Personally, when I watch football, I’m looking for structure in a game, whether a team wants to be defensive, or they want to press, keep possession, or be pragmatic.
We must all see some sort of structure in order to get results. Arsenal looks like a team that isn’t sure of who they are or who they would like to be. We have a lot of deadwood on our side and holes in the team were all not going to be fixed, but we should be playing better football. Even if Arteta wants us to be a defensive team, that’s fine but we should be creating chances and have a certain level of being lethal.
Despite giving us the best start to a Premier League campaign in seven-years (before kick-off last night), there are things the manager can be criticized for.
My eight takeaways
1. The back three which I see as a back five is limiting our attacking intent because last night I would see at least five Arsenal players in the opposition box as opposed to City’s three but just one pass would result in a dangerous shot at goal. Talk about failing to utilize your advantage.
2. The back five results in the midfield being stretched if the ball is not circulating to all parts of the pitch. And the primary role of our central midfielders is to try and win it back only to lose it easily because it’s hard to move the ball around.
3. The wide areas are not giving us much joy either whether it’s keeping and moving the ball, chances created, goals scored or quality crosses into the box.
4. We lacked a presence in the box, should a team with a good center forward struggle with this? Lacazette has struggled at times but despite this, he has scored in three consecutive games and has benched in the last two matches. Aubamayeng’s presence is not being felt at the moment and his goal tally so far is a clear indication that he isn’t being found by his teammates.
5. Ceballos is good with the ball and has an eye for a pass something he needs to be allowed to do more often, but he needs better starting positions in the middle of the park. Ceballos puts in a shift as he wants to win the ball back and start things from deep, however, his ability to do so is limited if the midfield is comprised of Xhaka and himself. We have to win the ball back to play it into dangerous areas, that said we won’t win matches this way with a two men central midfield. So I am grateful for Partey and Arteta must give us the 4-3-3 ASAP!
6. The Martinez aberration has divided opinion and I feel Leno’s efforts will not be appreciated much going forward. He will be blamed for things beyond his reach and sometimes over-glorified when things do go well. It’s going to be tough for Bernd Leno in the court of opinion presided by the Arsenal fans.
7. Most of our team played way below their usual levels and very few deserve special mention after the game, however, I will touch on Gabriel, and Thomas.
In Gabriel Magalhães we are blessed with a good player who won’t hide in games and that’s a good quality to have in a center back. I look forward to watching him progress, is safe to say when you hear opposition fans tell you that you will be lucky to hold onto him in years to come, it’s a massive endorsement of his talent.
Thomas Partey also had decent thirteen minutes, we all know he is a good signing. But his introduction gave me hope that he will adapt well to the Premier League and give us a three men midfield and give us much-needed stability. It’s the wide areas I’m concerned about the most, Nicolas Pepe and Willian must be giving the manager sleepless nights as much as they are giving the fans headaches.
8. BUKAYO SAKA IS SPECIAL. Need I say more?
Arsenal’s next four Premier League games
Manchester United (Away)
Aston Villa (Home)
Looking at our next four games the boys need to find their bounce as they can not afford to drop any more points.