WERE SUMMER DECISIONS TOLD IN SPRING?
Positives, Needs and Hopes
Were Summer transfer decisions told to the players in Spring?
This is an educated guess, not knowledge……
What happened after the Napoli tie?
Such an impressive result against a very good opponent and then a total 3 game collapse.
I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to suggest that something happened behind the scenes.
The change in attitude, effort, product and ultimately results has been stark.
It could be that the players are rising up against Emery’s choices.
It could be that the players have been told to step off the accelerator and save it for the Europa League.
It could be as simple as the human reaction to being in each other’s pockets for 8 months has made situations abrasive.
It could simply be fatigue.
I’m wondering if the players or their agents have been told who is getting sold this summer.
Why would you risk upsetting first team players when you need them to qualify for the CL?
Well, Arsenal is a different financial beast to other big clubs. We are told that we don’t have much to spend and so there may be a huge importance in selling players with value in a timely fashion in order to get the players they want, who in turn may be deciding very soon.
Example…. if AFC want Nicholas Pepe or perhaps Samuel Umtiti and they are interested. Naturally other big clubs want them too and are pursuing hard and can make decisions now. The only hurdle is that we may have the money but need sales.
This would give Arsenal no choice but to try to expedite the exit of players with value.
If popular players like Ozil and Auba have been told that they need to find a new club then this would affect the short term mood and long term belief of the others.
Perhaps it’s me trying to find a decent reason for the mood to have changed when in fact I’m not wanting to admit that the players don’t care as much as us.
I’m just struggling to see that the players can’t see that Top 4 looks far easier than winning the EL as nobody is grabbing it. I can’t believe that Valencia, Chelsea or Frankfurt are going to make it as easy as Utd, Chelsea and Spurs are making it!
Whatever it is, it’s something.
* I like the one and two touch on the counter in the first half.
* Leno stopped it from being embarrassing. He has been a big plus this season.
* I’ve said a few times this season that Arsenal don’t play in a way that suits Auba.
Today they did. He received maybe two balls on the counter.
The trouble is that with a defence that nobody believes in, I don’t think it was smart to inflict the level of pressure that we did.
* Xhaka’s set pieces were dangerous.
Looked like the only way of scoring.
* In a sea of inconsistent performances this season, Sokratis at least tries to do his best.
My guess is that he is very upset with most of his teammates.
The second goal offered a black and white example of this….. as Vardy was breaking clear, Koscielny gave up. Completely.
Sokratis sprinted and at least tried to prevent a goal.
Two defenders who had both made the same error at the same time with the same opportunity to try to correct it.
If I was Emery I’d show Koscielny this, ask him why he gave up and then remind him how this looks when he is the captain and Sokratis (who should be) isn’t!
* I’m not sure if this is a positive as it’s not really working, but after years of Wenger fixing problems by not fixing anything, I admire Emery for trying.
If you try and you are talented and you are given time then you’ll figure it out.
* I’m looking forward to Thursday. I think we all know that our best version of our team will show up. They have done so in almost every big game.
What a shame that we didn’t see the last three league games as big games.
* It really bothers me when Auba decides to start taking the game seriously when it’s too late.
I’m grateful for his goals but I’m coming to realize that he’s too laid back and soft.
* Whatever strategy Emery comes up with for the rest of the season, the players need to buy in.
At PSG he apparently had problems with players ‘buying in.’
Laca’s comments last week about the team not following his directions and my eyes both tell me that this is an issue.
* There was nothing, absolutely nothing coming from the wings.
I find no logical reason why one of Saka or Amaechi should not be on the bench for every game.
It’s not about them, it’s about the fact that we don’t have one senior player who has individual dribbling brilliance. Due to the fact that we haven’t addressed this it gives us no choice but to choose one of them.
What did Guendouzi bring to the game?
I appreciate that he’s started to use Eddie but he needed natural width. Leicester loved playing our two up top.
For those that are telling me that ‘he can’t risk the youngsters’ or it might ‘destroy them,’ I respectfully disagree.
I believe that when you are 1/2/3-0 down then you need a spark to ignite the sadness. Dribblers bring this.
More importantly, if we would have brought on Saka against Palace when we were losing and we went on to lose, the only blame would go to those that put us in the predicament not those who tried to fix it.
We’ve had many ‘no lose situations’ and I see those as no judgement but the opportunity to make one of these youngsters a hero.
Beyond all this what is more important when you need a dribbler and don’t have one in your squad…. to protect the talented youngster from ‘what if’s’ or give the team what they need to win NOW?
Mkhi and Iwobi have had so many chances and have little final product.
I think it’s a FAR bigger risk to not have one of these two on the bench.
No need for two of Suarez, Mkhi and Iwobi on the bench at the same time. One of them and Saka or Amaechi gives different options.
Additionally, you can’t say that using Willock as an occasional CM to offer us goals is going to destroy him or that he doesn’t have the experience as we’ve played Guendouzi all season.
* I think Iwobi would make strides forward if he would be proactive on the dribble.
If you watch a defender when a dribbler does a step over or shimmy’s/dances like Iwobi does, they freeze for a split second. If you push it past them at this time you can be successful.
* The high line free kick was there for all to see twice in the first half.
With these risk/reward decisions I put them on the scale.
Teams do this so that offside is possible and also to give their keeper less bodies to have to come through.
The downside is that the deliveries are too good and if you catch them offside 2 out of four, is it worth giving them a free header twice in a game?
* Maybe Auba should play on the shoulder like Vardy?
* Emery talked pre-match about the difficulty in playing in the PL without physicality.
I think this speaks clearly to the recruitment of a strong CB and DM/CM.
Keep an eye on the Nzonzi stories!
* To add to England’s talented generation I nominate James Maddison. Better than Alli and Barkley. Good enough for a top six team too.
On that note, why don’t Leicester have more points? That’s a very good team with very good players and a deeper squad than when they won the league.
I feel for Emery.
I like people who try.
I do wonder if he tries too hard?
Too many thoughts, too many formations, too many strategies, too much wondering and confusion in the players minds?
I think Emery inherited a talented car wreck.
Has he tried to fix the whole car this season and sent his team spinning in circles?
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.