ARTETA SHOULD FIND A SUITABLE PLAN B TO PLAYING OUT FROM THE BACK BY I.
While watching the game at Liverpool, so many thoughts were going through my mind.
Firstly the optimism of fans before the match. So many expected us to get something out of the match. You won’t blame such fans if you put our recent two showings against Liverpool into consideration.
Liverpool players expected some levels of bravery from us, especially at the beginning. We ended up encouraging them with the way we set up and the lack of individual bravery from our players.
The way we played out from the back in that game was poor. It is no longer news that Leno isn’t good at that. A reason why the sale of Martinez might come back to haunt us. Luiz, who stands as a major player to receive such balls from Leno, lacks mobility. Furthermore, I saw rooms for plan B which were never utilized.
Liverpool play a very high set up with the quality of their defenders and their wingers pressing. We are surrounding Leno with five players when playing goal kicks was simply playing into the hands of the opponent. It made Liverpool to chase down our defenders, which made them to give up the ball repeatedly in our own first third. Goal kicks are supposed to give us an opportunity to retain possession and make the opponent retreat. Instead our goal kicks were giving Liverpool room to attack us.
Arteta should find for the players to have 50/50 decision about playing out from the back due to the obvious weakness Leno is showing when playing teams like Liverpool to have a better chance to score. More so, he should scold players who make reckless decisions. How can Pepe play a corner kick so recklessly when we needed a goal badly without a warning from the coach? He repeated the same act because he wasn’t questioned in the first instance.
While expecting that, a quality addition in the midfield before the close of this transfer window will determine our upgrade from last season. That will be the only possible relief for selling Martinez.