Emery Finds His Best System At Last? by Dan Smith
Throughout the season, I been critical of Unai Emery’s team selection. I been concerned we were losing our DNA in terms of being a club who play the game the right way. This isn’t just because we beat Man United, our manager finally played Ozil and Ramsey in positions they played under Mr Wenger and no surprise we produced one of our best performances of the campaign.
Maybe it was our display in France, but our coach was a lot braver in his line up then he has been, especially against a top 4 rival. I’ll never agree with switching to a back 5 to accommodate two full backs because they can’t defend. Long term, if we have to alter formations because you can’t trust a right back/left back to defend, then they shouldn’t be in that position. Yet Maitland Niles and Kolasinac were fantastic on Sunday – and on merit deserve to start next Thursday.
Where we had the balance that we don’t normally have is we didn’t have 2 DM’s in front of 5 defenders, leaving the pressure on one man to be the sole creative spark. Instead Rambo was asked to play the role he has had for the majority of his time as a Gunner. This was a gamble from Emery to go against his cautious instinct. It’s taken him nearly 7 months to trust the Welshman to play there, and hopefully this now means he has found his best 11. While long term the midfielder is going to Juventus, in the short term our midfield doesn’t need two DM, it’s not in our DNA.
Emery didn’t simply play 3 attack minded players, he trusted them to stay high up the pitch, no matter if the score was 0-0, 1-0 or 2-0. This again was a gutsier approach than normal. Emery essentially kept 3 high up, so the away side were always worried about the counter attack. It would have been easier to bring on a Guendouzi or Elneny but as the final whistle went, we had 3 attack minded talents as a threat on the break.
So, this wasn’t just the day we dragged Spurs into the race for top 4, this was the day Emery perhaps found his best system?