Brilliance needed… Positives, Needs and Hopes
This was an interesting game to misread.
It is lazy to state that we were simply ‘disappointing’ or that the game was ‘dull.’
Arsenal did many things well.
You have to in order to have 75% possession and to get through any game without your opponent having a chance.
Arsenal just needed some individual brilliance.
We rely more on the collective for this brilliance but sometimes you need an individual.
Iwobi is our shiny new gem that can offer this. Credit to his big improvement.
What I have noticed is that when Iwobi gets it wide the crowd get on their feet AFTER he beats his man. Arsenal need a player that gets the fans standing in anticipation of brilliance.
This game was simply not difficult enough for Lisbon.
* Mkhi was busier, more visible and demanding.
* ESR was a catalyst to the team playing quicker in the second half. Sees the game very well.
I have also noticed that his second touch is quick.
We often talk about the first touch. Most important technical skill, no doubt.
Those who can get a quick second touch, especially under pressure, get away from pressure.
* Nice to see us vary the attacks, both right and left side. Been more left sided dominant this season, counter attacks aside.
* 3 positives on Guendouzi.
He REALLY wanted to win tonight. I am so glad he has the character to show his emotions at 19 and not be passive.
Secondly, he is starting to improve his anticipation and general defensive game.
My biggest fear at AFC is Torreira being injured; as we do not have, another true DM. Guendouzi gave me such hope tonight that he could be that guy if needed.
Lastly, he always takes space rather than the ball when given the option. Smart and mature.
* Cech’s feet were better as was his starting position
* One player who I anticipate good things from is Kolasinac.
His delivery from the wing is better than any other player at Arsenal.
* Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be really good. Waiting for the drive to kick in. He has the full package offensively as well as being a supreme athlete. May get his chance as an alternate to Bellerin now that SL is injured.
* For Danny Welbeck to recover quickly.
* Looked a little flat footed as a team tonight.
* Ramsey bothered me. Took too many touches to get ready.
* Going back to Iwobi… He seems to improve when one on one. Does not have the muscle memory or proactive movements to consistently trouble the full back.
This brings me on to a gripe about what is achieved behind closed doors.
For at least 10 years, football has been a possession game and coaches spend endless hours working on this part of the game.
I have always wondered why wingers, for example, do not practice a variety of ways of beating their defender on a daily basis. I really do not want my winger to have spent 50% of every session shifting the responsibility when their primary role is to be individualistic.
* Arsenal need to be far less static in the box. There is not a reset when an attacker positions himself in the box and the attack is delayed. Under Emery, I do not yet feel that balls put across the box (apart from counters) are going to be converted due to this lethargic habit.
* Don’t yet feel that we use Auba’s electric pace enough.
Reminder in the 87th minute of what we have.
* If we believe the rumours, Arsenal will address the need for individual brilliance in January.
Would energize already energized Emirates too.
We simply need some unpredictability.
My guess is that Welbeck will not immediately be replaced by a CF. They will give his minutes at CF to Auba/Nketiah and buy a winger.
* That Emery does not take his team for Spurs to Vorskla. We could lose and still come top. Too big a risk.
* If and when we get a winger I would love to see 4-3-3 at AFC.
We have so many that could play as the third central midfielder.
Guendouzi is the obvious choice.
I want to see AMN there.
One midfielder as DM (Torreira)
One as the passer (Xhaka or Guendouzi)
One as the train, driving through the lines (AMN).
I could see Iwobi doing this too. Runs very well from deeper positions.
Mkhi could do it and although it is too late, Ramsey is a third midfielder in a 3-man midfield all day long.
Not fun for a professional almost out of contract and with a serious injury.
I hope we see Danny Welbeck play for Arsenal again 👍🏻
Talking of shiny new things……
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.