Opinion – Five ingredients missing from the Arsenal game

Five glaring issues that Arsenal should address as a matter of urgency.

Every Arsenal fan has their own opinion on what has gone wrong with the team over the last few years. However, I honestly do feel that the vast majority of us agree on what is missing from the Arsenal game.

Lack of intensity
We all saw the Liverpool v Man City game, we all saw the intensity, especially from the Reds and we all know that Arsenal simply does not have anywhere the same intensity when they play. Well, I hope we all agree on that.

No strong leader
The way the heads dropped as soon as Leicester City went ahead was shocking. Would Tony Adams have allowed that to happen? Would Patrick Vieira? In my opinion, no way. Arsenal needs a strong leader, Granit Xhaka was not that and neither is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

No style of play
We know the style of play of Man City as an example, they dominate possession with short passes and a high press, we even know what the style of play is from Sheff Utd which is the overload the midfield with a quick transition between defence and the forwards. But what is Arsenal’s? I simply do not know and that is being brutally honest.

Shattered confidence
How else can you explain the utter fear in the players? They are so scared of making a mistake it is palpable. No team with confidence plays like that. They want to be on the ball, they want to be in the centre of the action. Do you see that with this Arsenal team? I do not and for me, that is because their confidence is shattered.

One can argue that is down to formation or the manager but whatever the reason it is clear the team does not create anywhere near enough chances for the forwards. You would have thought with Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos in the team that this would not be an issue. But it clearly is.

There is probably more that can be highlighted but if Arsenal played a far more intense game, with a strong leader commanding them, with an identified style of play full of confidence, creating chances all over the place, then we would be far higher in the standings than what we are now. That is my opinion anyway.


  1. Arsenal executives, staffs and players should have compared Liverpool vs Man City game with ours, because the differences are crystal clear

    Just watch the Liverpool’s first goal. Why can’t Pepe dribble past his marker like Mane and why can’t Xhaka shoot like Fabinho?

    And Wijnaldum is nobody compared to our fancy stars like Ozil. But his ball control and technique are amazing, as shown in the Man City match and when he was harassed by Pepe at Anfield

    I also see our lack of intensity. Liverpool players played like they took steroids, but our big name players played as if it was just another day at the office

    1. And why can’t Mane dribble one on one the same way Pepe does? Why can’t Fabinho score like Xhaka does?
      There’s exactly no point in that statement of yours because we all know Xhaka scored some amazing goals better than Fabinho’s, all from outside the box, and Pepe is a far more confident and better dribbler who’s only lacking in confidence while under massive pressure.
      If Pepe had scored that goal he created by himself against Liverpool I bet you won’t type his name there

      1. I meant why can’t Pepe and Xhaka be consistent like Mane and Fabinho?

        I can’t wait to see whether they would perform the same way under the new caretaker/ manager or not

        If they still can’t improve their game after Emery’s replacement coaches them, Arsenal have to see them immediately

        1. Now that question in your first paragraph boils down to the whole team. Theres no way one part would keep functioning while other parts stops functioning. The functioning part would break down.
          For Mane its easier to focus on his job because he doesn’t have to try to be a Van Djik or Torreira.
          Fabinho it’s easier for because he doesn’t have to be a Salah or Van Dijk.
          The whole Liverpool team function and play as one, they cover each other.

          At Arsenal it’s different, only a good coach can change and bring this mentality and approach that’ll help our players perform better

    2. Mane is a player who totally encapsulates what Liverpool are all about now. No quitting, no tiring, immense work ethics, pace, tenacity, no wasted movements, in short, like machines.

  2. Agree with all 5.

    The lack of intensity is part deliberate from the coach because of his defensive, or “playing not to lose” rather than “playing to win” mentality. But it’s also part due to athletic shortcomings of our players, especially in the midfield.

    And lack of creativity is also the direct outcome of lack of intensity. There is a term called APM, or Actions Per Minute in the PC gaming world, and usually it’s a good indicator of how good a player might be competitively. It’s measured as total actions performed by a player per minute of the game, and higher the better, well usually.

    In the footballing terms, Actions can be interpreted as passes, take ons, dribbling past markers, through balls, forward runs, searching long balls, tackles, winning second balls, track backs, interceptions, etc. The more of these actions happen per minute, the more chances we’ll create at the end of the game. And this APM is affected by the intensity of players and the mentality of the coach. Our players not being athletic, and our Coach being super defensive, Arsenal have very low APM to be competitive. I hope that makes sense.

    1. Great insight

      It is very obvious that the team lacks the sense of urgency, stamina and motivation to press the opponents in the first 45 minutes

    2. Basically we are in decline because we simply don’t have enough good players particularly in central defence and in the defensive midfield area.The lack of pace and athleticism in these areas is evident to anyone with a modicum of football nous yet neither Emery nor Wenger before him seem to be aware of our shortcomings.Mustafi,Socratis, Luis, Xhaka, all lacking in pace and athleticism .Chambers and Holding are not quick but at least they have a physical presence and are commanding in the air.Until we unload these players a new Manager has very little chance of bringing about the recovery we all look for.

      1. I agree, that with the current players in our team, it would be hard to play a pacy, high intensity football for any manager.

  3. Agree with almost all of that to a certain degree admin Martin.

    Lack of intensity is crystal clear but I would be wary of using Lpool as the comparison, they have built their whole identity around it under klopp and no one will match them, nor should they. We should have more about us I agree just not to Lpools levels.

    No strong leader – this is a major problem with no easy solution. Bellerin or Holding may be our best options right now imo, KT could too but he has only just arrived, which is why there is no easy fix as can’t really recruit a Captain as they should know the club and team before taking the armband 🤷‍♂️

    No style of play – at times I think I see a style forming in the UEL/Cup but I admit it’s hard to be sure. I believe Emery does have a style he’s trying to implement but for a number of reasons it’s just not come together yet – will it? I don’t know anymore but believe the other points raised here all play a part in why it’s been absent so far.

    Shattered confidence – this is, imo, more to do with us fans than anything else – we as a whole are now well known for tearing our own players apart – in some cases for the smallest of things. Many will no doubt argue that its more confusion over what Emery wants from them, and that may well play its part but I think our constant negativity is the most telling factor.

    Creativity – I believe a major reason for this is lack of speed in our play. We don’t move the ball around quick enough and at times there is a lack of movement from our forwards – this combines to make it easy for the opposition to keep their shape. If the ball were being moved around quicker or the forwards were dragging defenders around a bit more then space would open up for us imo.

  4. Admin Martin I’ll say this for your fine article; if anyone disagrees with a single word of it, they should never be let within a mile of any football ground ever again!

  5. Yes, lack of intensity, creativity and fluidity are the albatross. We play stagnant football, we even rarely win aerial balls. Seems our players are soft. Maybe there need to be some team psychologist talking to these guys, they are just down emotionally. It’s why i think Emery is not the only problem.

  6. Another Recipe missing is fans not behaving politely to our players but choose the path of Chelsea touts

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