Say it quietly, or loudly… but there’s something up with Petr Cech.
The saviour of our goal last season is fast slipping into a pool of bad form so deep, you could probably hash together a video of his nasties.
Maybe he’s not used to playing in a team that’s so defensively fragile. Maybe his helmet plays games with his balance. Whatever it is, he’s making the prospect of David Ospina look tantalising, which is shocking in itself, even though there are many who sit in firmly in his fan club because he consistently makes a 7 course meal out of most things that come his way.
You look at the challenges Manchester City had in the same position, and the way they dealt with it and you wonder why Arsenal haven’t at least attempted something similar.
Our approach to defence is to press high up the pitch. I mean, surely that can be the only reason Coquelin is so far up the pitch with everyone all the time. Kamikaze defensive units could probably do with a Bravo / Neuer style keeping system. Petr Cech on the ball looks like a great uncle joining the boys for a kickabout 9 pints deep at a family gathering. He’s big into that Cruyff turn at the moment, learnt off the awful Szecseny.
Anyway, some work to be done on the Czech’s form for sure. I think Arsene Wenger could have kept a clean sheet against Hull. Shocking a star name of ours couldn’t. Factor in that freekick he tipped onto his back last week and some of the mistakes last season toward the back end… well, he’s either not motivated to perform, or his heading into the decay years very young.
A few people thought Coquelin had a superb game yesterday. He made 100 touches and completed 110% of them, made many slide tackles and interceptions. I look at him through a different lens (one that isn’t playing an awful 10 man Hull). Like what he’s supposed to do for the shape of the team, where he’s supposed to cover, where we need him collecting the ball.
Feel like we’re going to get into a Denilson type argument about him this season… He’s a good player, but he’s not what we need. Pep Guardiola wouldn’t have him sitting in that role, that’s for sure.
Pep Guardiola made a massive statement yesterday saying KDB was up there with the best players he’s ever manager.
“He makes everything. Without the ball he’s the first fighter, and with the ball it’s clear he sees absolutely everything. He decides what he has to do in the right moment every single time.
“Sometimes you have to pass with the first touch, sometimes you have to control. Sometimes you have to attack the ball. Every time he makes the right decision.
“I am lucky, we are happy. Hopefully he can enjoy with us to play his amazing football.
“He is one of [the best players I have managed]. Messi can sit alone in the table, it’s not allowed anyone else, but in the table beside, Kevin can sit there, there’s no doubt.”
It’s this sort of comment you read and you look at our superstars and how little we get out of them in return. Ozil is a world class passer of the ball, but does he give you all the other bits you need to be truly world class?
Same with Alexis, there’s a beast inside his mind, but it’s not a focused one. I don’t think either players are particularly well drilled on what they’re supposed to be doing. Our system is so basic it’s unreal. The new Premier League is starting to highlight how loose we are defensively. Players don’t really know when to press, when to drop, how to build shape fluidly moving forward. Arsene Wenger works on the *hope* that good players can figure it out.
… and look, they often can. But now there are lots of good teams in the Premier League. So you need to be a bit more strategic. You need to have a bit more flexibility to change things up. You need to move with the times.
Eddie Howe kind of showed he had a lot to learn yesterday after being drubbed by City. Slaven Bilic is also off to an absolute shocker. You can say it’s unfair to suggest Bournemouth should be playing well against MEGA TEAM CITY, but look, Tuchel was going toe-to-toe with Bayern when he was at Mainz. Playing a big team means you have to work out a plan to take them down. Stifle them. Confuse their play. Howe did not do that yesterday.
I took in the Dortmund game. Zorc and Tuchel have pulled off a summer masterclass. They’ve shipped out top talent and raised the bar with the names they’ve brought in. Dembele is raw unadulterated talent, his turn of pace is unreal to watch. Guerrero looks an absolute steal from Lorient drifting in and out of play, constantly buzzing balls into the front men whilst also offering an attacking threat of his own. Pulisic, a very classic looking winger, at 17, looks immense… The whole team has style, a smart pressing game, beautiful intricate passing and an excitement I’d kill for at Arsenal.
Staying with the German league… Serge Gnabry smashed home and incredible volley. He looks on fire. Is he going to be our KDB? Looking that way. Especially upsetting as we’re still suffering away with Theo Walcott and The Ox.
Also, over to Spain, everyone shitting their pants that Simeone is going to leave at the end of the year. Where is he going to go? Everyone has a pretty good coach? OH MY IMAGINE. We’re the last of the giants… Fingers crossed Chelsea don’t lob out Conte to make way for a hotter crazier coach.
We’ll learn a lot this summer. Who do Arsenal ‘really’ want to be over the next ten years? Champions of the world? Or the sort of club that wants to do things on the cheap in the desperate hope that ‘maybe’ a trophy might drop. Is Stan a ‘let it tick over’ kind of guy, or was he being truthful when he said he wanted to win things?
The worry is we’ve been sold to a man who is more interested in the portfolio winning, over his clubs. Which would be beyond sad…
But hey, look, we’re up to 3rd in the league, 5 points off the top… behind Everton, who look like they might have made a next level jump under Ronald Koeman… who knows how to defend!
It’s an exciting league this year. It’s exciting all over Europe to be honest. Good footballing times are being had everywhere!
Nottingham Forest next. Xhaka and Elneny might get a run out. Bring the class out for the big games, amirite?