There is still a LOT of work to be done. We produced another shocking performance at St. Marys which should not be put down to the injury problems at the back! We’ve been defending awfully the whole season. The goals we conceded were all the more shocking by the fact, they were pretty much exactly the same.
For me, Koscielnys return was a bigger problem than a solution. Twice he let Ings get in behind him and head the ball. We really missed Sokratis, but this shouldn’t be an excuse. We should have the quality to dominate Southampton enough so that it doesn’t matter. Instead we repeated everything we usually do.
We started slow. What does it take for those players to realize, the first half actually matters? We’ve not lead at half time and this issue is so easy to ignore when you win, but you cannot always wait for the second half to start playing. Also we conceded before half time again. And I must say the full backs were also a huge problem. Where was Kolasinac by the way?
We simply allow too many crosses in our box. We don’t get close enough to players who don’t have a lot of pace and then we miss the guys who can head the ball out. And the goalkeeper has been absolutely shocking. Honestly this playing out of the back thing is something which hasn’t really worked for me and I expect to see Cech back in action, because this is the 3rd out of 4 games where Leno made a mistake, which lead to an opposition goal.
But to finish the defensive mistakes, why are we playing Xhaka as CB? We missed him in midfield where there were clear lack of ideas of how to move the ball forward. And at Palace we tried the Xhaka at the back experiment and gave away the penalty. Finally Lichtsteiner, the last piece of the make shift sorry excuse of a defense failed to put any passes, and simply cleared the ball forward hoping somebody would find it there which wasn’t really the case.
Moving forward, Iwobi was honestly shocking again. I got now idea how he is starting games, when he has zero ideas and every second touch he makes is too heavy. Finally when he is closed down all he does is kick the ball at the opposition player hoping it goes out for a throw.
We are extremely poor at controlling the game. If we aren’t scoring a late winner I can’t remember us holding on to the lead for a long time. This just makes the opposition comfortable and us nervous. The subs this time didn’t work either. Lacca had some impact on the game, but Ozil was honestly shocking. Why aren’t we bringing in Ramsey, when Ozil has been out for so long?
The manager failed us today. You live and die by your decisions in football. When it works you are the hero and when it doesn’t, you are the villain. What I’ve been crying out to though is to stop relying on subs to make the difference, but I guess as everything at Arsenal it will be learned the hard way.
The sad thing is is that for all the positive things we’ve done, truth is we are 5th and going into the top 4 will be a very tough ask. Another thing is that we still haven’t broken a hoodoo. Yeah beating Tottenham was nice, but as Emery said it himself, if we don’t beat the small teams, it’s of little value. Besides, we’ve beaten Tottenham before. Even under failing Wenger we’ve done it at home.
We’ve not won at Old Trafford since 2006 and we failed again, even though they were miserable. Today we’re again beaten at St. Marys which is a disgrace, because they are a poor side. But now after we failed to address the defense when we were winning, maybe after the good run is over, we’ll take a look at the problems we’ve ignored and make a strong response. We also need signings in January.
Sadly it’ll take at least 2 or 3 more transfer windows to put up a side that will be able to play the way the boss wants and have the players at the positions he wants.