Too easy and too difficult… Positives, Needs and Hopes
If I was an Everton fan… How on earth did we not win?!?! Arsenal were not good in any of their outfield departments, there to be taken and we were good but our final third choices kept us from a big win.
If I were an Arsenal fan, I would give Cech a break. He was excellent and won the game for them.
If I was being positive…. We have a great result yet again without playing well. First, clean sheet too.
If I was being real…. The gear stick at Arsenal looks broken. We look stuck in second. Occasionally slip into third.
Everton (much like Cardiff) made it as difficult as possible and played in fourth gear.
The results are good, the performances are concerning.
It is too easy to attack Arsenal and looks too difficult for Arsenal to attack.
FORMATION: 4-2-4 (not our set up but was how we played)
* Petr Cech
Fantastic reactions, 1 on 1’s, command of box and even decisions with his feet
* Auba’s second touch gets him away from defenders. Split second between his first and second touch.
Will see more from him when that second touch is shorter.
* I am not seeing the ‘team press.’ What I am seeing is the ‘first man press.’ When we get the rest of the team organized, we will see the great value in pressuring their first pass so quickly.
* Under Wenger we were not ruthless off the ball. We have started tactical fouling in their defensive and the middle third.
Like so many aspects of the game, we are not so much making strides ahead of our opponents but catching up to modern football.
* Lacazette either wins the ball or slows down the opponent by challenging from behind. Obvious improvement in his game.
* To our credit, we faced many corners and defended them very well.
* Too many GK’s flap or punch unnecessarily on crosses/corners. Cech is catching many. Maybe this is why Leno is not playing yet?
* I am concerned that Emery has spent many hours working on two parts of our game that are not working.
1) Playing out of the back. Only worked against Chelsea in the first half.
2) High line. We are playing it when there is no pressure on the ball.
As I said earlier, we are making it easy for teams to attack us.
* Aaron Ramsey.
I think his situation will have a large negative knock on effect.
The club want him to sign a new contract. It is proving very difficult so it makes it hard for Emery to leave him out. He has not had a game worthy of £250,000+ per week yet. Drop him, he gets upset and does not sign, keep him in the team and I am not sure these victories continue.
Let me explain…. Emery clearly does not trust his wandering ways as a midfielder. He is playing him in a foreign position that is not working. He is not playing between the lines and linking play or getting on the end of chances. The knock on effect is that Ozil is out of position; Mkhi is not playing when he has not been great but had more impact moments, Bellerin is exposed defensively with limited help and there is a huge hole between our midfielders and where a true attacking midfielder should be to link the play. This is leading to way too many low percentage long passes to a line of four players who are not good at holding up the play.
If he signs, I will be worried as I’m not seeing it working let alone working to the value of a quarter of a million pounds each week at the cash point.
If he leaves, I will partly be sad because he has spent way too much time playing at a club and never played as a box-to-box #8 in a 3-man midfield.
Today, he was not trusted to receive when checking back, we needed a powerful dribbler from deep but he was too high and he was not involved until the 40th minute.
Personally, I would play 4-3-3 against a good opponent. Like this…
Until we buy, a wide player or two you have all players playing in their best position.
Ramsey would get to run from deep and still have two players holding.
Regardless of our intent to play 4-2-3-1, today we played 4-2-4 and this allows easy transition for opponents with 50 yards of space with no pressure.
Against easier opposition, I have always wanted 3-2-3-2. (See below)
This gives us width on attack and enables us to play faster and not have to wait for Ballerina to run 40 yards.
Allows Auba and Laca to play together and Ozil to play attacking midfield.
Until we buy wide players, AMN would offer pace and stamina out wide. Far more to his offensive game than Bellerin. Mkhi on left, remember Milan away?
I would play Mavropanos at CLD as we would need height in the back and I think Lichsteiner is better than Mustafi until we realize that DeLigt at Ajax is the new Tony Adams.
Also, gives us three true defenders to deal with counter rather than two and a midfielder. Plus Torreira and Guendouzi.
Might just make us ‘not so easy to attack and make our attacks less difficult!’
* Xhaka needs to open his hips and receive on his right foot. Takes too long to open up, hence why we rarely played forward. Against teams who do not press him, he can. Everton gave him no time so this detail meant multiple unnecessary negative passes.
* Everton exposed gap between Monreal and Sokratis. Many teams are using this pass including us. Be careful Arsenal!
* Bellerin is a single threat when attacking. To be fair, his single threat of offering the cross/final ball has improved.
Never understood why he has not attempted to work on his dribbling/beating a defender and his shooting.
Could be a triple threat!
* I wish Lacazette would play with the same aggression in the box as he does outside. Worst that would happen is a free kick 90 yards from goal.
* Final need is for us to start sharper. Don’t believe that will happen until most of the above is fixed.
* That Sokratis is ok
* That referees get savvy to the trend of players falling on all fours when barely touched from behind. They grab the ball, get automatic free kick. Half the time they have fooled the ref.
* I have a horrible feeling… that nobody is particularly afraid of Arsenal.
Look at that 3-2-3-2 again ⬆️
Put Zaha on the left and Adama Traore on the right.
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.