Another performance just enough to get the points by Konstantin Mitov
Well lovely Arsenal people, we managed to win our first game in the Europa League against Rapid, and it wasn’t a game to remember. We managed a 2:1 win after a Leno mistake gave the home fans the lead. There’s an occasional mistake in Leno and that will bring up every time the question of should we have sold Martinez, especially after Villa’s start to the season?
We have to live with this decision though, but I am looking at our attack and thinking, what’s the problem there? On paper our front three looks good enough to score goals that can propel us to the top 4, but the chemistry is missing. We went with Laca and Eddie this game, maybe in an attempt to try something new, and it didn’t really work.
Perhaps that miss against Liverpool and the fact Arteta dropped him after that game has affected Laca, but against opposition like these, with all my respect to them, he should give us more. And while I like Eddie’s energy and positioning in the box, he’s not the answer at the moment and for the amount of money we’ve paid for attacking talent, we should be doing more.
Maybe the fact that Arteta still doesn’t know his best formation and starting 11 is playing into all this? The players aren’t making it easy too. There’s Pepe, a guy with electric pace playing like he has a prison ball tied to his foot. Against these kinds of opposition he should be taking players 1:1 more. For all the much needed organisation this team needed and Arteta certainly brought, we sometimes could use with players “expressing themselves” a bit more as Wenger would say.
That’s one of the main problems we have. Our squad is often too static. We do need a creative player to open teams up, but if nobody is making the runs, then picking a pass is difficult. Thomas Partey is a welcome sight here as he’s capable of holding up play in midfield and driving the ball up the pitch to leave more options for our attacking players to look for spaces further up the pitch.
He was one of the two standout performers in this game with the other one being Gabriel. Another solid performance from him. Calm with his feet, good in the air, he is quickly becoming a real asset to our back line. That said, it’s alarming our two best players are new signings, because the transfer window is over and our tough run of games continues with Leicester.
I wish we would try to dominate the game and put a solid performance for once. We’ve been mostly scraping results and while this is great and is part of the character of any great team, we’re too often relying on individual quality and little spells to win us games. Arteta doesn’t have 5 summer transfer windows behind his back like Klopp does to create a team full of his type of players, but I very much doubt he enjoys the style we play right now.
It’s very different to what City play and what he supposedly learned from Pep in his time there. But some of his decisions don’t make it easier. I’m not sure he knows what his best 11 is, and playing Willian as CF in Manchester didn’t help as our Brazilian signing has been pretty poor apart from Fulham. I suspect he and Auba (who rescued us again) will be back in the starting line up for Leicester, but who will be the third one?
I am surprised we played Saka again and I’m not sure if we’ll give him 3 games in a week, but we’ll see. Maybe we have something special prepared for them in the league? Regardless, since they thumped City, they’ve been not as good, and we should look to take 3 points off that game. We simply must start winning more points from the teams that finished above us the league if we are hoping to catch them.
Hopefully the result will be enjoyable and so will be the performance. ‘Til Sunday, have a happy and healthy week.