ARSENAL MUST HAVE THE WILL TO MAKE EMERY SIGNINGS THIS WINTER WINDOW.
Against Brighton we had 68% of the possession. That domination is a farce. We had only 7 attempts on goal the whole of the 90 minutes. Brighton with 32% had 12 attempts.
We had 68% of possession yet in terms of territory only 25% of the action was in the opponents final third while 26% of the action was in our defensive third. Are we scared or incapable of transitioning the ball to the forward areas or is it part of our game plan?
Our deepest 4 outfield players(back line) of Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny/M-Niles, and Kolasinac had a total of 335 touches of the ball. Our 4 most forward players of Auba, Laca/Ramsey, Ozil/Iwobi and Torreira had 256 touches. That tells us where the dominating possession comes from.
If it is in accordance with our game plan then we are a disguised counter attacking team. As TA always says the whole idea might be to draw opposing players out to create spaces in their rear for our quick vertical thrusts. Nice idea but I wonder if the lack of a creative defensive base is a chink in the armor. Holding is being missed. He was by far our best creative passer from the back.
Such a game plan easily explains why Emery seems so eager to play Xhaka in the defence. He sees more of the defender when with the ball than when without it. That must be the reason too why Emery appears so keen on Guendouzi who actually plays as our deepest midfielder. He has penetrating forward passes. Unfortunately Douzi like Xhaka doesn’t know the first thing about defending.
Meanwhile I wonder why we bothered to bring in Lichsteiner even on the free: am yet to see the wise head. Chambers would have deputized better for Bellerin. Mainland-Niles who is so talented is too laid back and am beginning to doubt that he can rise to the top. He lacks that proactive quality that is propelling Guendouzi forward and that is visible in players like ESR, Nelson and Saka. I was so appalled when after he lost the ball in Brighton’s box, he chose to nonchalantly walk back as Brighton broke and this was in injury time. Yet his biggest weapon is his speed. Please don’t plead that I should forgive him. I confess that I never new that Bellerin is so cute.
Ozil can be enthralling and frustrating in equal measure but the most defining thing is that there is nobody around good enough to take his place. Iwobi replaced him at the interval and contibuted nothing. As for Kolasinac, he is the best today the worst the next day. Emery’s revolution would only have begun if the club exercises the will to make his signings this winter window. Luckily, we are still on the tail of the top four.