Some are saying the fixtures have been kind to Arsenal. Others are saying Liverpool in two weeks will be a true reflection of what progress we have made. Unai Emery wasn’t my first choice but there’s no denying that he’s made improvements.
Below are the 5 major changes I have noticed during Emery’s first few months ….
5) Keeper Being Good With His Feet
My least favourite one as I’m yet to see how the reward outweighs the risk? Every couple of years there is a trend that all coaches want to copy with Pep Guardiola starting a craze of having a keeper who’s good with his feet. Manuel Neuer was so gifted on the ball he became a sweeper for Bayern Munich but not expected to lead attacks. We are seeing frequent goalkeeping errors as they overplay instead of kicking it up in the air. Cech is struggling with this new demand, it’s overshadowing what he’s doing with his hands. Leno seems more comfortable in the role but personally I hope this is a craze that dies out.
4) Strong Bench For Cup Ties
Like Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery has been able to field different XI’s at weekends compared to midweek. Which is fine, our fringe players should be good enough to get through our Europa League group. Unlike the Frenchmen though, the Spaniard has made a point of fielding strong benches. That’s not to bash our old boss. Resting our star names didn’t stop us winning our group in Europe last year or getting to a League Cup Final. So why would Ozil be asked to fly to Azerbaijan if not needed? Why would Lacazette come on when we are already 3-0 up? It can only be their new gaffer sending a message to his men. No one man is too good, no matter the tie, venue or credentials of the opposition.
3) Full Backs Crossing
For a long time, full backs have become crucial to a side’s attacking approach. Bellerin has never been shy getting forward but seemed to have lacked all confidence in the final third. While Monreal was getting a decent goal return, Hector was taking the easy way out, no longer taking on his man but instead passing backwards. He’s one of several youngsters let down by some of his more experienced peers in the last couple of years. A lack of leadership in our dressing room has let him down. Any Gooners who go to the Emirates on match days will see in the warm up there is a spell where the right back practises crossing the ball into the middle. He’s already assisted nearly his whole total from the whole of the last campaign.
2) Subs Made Early
Even in our glory years it was quite easy to telegraph Arsene Wenger’s substitutions. If we needed a goal after 70 minutes he brings on an attacker for a CM, kind of like you do on Football Manager. Perhaps showing how the game was evolving younger managers were changing tactics mid match, adjusting to what the opposition was doing. On Monday evening, Uni Emery switched to a back 3 to change the game, he’s even been making changes as early as half time.
Some are saying the fixtures have been kind but it’s the fact we have won 10 consecutive games without playing well which is also impressive. Under Arsene Wenger in last two years, we wouldn’t have been able to win so many games when not at our best. The most impressive statistic is in our 7 consecutive League wins we have never been ahead at half time. So, in every win, we had to face adversity, be patient and stay focused. We didn’t have those characteristics last season.
Any other changes you Like?
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