Unai Emery’s Arsenal loses to Guardiola’s Manchester City is probably one of the trending news in the world of football presently.
I mentioned in my previous article that the Arsenal team is still a work in progress so much shouldn’t be expected at this stage of the “new era”.Unai Emery is meticulously working hard to ensure he stamps his ideologies in the team.
Despite losing to Manchester City,there were few positives that could be taken from the game, the fans saw a high pressing side that forced the Man City defenders to make a lot of mistakes.Mendy from City was culpable at times as he was caught in possession by the high pressing midfielders especially Guendozi who in my opinion had a decent game despite playing in the second tier of the French league last term, the City game was a huge leap for him.
Cech also improved his one on one situations with opposing strikers but was rather uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.It is a clear sign that Emery wants his team to play out from the back.Mustafi was also decent,his pairing with Sokratis still needs some time to gel.Niles before the injury had a torrid time at left back as Mahrez and Walker harassed him on several occasions.
And it’s really surprising that at least a natural winger was not brought in the team during the summer to counter attacking full backs just as in the case of Mendy and Kyle Walker,which is a potent area for the City team. Xhaka was simply off the pace as he was missing in the Central midfield,an area the City players had a filled day and he (Xhaka) were rightly substituted for Torreira.Torriera came in to the game and brought some calm in the middle of the park.
Lacazette’s introduction brought some spark into the attack line but yet again Arsenal couldn’t finish off their chances.I pointed this out during pre-season that Arsenal should be lethal enough to punish their opponents with the new high pressing tactics but it’s still early.I believe the Arsenal team will continue to develop in this aspect as the season progresses.
Ozil,Aubameyang and Mhkitaryan were lethargic at best in the final third.Lots of misplaced passes that are so unfamiliar with the trio especially Ozil leaves much to be desired.
Bellerin must be held accountable for City’s first goal.He allowed Sterling cut to his inside right and couldn’t follow-up his (sterling) run.The players in the box should be doing better to block Sterling’s shot at goal but he was left to the damage Bernado’s goal was a classic City goal who have always been using their left flank to penetrate defenses in the Premier league.Most of their goals from last season came from the left so Stephan Lichtsteiner was the culprit as he let his man free.A cut back from Mendy and a simple tap in, Lichtsteiner should be doing better.
It’s rather pointless crying over spilt milk, the Arsenal side needs to up the ante.Misplaced passes doesn’t cut it. Manchester City was also guilty of this, for pass accuracy it was 80% to the home team and 84% for the away team.
You could see the small difference in that stat, despite Arsenal lack of organisation and dishevelled performance especially in the final third. City used their first team so the cohesion is absolute while Arsenal have a new guy at helms and is still all he can to blood the new players in the team with old players.Guardiola also had the same issue when he took over the helms of affair at the Ethihad.
Emery looked somewhat dejected after the match as he walked into the tunnel without acknowledging Guardiola.After the match, he had his mandatory post match briefing with Skysports where he said,
“We’re starting and we need also to do one process one way. Today is the first step. Manchester City are working in their third year with Guardiola and they have built a team with security, good players and a great stability of playing like they want. ”
“We are only starting out now.I am happy with the players because they ran and they fought. We need to continue working tactically and defensively, and doing more to shorten the differences today between Manchester City and us.”
From this statement, we can clearly understand that Unai knows the task ahead of him but only time will tell when the rewards will begin to yield.
Patience is needed to actualise this dream.So until next time,have a wonderful day ahead.
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