3 games against teams outside the top six. Three defeats. 9 goals conceded.
An abrupt end to our top 4 hopes you would think.
A pretty horrendous day out in general. It looked like we setup to give Leicester possession. We were totally overrun in midfield start to finish. The players were afraid, they sat deep, they dropped off and they allowed themselves to be bullied.
AMN found himself sent off for two pretty innocuous fouls, but hey, that’s Michael Oliver. We’d given up 71% possession at that point, hardly like that sending off was going to save our bacon. We were always going to lose.
Arsenal scrambled into halftime, a real low was seeing Papa point to the clock to sooth the nerves of his nervous players. Players begging for halftime. Scrambling against a mid table team like it was a City masterclass they were hiding from. Really embarrassing.
Second half saw the intro of Kos to stabilise the defence. We looked a touch better, but then the floodgates opened.
There’s no point in going through it goal by goal, needless to say that being easily beaten by a side that KNEW they’d take us down, was not good.
Emery has a tough job on his hands. There was only one player out there I’d keep on next season, and that’s the keeper. Everyone else is expendable.
The manager is culpable. He was gift wrapped top four this week and he’s flunked it badly. His selection against Palace was baffling, his game plan at Wolves was awful, and he made mistakes again yesterday. We have bottled the top 4 against much weaker teams.
“Our gameplan was to be strong in our defensive moments and in our attacking moments, to take our chances, attacking their back four,”
With a game plan so complex, it’s hard to fathom why we struggled. A few brief thoughts. We played Mustafi again, I’m all for charitable suppprt, but he’s finished. Bigger thought here is this: if the young players can’t oust someone so utterly broken, do they really have a future?
Xhaka and LT had no control of the midfield, both struggled hugely under the physical pressure placed on them. The Swiss is 80% good, 20% awful. That awful shows up too often. He’s like a fancy orchid, you need to find the absolute perfect conditions for him to thrive, that’s not good enough at Champions League level. LT just looks shot to pieces. How long will it take Arsenal management to realise that power and pace is what it’s all about in this league?
Our wide players offered nothing. We have to be real about Iwobi. He’s limited. He’s not improving. We are chasing the ‘he’ll make it’ dragon. He doesn’t assist, he doesn’t score, he has limited locomotion, and he loses the ball under pressure. Mikhi showed signs of promise for about 10 milliseconds, but it’s over for him. He just doesn’t cut the mustard. Very disappointing. So much talent, very little application.
Our strikers were poor outlets and offered nothing. They’ve given us so much edge this season, but in games like yesterday, where brute force and hard pressing is on the menu, those two are lost. By the way, Leicester have some brilliant young players. Maddison and Tielemans were so good. I also enjoyed the performance of Choudhoury, super intense, aggressive and effective. How has Leicester found these players? Why isn’t our youth setup producing talent like theirs?
That was a nothing game. The reality is that Emery is just here as a transition. He’s solid and dependable, but there’s no next level. He’ll have good days and he’ll have bad days. But the simple reality is he’s made a very limited impact on us being protagonists. We literally approached Leicester like we were playing Barca away. The defence has gotten worse, we have no consistent style, our away form is diabolical and we are still soft. He’s also been incredibly lucky this season. Our conversion rate is the best it’s ever been, that won’t last.
We are better against top 6 sides, but what’s that worth if you blow the top 4 with 6 games to go against cloggers?
Still, he’ll land another year where he’ll be charged with rebirthing the squad with new blood and I think you’ll be disappointed with what it reaps. You can’t have an ok manager and bad recruiting, but that’s the reality of what’s about to happen. Raul hasn’t hired a technical director, he didn’t replace Sven M, so we are going into the summer either using Sven’s old list, or with an exec that passed on Tielemans to bring in Denis Suarez.
With better coaching, we’d have seen those three games out. It wasn’t to be, and now we have to beat a solid Valencia side and cross our fingers Chelsea don’t show up.
… and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying fire him. I’m just saying what I’ve said all season. We have made lots of bad decisions with recruiting and they are going to bite us hard over the next 3 years.
Still, despite all the AKBs enjoying this… I’d not have changed out this season for another with Wenger under any circumstances. That attitude is loser talk my friends.
A miserable week. Bring on the Europa. Pray United and Chelsea draw. Hope Emery brings the Habanero on Thursday. Xx