MU 3 – 1 Arsenal | 8 Observations: Awesome Midfield, So much Talent in Attack, Painful Lesson

Eight Observations:

  1. If you play like the big boys, you can get beaten like them. Arsenal are seasons ahead of MU. They want to play football like us, dominate like us, pass like us. But they can’t. Instead they have to play counter football. We were outdone by a few well executed moves to which we lacked pace and positioning. But this is exactly the risk our style of football carries within it; the same happens occasionally to City and Pool. It was a painful but excellent lesson for the team.
  2. When you play high press total football, you have to score at least half of your chances. We had plenty and we did score two. One was cruelly taken away by the farce of VAR. In a game like this it is clear we miss another experienced attacker. Martinelli and Saka and Odegaard are making leaps forward, and Bukayo did score, but I think Jesus was the only one not bothered by nerves during such a tough away fixture. We should have scored a couple before we finally did.
  3. Still, I also want to stress what great talents we have in Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard and they are learning so fast from experiences like this and outperformed their home side counterparts. They are worth their weight in diamonds, and the ly shine like them.
  4. Our midfield was awesome and we hardly missed Partey. I thought that Sambi played with confidence and he positioned well, and Granit and Martin bossed proceedings.
  5. The gap between our high line and Ramsdale was too big. I wonder whether Aaron was not fully fit for this one as he decided to not come out and put off the attackers on the key moments. Rashford had too much space and time to put his shots away.
  6. Vieira and ESR brought something to the game straightaway and that was encouraging, especially from the young Portuguese sensation. It was nice to finally see him play.
  7. A question: when we play a very high line are White and Zinchenko our best full back options/ are they quick enough?
  8. Of course it is now important to learn a few lessons and move on swiftly. Win the next game and we are still TotL. A draw between City and Spuds will see us three points clear then; a win for one of them will see us create a four point gap with the loser. We played fabulous football and should have won but for an awful VAR intervention and some lack of confidence when we could have scored. The Big picture is extremely bright. Bring on the Toffees (but first we go to Zurich)!

By TotalArsenal

35 thoughts on “MU 3 – 1 Arsenal | 8 Observations: Awesome Midfield, So much Talent in Attack, Painful Lesson

  • Here are last weekends results:-

    For the week:-

    1st Eris & OX10 with 5/6 plus 2 bonus points = 7
    3rd Madhu & Kev with 4/6 = 4
    5th Stuart, Le Gall and GN5 with 3/6 = 3
    8th Total with 2/6 = 2
    Season to date :-

    1st OX10 – 29.0
    2nd Kev – 24.0
    3rd Eris – 22.3
    4th Madhu – 21.0
    5th Stuart – 19.0
    6th Total & GN5 – 18.33
    8th Le Gall – 13.0

  • Here are the selections for Sept 10/11.

    Fulham v Chelsea
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur *
    Arsenal v Everton
    West Ham United v Newcastle United *
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United *
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women

  • Thanks for bringing some perspective to what transpired at the toilet, yesterday. I have only seen highlights so cannot make a well informed comment about key aspects of how the game went.

    From the highlights, Sambi seemed to have been at fault for the third goal when he had the option of passing back to big Gab to restart the offensive; he elected to feint a pass to Gab then turned forward and hit a misplaced pass forward. Manure seized on that loose ball and killed us with the pace of Rashford, with our defenders caught poorly positioned. I’d give them that; they know how to catch a team in a counter.

    Hopefully, Sambi will learn from it and get even better; of course, he may have been playing to instruction to play forward.

  • TA, you make a good point about that high line we played and I think you are spot on with your view regarding needing to score a fair few of your chances, if you play a high line.

    Good spot, re Ramsdale’s choice not to make up the ground faster to clear the pass to Rashford. Maybe, he was warned against it as the hosts have a couple of technicians who can catch a keeper off his line; maybe, he still suffers from the injury last time out.

    Happy that Vieira got his chance and has done well, along with ESR. Very good for their confidence as we prep for Thursday. Some reports have criticized the changes Arteta made and alluded to this being the reason we lost our shape and became open for the counter. When you see that the criticisms came from Gary Neville and Roy Keene, you will have to take that with a load of salt seeing how poorly they have performed as football managers.

    Do you reckon we would be better off playing a quicker Tierney at left back and Tomiyasu at right back, if we play a high line? I am not sure those two won’t be at the other end of the pitch, under instructions, in similar circumstances (chasing the game). But, that’s a damn good observation to make, which the coaching staff should be looking at.

  • ……. maybe, it was for the second goal that Sambi lost the ball. Not certain*

    GN5, thanks for the update and new selections. I see OX10 is on a roll now; kudos to him.

  • Fulham v Chelsea D
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur * 2-1
    Arsenal v Everton H
    West Ham United v Newcastle United * 2-1
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United * 1-2
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women A

  • Playing a high line with both full back tucking in and flanking sambi is a huge risk. Mind you Zin is not good at defending and have tendancy to go the ground while tackling and he doesn’t have the recovery pace as well. Frankly we don’t have the players to play like ManC and we should be trying to build our identity. We have to maintain shape of the backline and atleast have the right back in the same line as the central defenders. For the last goal we had only Saliba back. That’s too open against top class team.

  • From the comments i see that people enjoyed the positive perspective in the post that I was going to mention.

    I’d say .. in terms of getting caught out playing the high line.. it’s something I expect Arteta and the coaching staff to figure out in the post mortem, and adjust before Everton who will be looking at the film to get ideas…

    also it’s most important to remedy before we play spuds, because sitting and countering is their only playing style..their plan A,B, C….

  • Thanks Total. A good and perceptive post.

    We played the football but they got the result. Indeed reminiscent of the last few seasons under Arsene as J has discerned and noted. Other than the outcome, I enjoyed the game. Our lads played some lovely football and dominated possession but were not clinical with our chances, William and Martin missing two very presentable opportunities.
    However, even after a defeat at OT, I feel strangely euphoric. We have a very fine football team, one brimming with skill, one full of promise and resolution; one to be very proud of.

  • TA, I appreciate your positive observations and agree with much of what you say but, I can’t help feeling that we allowed ourselves to be mugged. Hopefully the lessons learned from the game will enable us to be stronger going forward. Some of my thoughts on these below.

    Although we were dominant in possession and played some lovely football we had far too few clear cut chances. This was partly because we are often guilty of overplaying in and around the oppositions’s penalty box. This isn’t a new problem for us.

    KT and Tomi may be better options when playing a high line against counter-attacking opposition.

    Was Aaron not fully fit? If so, and Arteta knew this, he should have adapted his tactics and/or used Turner. If Aaron kept a lack of fitness to himself, a) it means the manager cannot make the right decisions and, b) it risks the player’s availability longer-term which we know from All Or Nothing cost us last season when KT kept an injury to himself.

  • Fulham v Chelsea D
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur * 3-0
    Arsenal v Everton H
    West Ham United v Newcastle United * 1-1
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United * 1-1
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women A

  • Fulham v Chelsea A
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur * 4-1
    Arsenal v Everton H
    West Ham United v Newcastle United * 2-2
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United * 1-2
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women A

  • Good comments Eris, thank you.

    Fair point re Lokonga, but that sort of mistake is likely to happen and see Partey do these every game.

    I thought White lacked just a bit of speed and Zinchenko looked rusty to me. But the high line and the Pacific ocean behind it frightened me no end.

  • Stuart, feeling strangely euphoric is a great feeling to have. I am hurting a bit after those counter goals but also feel positive about our style of play and aptitude.

  • I’m thinking of adding a Super Bonus to our competition.

    All 6 correct game results plus 3 correct scores will get a 10 point Super Bonus.

    To my recollection nobody has achieved this since we have been running the competition.

    I would appreciate your thoughts – a simple majority decision will decide.

    We have 8 people in the competition so in order to allow a majority decision my thoughts will not count.

  • OX10, you touch on a good point. Overplaying is a balancing act. Nervous players can do that and it can cost us. Yet when I watched Citeh v Villa I saw them not playing the right pass a few times and it cost them. Managers like Klopp, Guardiola and Arteta train their players to optimise a chance by finding the best positioned player. Of course, directness is also important, hence it is a balancing act.

    I thought we made half a dozen good chances at least, just weren’t clinical enough.

  • Great idea, GN (signed: The Red Lantern)

    Agree with you, OX10 about not-fully fit players (even though I don’t know if Aaron was, obviously – I don’t know if he was poor either, I didn’t watch the game live, and didn’t have it in me to watch the replay – never will)
    Anyway, as a general rule, playing non-fully fit players never works: they play without the “peace of mind” necessary to make split-second decisions on the pitch, there’s more than an outside chance they might end up more seriously injured than they were to start with, and above all it sends a terrible message to their backups (“even when your rival’s injured, you’re not as good as him”)
    I hope all the boys who were in doubt sunday (aaron, zinch, martin) will be put to good rest thursday – they probaly will, actually.
    And about thursday, rumour has it ESR is on the injury list as well now; this boy is “fortune’s fool” indeed.

  • GN5, here are my predictions for the week’s selection:

    Fulham v Chelsea D
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur * H 3-1
    Arsenal v Everton H
    West Ham United v Newcastle United * D 2-2
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United * A 1-2
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women D

  • My predictions:-

    Fulham v Chelsea A
    Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur * H (3-1)
    Arsenal v Everton H
    West Ham United v Newcastle United * H (2-1)
    Crystal Palace v Manchester United * A (1-2)
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women A

  • Goodness! The Stamford Bridge guillotine falls again. There is a club that seems to put trophies before people.
    Our Maori have a proverb: He aha te mea nui o te ao
    What is the most important thing in the world?
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
    It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

  • Fulham v Chelsea…………….. Away
    Man City v Tottenham……… Home (2-1)
    Arsenal v Everton……………. Home
    West Ham v Newcastle……. Draw (2-2)
    C.Palace v Man United……. Draw (2-2)
    Man City W v Arsenal W…… Away

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