Europa could see us search for creativity in other places by Konstantin Mitov
Good to see you again lovely Arsenal people! It’s the Europa League, excited right? No, not really. I am still pretty depressed about our negative approach at the Etihad. What was also disappointing was Leno saying we “closed the gap on City, because it was a tight game”.
We created 3 chances for 10 minutes in a 90 minute game and lost 1:0, never looking like we’d score post minute 60. Not a lot to celebrate there IMO. Sure it wasn’t a 3:0, but our atrocious away record to the top 6 is still waiting and I’m worried, because we lack creativity and for a final time – no, Ozil is not the answer.
He hasn’t been for years! He used the best of an extremely poor situation handled by the board to milk a 350k/week contract and not for a second am I sympathising with Ozil on that one. Was he axed because he refused a pay cut? It’s not unlikely, but honestly, do you care? We had Ozil so many times under 3 different managers needing him to put a performance in a big game and it was hardly ever there.
It’s so pathetic to see a player using PR stunts to excuse the fact he cannot get into the team. If he put in the defensive shift required, if he wasn’t afraid of tackles and heading the ball, he could’ve been selected. He opted to be the victim instead of being an example on how to win your spot back, and now that he’s been axed from everything that he could be, we can move on to looking for creativity elsewhere and Europa is perfect for that.
We got a pretty easy group, and I do expect a lot of changes. It’s highly unlikely we’ll use the big guns, unless we want to give them game time. Could Partey start to gain some momentum? I’m not sure, but I won’t be surprised if he features as a sub. Our formation will be interesting. Do we go 4 at the back?
I think this could well be the case and a midfield trio including Elneny, Xhaka or Ceballos and Willock is what I suspect. The creative midfielder role could also be given to ESR and I’m hoping to see him play. These Europa group stage games are the best chance for the likes of him to make a statement for the first team like Saka did. I’d love to see more young players break through the academy. United played Touanzebe against PSG and he was one of their best players.
Speaking of United we’re playing them after Leicester and those are the two games that really matter for me. I want a much more dominating display from us. Our attacking trio was shambolic against City. I’m interested if Arteta will pick Eddie or Laca. I think that miss against Liverpool cost Laca too much after a good start to the season. He is a confidence player and Mikel might have given him a harsh treatment, but we’ll see when the squad comes out.
We shouldn’t really struggle with Rapid, but with Arsenal you never know and football is strange these days. Still I expect us to win to build up some momentum and go with desire against Leicester. I also want to see us try and impose our game against lesser opposition. I want to see what his real vision for the squad is.