Everything about today seems to suggest Emery and his Arsenal project have arrived at a pivotal watershed moment on Sunday 27th October 2019…
- The fans are restless and vocalised this in the home stadium this week
- The media are discussing Emery’s replacement
- His own fans are discussing his replacement
- His boss had Mourinho as a personal guest in the Director’s Box
- He has been forced into a corner on explaining Ozil’s continued omission from a creatively sterile team
- His talented youngsters seem to respond to his assistant who just happens to be an Arsenal legend
- He has a fully fit squad, predominantly assembled by him, with no excuses to hide behind
- He has appointed a captain who slows his team down and impacts his selection
- He faces the team that effectively ended his Champions League aspirations at the Emirates last season
- He faces the player who we wooed then left high and dry, with a derisory bid, only to sign his international team mate.
- His two main current and realistic rivals for the Top 4, are getting the fluent and exciting best out of lesser squads while his team bores his own fans rigid.
- Both these rivals won in style this weekend to pile pressure on his Arsenal
Apologies if I have missed any contributing factors, as is the above is not enough, but the pressure on today is not a media generated frenzy. No, it is born of genuine concern within the Arsenal fanbase, that however much we all wanted Emery to be the right appointment, he is indeed not that at all. This is not entitlement or harkening back to what we had in recent times but more a real bemusement at exactly what our coach is trying to achieve. After one and a quarter seasons most of us are actually no closer to understanding what his style of play is and what he is looking for from the most expensively assembled and talent squad we have seen in a fair while.
The balance of the squad screams 3421 or 4231 but Emery has so many midfielders and three high profile, high transfer fee strikers we are shoehorning a 433. The only variation on this seems to be which three central midfielders he selects with Ceballos and home and Torreira away joining Guendouzi and Xhaka. From my perspective, I can live with 433, although it is not my chosen structure, is we have the width created by the fullback, as both Aubameyang, particularly and Pepe will not hold the width.
SO – Today is the day, in a 433 to pick the correct team and throw your ridiculous caution to the wind Unai.
- Xhaka is not and never will be a defensive midfielder and his lack of pace is a danger when you play him as our deepest midfielder.
- Torreira is not a box to box player and is the best back four shield in the group.
- Bellerin and Tierney are clearly both match fit and by not playing them in the Premier League is damaging you and your team’s season
- Liverpool’s success has been built on Robertson and Alexander-Arnold’s effectiveness so give your team a chance to replicate that in North London
- Holding is potentially our best and most accomplished central defender and he is far more relaxed playing out than Sokratis or Mustafi
- In the short-term Mustafi and Sokratis are our past, and past their best, whilst Holding can learn from David Luiz.
- We have Saliba arriving and the club want Upamecano, but we need to moving forward to attract him.
- Either play your captain on the left of the three more, advanced or rest him for now
- I would rest Xhaka and make Bellerin your captain. He is coming out in support of you Unai and is the fans choice (or this one’s at least.)
- Give Ceballos a run in the team and stop asking him to come on and impact it as he did so well on Thursday in the Europa
- If you are not going to play Ozil then the Spaniard to the most creative midfielder, we have available, but I sense he need the confidence of playing in that role for a run of games to start making those incisive passes that are obviously in his armoury
Today is your day Unai – Seize it and send out a message to us, the media and the league that you can get an attacking, fluid tune from this talented group.
Here is your team mate
Your welcome mate!
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.