First half…. an utter mess.
Yet again the entire offensive 4 playing poorly all at once. The midfielders playing too slowly and positionally poor on defence. The back four left exposed yet making a litany of poor decisions. Cech keeps us in the game.. again.
Second half… our biggest problem this season has been individuals playing way below their potential.
We saw a positive change second half.
* Bless you Mr Diop. For your goolies gave us 3 points!
* The single most encouraging Emery change. Player accountability. Iwobi off at half time. Fantastic!
* Guendouzi yet again doing his part. When others play to their potential we may be in business.
Baffled by decision to sub him and not Xhaka.
* The ball inside the full back and behind their centre left back worked well and was weighted nicely
* not really sure how West Ham didn’t score more than one goal in the first half. A positive I guess.
* Torreira ‘s ability to play firm, disguised passes between the lines.
* Lacazette was a threat when he came on. Hope he will play Aubameyang AND Lacazette in the next game. I think they seem to want this and the opportunity will motivate them.
* Ramsey much better in the second half.
* Sokratis best game so far. Played with intelligence you’d expect.
* Happy for Danny Welbeck. Hector picked him out well.
MOTM…. Unai Emery for having the guts to make ALL players accountable and subbing players who are underperforming. Also, making subs when needed rather than being cautious and waiting until the 70th minute. Am I pointing a finger at Wenger? Yep.
Special mention to Petr Cech and Hector Bellerin as they proved to be difference makers today.
* My biggest concern since Emery took over is why we seem to lack energy and passion. Normally when a new coach comes in you at least get a boost in those areas. We have started the first half of our first three games looking like we just played an hour ago.
* First two minutes of the game Guendouzi went flying in for a tackle on the counter that he had zero chance of winning. Against a better team we would have been punished. He’s going to have to learn to play with more intelligence defensively.
* Our second effort is inconsistent. Often too easily dribbled past and no excuse for lack of chase.
* When Monreal went down and they counter attacked they ran 50 yards for a 4v5. Same on their first goal. Leaving ourselves exposed to the counter was a HUGE Wenger issue and I thought that this would be the first change. Worrying.
* It looks like the players don’t believe in the ‘playing out from the back’ that Emery wants them to do. They make one or two passes and then either Sokratis or Cech send it long. Kind of pointless.
* AGAIN, I say AGAIN Xhaka shows either his laziness or tactical incompetence when he doesn’t step quick enough to shut down a counter or drop off so he isn’t beaten by the first pass. Time for Torreira.
* Arsenal lack intensity when we press. This is when pressing becomes a negative tactic. The opponent feels comfortable and you get easily passed around. They look like they’re doing it as a gesture but don’t want to.
* First 30 mins Bellerin was our biggest threat. He was good but that statement should never be replicated.
* Is our lack of offensive rhythm because we have a new coach, new players, early in the season or all of these?
We are taking too long to make decisions.
* I don’t want to be boring because I say this every week but we really needed to sign natural wingers. The counter attacks that we had in the first half showed what a lack of width we have.
* Alex Iwobi has a bad habit. He gets a chance in the team and takes it for granted. I’d imagine he is the easiest to take back out of the team. If I was Iwobi I’d be buzzing everywhere offensively and take my defensive game significantly more seriously.
Bigger name players are sitting on the bench, Alex!
* Felipe Anderson punished us all day long with his ability to transition. We didn’t ever seem to deal with the problem which is a concern.
* Firstly, I hope that Wilshere regains his desire to be a progressive player. He plays everything sideways and backwards right now. Largely offensively anonymous all day.
* Really not sure what to make of Henrik Mkhitaryan. Never seen him have a consistent game. Goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.
* I’m hoping that our coach stops fullbacks pushing forward at the same time. We are often left three on three in the back. With Granit ‘I have no desire to recover’ Xhaka in the line up this problem is illuminated.
Has belief returned to Arsenal?
We will see in Wales.
Former Highbury regular. Moved to TN, USA in ’99. Married with 3 kids. Coached in UK and US for 27 years.
Mike McDonald Soccer Academy in Morristown TN, Olympic Development coach, Regional Premier League Champion.