Even if Monreal is back in training it’s likely that Emery will bring him back into the fold slowly, not wanting the injury to happen again. So, does that one absentee mean we will be fielding a back 5 on a more regular basis? It certainly seems to be working so far.
Kolasinac must be aware (and slightly Embarrassed) that his boss is willing to change formations based on if he’s at left back. Already not trusted defensively his performance against Wolves convinced the Spaniard that the player could not be trusted in a 4. What he did next was a piece of man management that gives me hope for the future. He didn’t drop the player, breaking his confidence in the process. He didn’t do a Jose, use press conferences to single out one person for blame, pointing out how he wasn’t backed in the transfer window. Instead the boss accentuated the positives and hid the negatives.
He found a system where the player had less pressure on him to defend while playing to his strengths. Not just did it win us the game but in the space of a week the full back went from having his worst to his best game in an Arsenal shirt against Bournemouth, and then followed it up with another great showing yesterday.
That’s what a world class coach should be doing. Yes, the more windows he gets, the more he will put his own blueprint on the squad. Long term he may have an idea who won’t make the grade but in the short term he’s identifying what he does have and making it into a positive. I know Arsene Wenger won an FA Cup when changing to a back 3 but that was more based on confidence being so low, he had to try something different to change the tide.
Emery saw a weak link and turned Kolasinac into a man of the match contender at Bournemouth. Suddenly the Bosnian is an attacking weapon that Arsenal can take advantage of when needed. Would you keep the back 5 for the Man United match and even further into the season, and leave Monreal on the bench?