell under the new administration of Unai Emery, Arsenal’s premier league performances has been quite bumpy with little or no improvement especially in the defense. The premier league opener against the reigning champions Manchester city did not only come off too early but it represented a colossal rock for Unai Emery and his lieutenants to break without a sledge.
Although they headed to the game full of confidence and optimism, they still failed to pick a point or register a goal at the Emirates.
The second game against the 2016/2017 champions Chelsea was an impressive game with a lot of positives. It was particularly fascinating to see some goals, plenty of attacking football as a result of playing out from the back, and most significant was the strong mental character to recover before the break haven been 2-goal deficient before losing the match 3-2. However, the big games calls for the biggest performances which Arsenal has failed to deliver against the premier league recent champions, Manchester city and Chelsea respectively. That shows that they are currently far from the title contenders.
Emery and his generals got their first points at the emirates against the struggling hammers, though the performance was not the best but Arsenal worked hard enough to obtain the maximum point of the game at the expense of a frailty Westham defense. Arsenal also hoped to keep a clean sheet against new boys Cardiff City rather they only got out with half smiles, thanks to a Lacazette brilliant late winner. The game against the new boys shows that a lot of improvement and intense work is needed defensively as the acquisition of Stephan Lichsteiner, Bernd Leno, and Sokratis, Papas “the greek warrior” has not impacted any significant and obvious sustainable reinforcement. As the transfer market is currently closed, Arsenal only have to reckon on individual prowess and intelligent tactical defensive structuring. Howbeit, Arsenal’s attack have the potential to break defenses and they constantly pose a threat going forward having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, “Auba-Laca Bromace” and rejuvenated Hector Bellerin who has already bagged a couple of assists. These should be a positive for all Arsenal fans to be proud about.
Unai Emery’s style of play which involves playing the ball out from the back; a gradual build up play spurred by the goalkeeper is still far from implemented while some of the players are gradually adapting to this style.
However the persistent appearance of Petr Cech in the starting lineup has provoked many Arsenal fans. Not taking away his splendid performances between the sticks, the Czech republic legend is not quite fitted to Emery’s style of play and his errors suffices to attest to this fact. Another player who has not quiet made much impact is Mesut Özil. I hope he’s positively recovering from his mental illness after much media and punditry criticism. Thus far he has failed to register an assist after starting three games in the Premier League, nonetheless much is still expected from the ex-German playmaker. Hopefully we get to see his best performances against Rafeal Benitez’s platoon.
Meanwhile, majority of the Arsenal fans are quite provoked by the absence of Lucas Torreira in the starting lineup as they apparently see him as the best midfield player in the sqaud. Elsewhere, there is an unresolved and unstatistical argument in the Arsenal tavern on who should start alongside Torreira in midfield. Majority of the fans suggest the revolutionary kid “Matteo Guendouzi” and a minority group are campaigning for the highly criticized Swiss deputy skipper “Granit Xhaka”. Stats have it that a pair of Xhaka and Guendouzi makes the defense vulnerable. However, we hope to see Lucas Torreira start against Newcastle United as well as the Deutchesland shot stopper, Bernd Leno.
As a rap up, Arsenal fans should believe Emery knows what is best for the team and they should put faith in his administration, though the growth might be slow but it is sure to be steady! A 50% win ratio for Unai Emery’s side is not a bad stat but they have loads of technical and tactical areas to improve on. Hope to see a better Arsenal under Emery.
By Eti Mark, Twitter: @Emcee_huckz
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