MU 3-2 Arsenal
It is not easy to take positives from a beating at the Old Toilet but the big picture is still pretty good.
Arsenal lacked the experience and leadership to beat the Mancs last night but let there be no doubt that we were the better footballing team. The first goal may have been fortuitous but we started well and deserved the lead. After that we struggled to keep imposing ourselves on them and started to make mistakes. These were avoidable but very costly.
The young players played with gusto and tried to overcome their nerves but the experienced players – Auba and Partey – just did not lead by example. The big question is has Arteta got rid of too many experienced players too quickly? In a game like this it seems to show. The other question is are we expecting too much from Partey and also Elneny? I certainly thought we missed Granit yesterday. His experience may just have made the difference.
But if you think that we are a team in transition and were playing a team full of quality players, and still managed to play good football at times, then we can still take some real positives from the game.
Martinelli is back, ESR and Ode played good games, the defence played some good football positionally but were let down by a poor midfield on the day. Tavares and Tomiyasu were rocks and had no nerves.
Arteta and the boys need to find the confidence in their own abilities and superiority to win these sort of games. It will come but it needs time…. And a couple of well searched purchases.
We will end up above the Mancs come end of May.