Arsenal Recap, Le Coq, and Swansea by GT
First of all. Theo is the worst. He offers nothing. I felt that keeping Theo and making him our striker was the worst idea ever, and it’s proven to be just that. I don’t fault Wenger for giving Giroud a day off. That makes sense. The problem is Theo blows!!! It also hurts that he can’t play anywhere else either. I was worried about our central midfield going into this game. Ramsey has been playing so well lately, and I was worried what might happen if he had an off game. He did and we struggled because of it.
But far worse is the play of Le Coq. This guy has been a disaster since coming back. Le Coq makes tackles and throws himself at things. He’s really good at it. Sadly, that’s all he’s got. His positional awareness and marking is so poor!!! I truly feel like this guy doesn’t see the game at all!!! He wasn’t the one whose mistakes resulted in all the goals, but they easily could’ve been. Although the third should be blamed on him. He gets lost on the break. Sinks too deep. And never picks up Herrera’s run. It’s 100% his man. He needs to cover the trail runner at the top of the 18. However, by the time he does see it, it’s too late. On the other two crosses he is poorly positioned as well. However, he doesn’t factor.
But even looking back to the Barca game, his man marking has become really poor. In the 54th minute, he completely checks off and allows Neymar to run free behind the D. Luckily, Neymar took a bad first touch. I now firmly believe we need to buy a more dynamic DM. I said at the beginning of the season, that I needed more time (another year) to assess his ability. This guy is a backup. He’s a sub to sure up the D at best! He’s no starter!!! We need to buy a starter. We’ve given up 5 goals in the 3 games back that Le Coq has started. And we have zero clean sheets.
I honestly think Flamini is better right now. Ideally we need a player like Arteta, when he first joined Arsenal. Arteta could make all the tackles that Le Coq makes. He could make all the passes Cazorla makes from the back. And his positioning was brilliant. Not to mention, he’d chip in a goal or two. This is the kind of guy we need.
Gabriel wasn’t good. And I wish we hadn’t started him, just cause I hate rushing guys back into the team after being away. He’s better than Per. And the future at CB. But I’m not a fan of rushing guys back. However, Kos is the guy I blame for both of the first goals. He twice allows Rashford to get too far behind him. The first goal I thought was a miss kick by Gabriel, only to realize that Kos got a nick of a header on it. It throws off the timing of the clearance by Gabriel. That’s why he whiffs.
Then on the second goal, the ball just goes over his head. People were blaming Gabriel for this goal but it’s not his man. Gabriel is goalside of the back post run. He’d also have to take Rashford if a near post run pulls Kos away. Both players check the 18 to watch the runs before the cross. What annoys Gabriel is that the 2nd man makes the back post run. At that point Kos has to drop back to defend Rashford. He’s sort of in no mans land. The ball for the 2nd time gets put over his head. Ramsey and Coquelin are also guilty of taking up the same position, neither one following that extra back post runner. That the ball goes to Rashford isn’t the important thing to notice. Notice the marking. If the ball goes to the back post there are two attackers. One is marked by Gabriel and one by Bellerin. So the free man is Rashford. That’s Kos man. Or if Coquelin or Ramsey were to track Mata to the far post, then Gabriel could’ve stepped up and got goal side of Rashford. It’s just poor all around. But twice Kos was caught in no mans land. There are no near post runners, he’s just in poor position.
Looking to Swansea…..changes will be made. Giroud up top is a no brainer. But I wonder if he’ll pull Le Coq. Since every Arsenal supporter thinks Le Coq is God, I’m sure people would be stunned to see him benched and assume he was injured or tired. Whatever. He’s killing this team. He needs to be replaced. Seeing how we need to score, I could see Elneny being that guy. He moves the ball around well. If we were playing a more offensive team I might prefer Flamini or Chambers.
Sanchez Ozil Welbeck
Monreal Per Kos Bellerin
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Gabriel again either. But because of the midweek game I think Per will play. Gabriel will get the start against Spuds.
I’m also not that worried about the loss as far as points go. Taking away the actual performance and just looking at points it’s not that bad. We could be back in first by Monday. Though more likely for me is 2nd. I think Spuds will lose twice this week. LC will draw at least one of their games. I could see them winning the other. But I’ll guess they draw both. They didn’t look impressive against Norwich. And Tony will neutralize Vardy with 2 markers and a black eye or broken rib.
I spoke earlier this month how Watford became boring and they play for a draw every game now. Much like how many more teams are high pressing Arsenal, I hope that more teams sit in the box against LC. These lower teams have to respect their ability at this point. Part of the problem was that early season, no one believed that LC and Vardy were real. Everyone tried to get a result from them as if they were the same relegation team from last year. And every team got burned. There is no way Vardy would’ve scored that many goals playing on Man City or Chelsea. Now teams are adjusting, they will just look to get points off of LC. Teams will take their offensive threat seriously. Norwich played quite well against them. Outplayed them I thought. Alex Neil provided a nice blueprint for how to approach LC. He played 5 defenders and bracketed Vardy all game. I think we’ll see a lot more of this on LC moving forward.
At least we don’t have to wait long to get that sour taste out of our mouths!