The train of unconvincing wins keep on rolling. by Konstantin Mitov
Good morning, afternoon or evening (depending on where you are) lovely Arsenal people! We won our 8th game in a row. The last time this has happened was in 2015 in a run against Everton, QPR, United, West Ham, Monaco, Newcastle, Liverpool, Burnley and Reading. Beating Fulham will equalize this run and make them 9.
It’s an impressive run of results we are in no doubt. Performance wise I’m not so sure. We tried a new system with 3 at the back which was interesting. It didn’t seem like it worked though and at half time we reverted to 4 at the back. I am really enjoying the fact that we finally have a manager who can do tactical changes, make substitutions before minute 70 and brings experienced players to every game.
Had this been a Wenger side, we’d have the kids on the bench. Emery wants a winning mentality and we brought the big guns in case we needed to turn the game, but even though we didn’t, the likes of Lacazette played. Ozil would have an off-day in the past for sure in a game like this. Playing the big guns also helps keep their form going so I am very happy in that regard.
The change in management has a pretty obvious effect on some players too. Iwobi looks a different beast and a lot of us would’ve driven him to a club like Palace last year. I was also really impressed with Leno. Another bunch of good saves and his distribution with the feet is better than Cech, so for all those years we missed a good goalkeeper and a good striker, now we have 2 in both positions.
This game was a symbolic kick-off of the post-Wenger era as it saw the first players who’ve not played under the Frenchman score goals for Arsenal. That said, it still looks like the players haven’t clicked and some areas just lack the necessary quality, so that we can really dominate games.
We need wide players. Part of the reason our defense suffers is the full backs get zero support from the likes of Ozil or Ramsey on the right for example. This is why I feel we decided to withdraw Ramsey’s contract offer, to put his wages into an area that needs improvements. Right now, we have enough CM’s and number tens. I’d enjoy a replacement of Xhaka and Rabbiot’s contract is running out. It’s a true winger that is really missing in the side though.
I think the recruitment with the limited Budget we’ve given Emery has been very good. Sokratis seems like a very good fit for the premier league and if we pair him with a quality CB, I think we’re heading in the right direction. We can see though that the players haven’t really clicked yet. New coaches, new teammates, new training sessions, new tactics and ideas. It will take some time.
Yesterdays score of 3:0 flattered us, but it also asks the question of “what if” we play to our best? You can see confidence is growing inside the players and the fans too. Last season, fans went away hoping that we’d at least show some desire to play and now *say it quietly* we even expect to win against some teams. We should remain grounded and continue working hard. We’ve not beaten the greatest bunch of teams, but having a winnable fixture list and actually doing the job are two very different things.
Next up is Fulham. It’s a tricky away game, but news suggest we’ve given the players Friday off to recover and it’s so important to end on a high before an international break.
Lastly I hope that the fans will be slowly won over by the squad. Seeing empty seats in the stadium hurts. I had the chance to visit Borussia Dortmund as they beat Monaco in the Champions League. The atmosphere at the Signal Iduna Park is incredible. Their Tribune that is equivalent to the North Bank at the Emirates was rocking all game. Songs are sang, flags are waved, people jump and it’s really something to behold. Maybe we can learn a few things from them.
That’s all I have for you today. Wish you all an amazing weekend!