So, Arsenal’s long unbeaten run finally limps to the end against a relegation-threatened Southampton, and the performance was even worse than our awful win against Huddersfield last week. Yes we had a makeshift defence but surely these highly-paid players can adapt to any position if needed?
Can Arsenal really play without a No 10? by Eddie Hoyte
Okay folks, let’s discuss this like matured supporters. We’ve been on a good run and sadly it came to an end against a very poor team with the team giving an awful performance.
Arsenal’s injury list was long enough before yesterday’s defeat at Southampton, and it just goes to show how bad it is when you see a back three of Lichtsteiner, Xhaka and Koscielny. Luckily Sokratis was only missing because of his one game suspension and can return on Wednesday. Mustafi was also banned but sustained a hamstring injury against Huddersfield. Of course Rob Holding is out for the season, and we are waiting for Dino Mavropanos to return to training.
All Arsenal fans are well aware that we have had a brilliant unbeaten record until today, but we also know that we really haven’t played so well. And defensively we have only had one clean sheet in ten games, so it is perhaps quite lucky that we have gone so far unbeaten.
The one positive to Arsenal’s unbeaten run ending is it can no longer paper over the cracks. Our sequence of results seemed to make Unai Emery immune from any criticism, with some gooners feeling he hasn’t had enough credit from the media. That could be because, rewind to the summer and most pundits predicted we would be in a battle for the top 4, as our 22-game streak ends we find ourselves …. 5th, not good enough for Arsenal fans under the man he replaced.
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.
The Saints may not have won a home game all season, but they definitely started in a lively fashion and went toe-to-toe with Arsenal right from kickoff. It was a strange line-up from Emery and it looked like we were going to have our usual slow start, and so it proved with Danny Ings putting the home side in front after just 20 minutes with a bullet header that left Leno stranded.
The Gunners are set to face Southampton with a much changed defensive line up from last week’s win over Huddersfield
This is the team that I predicted earlier with the return of Koscielny, and Nacho Monreal his partner at centre-back….
Bellerin Koscielny Monreal Kolasinac
Iwobi Ozil Ramsey