Against Liverpool, it was bewildering why Arsenal played a diamond formation allowing the Reds’ wing-backs all the freedom in the world to rampage down the flanks. Against Tottenham, it was a head-shaking moment when the name Granit Xhaka was on the team sheet alongside two other defensive midfielders.
There are many many more instances of these sort of questionable tactics and team line ups, and there is just one man to blame for all this, Unai Emery.
Now, this article is not about attacking the manager or calling for him to go but it is an article heavily laden with constructive criticism.
It appeared to me that Emery gave far too much respect to Tottenham, of course, he could not be complacent but where was the creative midfielder that was so clearly needed? Why did he not adopt the tactics on the field of play when it was obvious to anyone watching the game that Tottenham was there for the taking down the flanks? Why does he continue to persist with Xhaka who has proven himself to be a tremendous liability?
At Anfield, why did he not realise very early on that his diamond formation was not working? Why bring on Lacazette for the final ten minutes? Why leave Torreira on the bench when negating Liverpool in the midfield was so important? Why play Ceballos out wide when he is far more effective in the middle? Why continue to play out from the back when the Reds play such a high pressing game?
And on the questions go and it happens time and again, I can not remember the last time he put out an appropriate team to fit with what tactics the opposition were almost certainly going to deploy.
Emery really needs to sort out a way forward that is consistent and works because it does not matter how good or poor the opposition is we will keep coming up short unless the right team and tactics are deployed.
If the Spaniard cannot get his act together then he will have no one to blame but himself if the fans start to turn against him in significant numbers.