ARSENAL V LEICESTER :- IT’S “OPERATION TEN-TEN” WITH LACA LEADING THE LINE.
Where are we? I don’t know. There are mixed signals but I guess we are heading in the right direction. North.
We are 4th on the table of points yet a lowly 12th on attempts on goal (all stats from WhoScored after game week 8).
We are 12th on attempts on goal yet amazingly 2nd (behind City) on goals scored.
5th on possession yet a worrying 5th on the amount of action conceded in the defensive third. We dominate possession. We are dominated in territory. By comparison City is 1st in possession and is seeing the least action in their territory. Where are we?
Being dominated in territory should mean we sit back for the counters but that is blown to pieces by the fact that we have scored zero goals from counter attacks. Meanwhile against the odds of territory we have scored a whopping 16 goals from OPEN PLAY, 2nd behind City.
It’s contradictions galore but we are heading north.
We are by a long stretch the best team in the shot to goal conversion ratio (at 19.6%) yet our 19 goals have been scored by 11 different players (1 own goal). Against Leicester don’t rule out a Bellerin goal or Torreira’s or even the keeper’s. Emery has them all pumped up.
If games had ended at 45 minutes we would have been at 7pts only. That’s relegation waters. At final whistles we are at 18pts challenging for the title! Even the Maputo Express (Maria de Lurdes Mutola) never used to finish her 800 meter race with as much burst of speed (wow …. the way she used to eat up space and opponents in that final stretch like an Emery Express).
At 1st half we’ve scored 5 goals and conceded 6 compared to the 2nd half during which we have scored 14 goals and conceded 4 only. Negative territory in one, bulls in the other. Where are we?
Is there a dichotomy in Emeryball or is it existing as a veiled strategy? I can’t rule out the latter because nine wins in a row has bounced beyond the bounds of fluke. That is why am leaning on the side that Leicester would come and go empty handed, leaving us with a perfect 10. Except that this is football but heavens forbid.
Leicester is no longer the Ranieri-Leicester who conquered the Premier league by simply holding the fort with a conservative 4:4:2 formation and catching teams unaware with over the top balls for the speedy and unerring Vardy. That team was found out by the following season. Currently they are 7th on the possession table, yes 7th but with the best counter attacking stats with 4 goals which says they now mix things up and have become more subtle, like a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. Add to that the fact of their terrific spine of the brilliant Schmeichel (keeper), the excellent Maguire (CD), the combactive Ndidi (DM) and the terror Vardy who’s banged in so many goals against us and it’s clear we have a battle in our hands. Emery, though, has all their details and I dare not begin to guess what Fabian tactics he would come up with, this time.
I expect our back seven to be the same that played against Fulham. Lacazette appears the only certain call in our front four. Some big shots just have to be on the bench, mark you, as elite troops to be sent into battle after the area has been thoroughly bombarded, borrowing from TA’s insightful analysis of Emery’s tactics.
Expected line up:-
Bellerin. Mustafi. Holding. Monreal.
Bench: Martinez, Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Welbeck, Aubamayang.
There is the main plot of the premier league battle. There is the sub plot of 10 wins in a row. At the moment the sub plot is my bigger fancy. It’s so full of promises. It can stretch on and on and on but here we think OGAAT.
Against Leicester it’s “Operation Ten-Ten” and nothing more.