Mancini to the rescue as Southampton looms….
There is so much apathy in the Arsenal world but we know how quickly things can turn in football, like Poche’s sacking! Three consecutive wins in the EPL will get us dreaming again. Southampton at home, Norwich away followed by Brighton at home look a good bridge across our troubled waters.
Emery has been slammed from all quarters for poor performance but, if he had the Invincibles as his team, a lot if not all his short comings might have been hidden. Maybe we have a collection of players who are not as good as we think. Or it could be that we have a team that is a poor mix of good players in which case it’s back to Emery.
Manchester City, under Mancini, were underperforming at the Etihad in a certain match they were expected to win easily. Just after the hour mark with the match still goalless, Mancini pulled out one of his forward men for a midfielder to the chagrin of supporters who were thinking oppositely. He won the match. When quizzed he admitted that the problem was not with the striker he pulled out but with the supply line that was supposed to be feeding his forward men. It was clear to him that what he needed do was fix the midfield which he did by strengthening them number wise.
We concede too many attempts at goal and achieve low numbers of attempts at the opponents’ goal. That’s an indictment on our midfield. It is their job to prevent the ball from getting into our defensive third as well as to progress the ball into our attacking third when they have it. If Emery is half as analytical as Mancini he’d know what area of his team first needs fixing, but with a thousand things always swirling in his brain he’s built a reputation of regularly missing the obvious. At this moment the bet is that he is busy acquiring in depth knowledge of Southampton which he would use to manufacture new pigments that would only put his team off colour.
If I were him, I would beef up the midfield and that means the concept of the PALs on the field together is put in the cooler. I would look at the PAL asset as providing us with options that leaves room for adaptation to tactics, to form, to injury and to the super sub. After all it is a privilege a club of our size should posses. Three of them on the field starved of the ball is the real misuse of the huge asset they represent.
Emery should throw away his volumes on Southampton our opponent come Saturday. I know it’s his addiction but he just has to stop thinking about adapting to every team. I don’t see why it shouldn’t be to hell with every team that come visiting at the Emirates. The onus should be on visitors to worry about us. I doubt Emery understands how big a team Arsenal is. Sorting out his team, starting with the midfield, should be his sole preoccupation. If he needs a helping hand from me, Willock must always be in the mix. Not that he’s up there yet but none of the others have his roundedness. For example he is able to show up in both boxes which is not saying much of the others.
Our players are so preoccupied with tame sideway and backward passes. Why? They are afraid to lose the ball. They know they are very vulnerable without it and that’s another indictment of our midfield which should be the core for repossessing the ball. We need better ball winners there. Our team defending that commences near the edge of our box has to stop. Fabinho, Wijnaldum and Henderson (Liverpool midfield trio) fight hard so that the ball does not get into their defensive third, making it easy for VVD and co. This is a job (saying it for the umpteenth time) that Luiz can help the team with more so as he is quite good at through-balls from deep. He is not exactly a Fabinho (who sits there for the Brazilian national team) but he is good enough and more pertinently the best in our ranks.
Against Southampton for example I would like to see this team:
Bellerin. Mustafi. Sokratis. Tierney.
That midfield three with Ozil in front of them has enough to aid both defensively and creatively. Look again at that line up panoramically and you’d see how those four letters L U I Z fit the arrangement. It’s a position he is conversant with having played there before. If Mustafi at central defense is stomach-churning for you, Chambers or Holding could step in.
Isn’t this the balance we’ve been looking for? Let’s keep shouting, Emery at wits end might just hear us. What’s your say.