Arsenal make hay in the sun, but a storm is coming

by & filed under News Review.

Unai Emery reversed the fortunes of last season’s openers with his second win in two games. For a brief moment, we are/were top of the league.

The game boasted lots of positives as the club looks to settle a squad of new players. David Luiz and Dani Ceballos earned starts, Auba moved out wide with Lacazette through the middle, Reiss and Willock retained their places.

The first half was pretty bland from a footballing perspective, but ultimately, I think you just have to accept that Emeryball is never going to get you off your backside. My main critique of our style is that we’re very predictable, more so than last season since the club added better ball players to the squad.

We are militant about playing out of the back even when it’s not working for us. Burnley penned us in our own half and it felt like were constantly turned the ball over needlessly. Liverpool will eat up that sort of approach if we don’t put a bit more variety in our build-up play.

The second slight bugbear is the lack of urgency in our game. We give the opposition all the time in the world to reset as we meander the ball forward from wide positions. I don’t think there’s an excuse for slow and methodical in year two.

That said, we’re more interesting when we do click into gear. David Luiz certainly has a lot more authority in defence than we’ve seen over the last ten years. He’s an attacking threat and the opposition knows it. His passing wasn’t elite today, but there’s a lot of variety in the balls he plays. He’s no 5 yard pass merchant.

I thought the passes that came off were excellent. Additionally, he’s a talker and an organizer. When you’re up against it, say what you will, but I’d rather him on my side… and I’d certainly rather him over Mustafi.

Back to the game. The deadlock was broken by Lacazette. He picked up a front post corner, used his weight to lean into those around him, then slid the ball into through Nick Pope’s legs when he was falling to the ground. Very Lacazette.

Something that’s very Arsenal, conceding sloppy goals. Ashley Barnes, the new Kevin Davies, managed to squirm between Luiz and Guendouzi to poke home.

The second half saw an immediate change, the manager introduced Nicolas Pepe. His introduction gave us a little more control out wide and a lot more know-how.

The football sped up a little, generally driven by the hugely impressive Dani Ceballos. He serves two purposes for me, firstly, he does all the things Mesut Ozil doesn’t want to do (turn up to work). He presses, he pesters, he tackles and he makes himself known. He dropped 7 balls recoveries and attempted 5 tackles. Secondly, he’s a better technician than Aaron Ramsey. He’s grown up thinking about the game differently, so hopefully he can give us a little bit of the best bits from both players. I have to say, I am super impressed how quickly he adapted to the pace. He touched the ball 97 times and created 4 chances.

It was the Spaniard that shut down a counter with an aggressive press, Auba picked up the ball, drove at goal, drilling a low shot past the impressive Pope. Our striker really is one of the most potent forces in world football at the minute. He looks so confident and so fit at the minute.

I’m not sure Emery’s defensive subs did much to calm the game. We looked nervous and it gave Burnley a bit of wind in the last twenty minutes. Bernd Leno had a very poor game, he was targetted with high balls into the box all game and it affected him. For me, if you’re going to flap at a ball with a single fist, don’t do it half-hearted. He’s usually so calm, the game reminded me of when Bolton were shooting from corners at Fabianski. I hope his coaches can nip this in the bud and it’s not an ongoing issue.

Mike Dean gave the game an extra 1 minute 40 and that was that, 3 points and an excellent afternoon in the sun for the fans.

Conclusion

A largely positive day at the office. I think we’re in for a shock against Liverpool next week if we don’t button up. We’re still shaky in defence and I think some of our play of the back has a touch of the kamikaze about it. Against rapid opposition with clinical finishing, we could be in a spot of bother. They haven’t been great against Southampton, but they have some many players that can decide a game in a flash.

I’m also hoping we can start to offer a little more variety to our play. If the gameplan is clear, it’s easy to counter. When we have great central players, why not use them?

The positives… Willock looked very good today. He’s rough around the edges, but you can see he’s going to be a very important player for us over the next few years. He created two chances today. Reiss has to impose himself a little more in games. It was notable how much more of a threat we were when Pepe came on. You have to take your chances, he has to keep pushing forward. That said, I thought his tackle early on was great and he was a shoulder away from a good goal.

Also, from a numbers perspective, we created chances. We had 9 shots on target, a huge improvement on last week. Dani Ceballos found an Arsenal player from all 6 of his corners (wow). Pepe, Willock and Ceballos had 11 successful take-ons between the… we’re running at players. Great to see.

Big week ahead…

 

 

796 Responses to “Arsenal make hay in the sun, but a storm is coming”

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  1. WengerEagle

    Surprised by how good the atmosphere is at the Rennes match, French crowds seem much more boisterous than Italian/Spanish ones, cut from the same cloth as the English and German supporters.

  2. WengerEagle

    Nothing about PSG convinces you that they are any closer to competing for the CL, as I said strange considering you’d think that it’s the only trophy that the owner even cares about at this stage.

  3. karim

    Eagle

    They invested a lot in Neymar and the end result leaves to be desired.
    Considering things have gone from bad to worse for them, I actually wonder if their owners will stay put after hosting the WC.

  4. Akilan

    Atletico’s LB gets a red card.

    Meanwhile Morata scored from a Trippier’s cross. Make of that what you will.

  5. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Feel Leno need a big pat on the back.
    Mad3 one stop that was offside but save was great.

    He is quietly growing more confident every game.

    He been a big plus.

  6. PhD2020

    Graham62August 18, 2019 20:43:51
    Don’t worry, I read your post.

    No doubt you are experienced in monitoring “limited and one dimensional” managers.Oops!!
    ——————–
    No more experienced than you are.Actually correction,you are the go-to/veteran of war guy for that,with every other post of yours littered with references, analysis,rants towards your beloved Arsene Wenger almost three years after he has been shown the exit door..That’s your domain,when it comes to analysing or monitoring one dimensional managers!!

    Have a nice evening. 🙂

  7. Elmo

    Tim Cahill is a very boring and uncharismatic man, and should not be on telly. Makes Danny Murphy seem like a wild extrovert.

  8. PhD2020

    Graham62August 18, 2019 23:04:06
    PhD“three years”Are you sure about that?Cheers.
    —-
    Well I did say-“almost three years!”.

    Correction-1 year 2 months,in footballing terms- two seasons(2018/19 &2019/2020).
    Is that better for you?

    I swear you have a bee in your bonnet-with all things concerning Arsene.

    You come across as a Victor Meldrew character..Find anything to moan and complain,especially with any reference to Arsene!!

    Bet you must make great company on a day-to-day basis??!!

    Imagine the scenario:-

    Missus:Graham let’s pop along to Hampstead High Street to dine out for a romantic night at one of the restaurants,to celebrate our 70th anniversary?

    Graham:No chance,if Arsene is going to be about in that area..

    Missus:Graham the kids want to watch Brighton play Arsenal at the Amex.Why don’t you take them?

    Graham:No chance,Arsene is commentating on the match from the media box at the Amex.It’s a non-starter.Not going.Tough shit!!

    Victor Meldrew that’s you..!!

  9. Dissenter

    RSPC
    “Feel ozil will jack in January…He will struggle to get in this team.”

    You need to watch that tone.
    Why post something that’s likely to cause so much pain to Pierre?

  10. Bojangles

    In Ceballos’ we finally have a player that knows how to take a corner. A small thing maybe but a goal did result from one of them.

  11. Bojangles

    I wish some posters here would show the same positivity about the gunners that the players themselves are showing.

    As far as xG and all that shit is concerned I’m with Mark Twain on this one, ‘there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.’

    I couldn’t care less about our strikers being elite, if they can produce the same numbers they produced last season that’ll suit me fine.

    Finally another quote (I like quotes.) This one attributed to Lincoln… A few posters here could do with being mindful of this old adage. ‘its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.’

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    vickingzAugust 17, 2019 17:32:04

    @ Batistuta, Bro, I can only be responsible for what I wrote but not how you decided to understand it. Nowhere have I likened him to bendtner and maybe I wasn’t well taught “figure of speech”.

    Lemme ask, if you scored 40 out of available 100 and you happened to be the highest scorer, should it be termed “Excellent”?

    I believe that was the comment you dared me to find Vic?

    Ridiculously high standards that no one in world football has ever met.

    Anyway, looking forward to Liverpool although I feel it’s coming too early for us to get a win.

    Really going to miss Tierney and Bellerin and would have helped if the new signings would have had a bit more time to settle in.

    Liverpool not in great form yet so you never know.

  13. Pedro

    Bojangles,

    Twain died in 1910 and Lincoln in 1865.

    In 2019, ignorance of data is negligent.

    Even worse, you’re happy with the status quo… which is the antithesis of elite.

  14. Bojangles

    Maybe they died many years back but they were perhaps wiser men than many of the commenters are here.

    Status quo… Maybe but I am not bothered by titles given to players. If a player scores goals for us on a regular basis who gives a shit if someone thinks he’s not elite. Give me 20+ goals a season and I’ll be happy thanks.

  15. Bojangles

    Actually not sure how you drew the conclusion that I’m happy with the status quo. I don’t think you could be further from the truth. Was it because I don’t give much credence to stats and stats are the modern way to look at football? Anyway, it’s your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it.

  16. PhD2020

    Freddie LjungbergAugust 19, 2019 03:20:59
    vickingzAugust 17, 2019 17:32:04@ Batistuta, Bro, I can only be responsible for what I wrote but not how you decided to understand it. Nowhere have I likened him to bendtner and maybe I wasn’t well taught “figure of speech”.

    Lemme ask, if you scored 40 out of available 100 and you happened to be the highest scorer, should it be termed “Excellent”?

    I believe that was the comment you dared me to find Vic?
    Ridiculously high standards that no one in world football has ever met.
    ————–

    Not trying to urinate on your parade..
    But 40/100 available chances suggests a 40% conversion rate..

    That said Romario scored 30 goals in 33 matches for Barca during the 1993-94 season ,though a conversion rate is hard to find in terms of available chances.
    His goals to matches would suggest that maybe he did achieve those stats,or was comparably close.Moreover taking into account his spell at PSV where he scored an incredible 165 goals in 167 appearances during the 1988-1993 period.Again,data for available chances ratio,is hard to come by as of now.

    Not disputing your initial remark of that it is :”Ridiculously high standards that no one in world football has ever met,” in reference to your post to vickingz.

    It sure is somewhat unattainable for a striker to achieve those stats in present day football,but maybe Romario came close,if not managed to achieve that feat.

    But your point remains.So,no argument there.

    In today’s game-you are probably looking at circa mid 25.00% on average at the top players conversion rate across the European leagues.

    I might be wrong.Correct me,if I am.

  17. Freddie Ljungberg

    Phd

    Mbappe had the highest conversion rate in Europe last season at 26.3%.

    Romario was incredibly efficient but I doubt even him scored on nearly half his shots over a longer period of time.

    It is possible that a player could have had a freak season somewhere and achieved that number although I doubt it, still, pretty high bar to set for being an excellent striker.

    Guess some people just like to moan about something.

  18. PhD2020

    Freddie LjungbergAugust 19, 2019 05:07:38
    PhdMbappe had the highest conversion rate in Europe last season at 26.3%.Romario was incredibly efficient but I doubt even him scored on nearly half his shots over a longer period of time.It is possible that a player could have had a freak season somewhere and achieved that number although I doubt it, still, pretty high bar to set for being an excellent striker.Guess some people just like to moan about something.
    ————-
    Wow Mbappe achieving the highest conversion rate in Europe-26.3% is insane.

    Well,wasn’t too far off in my average of a 25% conversion rate for the top players across the European leagues.

    That said, begs the question-where does Mbappe go after PSG?
    Real Madrid?Certainly not Barca now.,what with Griezman added to the ranks.
    Liverpool?Chelsea?Arsenal?Man City?

    With those stats-surely top clubs will be queuing up to pay a ransom fee for him.
    Never mind his undoubted talent.Can’t see him staying around PSG for long mind you.More so,if they fail to challenge seriously for the CL Finals within a season or two-maximum.

    Him, displacing Neymar,as the next big King player,is not even an issue.It’s about ambition on another level.Which club,will offer him the opportunity to win CL,is where I think his next decision will be based on.

    Anyway,40/100 available chances is a pipe dream-whoever proposed that.

    Yes,some people like to moan.It’s the nature of life I suppose-non??

    What do you think of our chances this year,squad and Emery?

  19. China1

    My hunch is mbappe will go to Madrid next summer for a world record fee.

    He has Madrid superstar written all over him, more so than Barca even regardless of griezman.

    One thing to consider though is Barca might consider cashing in on Suarez whilst he’s still got it to help fund a move for a younger star, so even though this inner it won’t happen, Barca could technically happen next summer.

    But for me he is nailed on for Madrid. We’ll see if my hunch is right

  20. China1

    Ceballos will get a tonne if love from the fans if he can play that well regularly

    We fans have been served shit sandwiches for at least 3 years now and in no position more so than CM.

    Ozil is Jared by a large section of the fan base. Mikki is considered crap. Xhaka is wanted out by a big section of the fan base. Cazorla was great in his prime but was a crock for years so didn’t count. Ramsey was good but also quite irritating because of his leaving his defensive partners exposed

    I can’t express just how refreshing it was to see a CM just come in and drop a fabulous performance from start to finish. Tireless work ethic. Selfless on the ball. Great passing and vision. Got us out of trouble in our own half. Set up the second goal. Some fabulous skills. Came close to scoring

    Seeing that was like a letting an ex con out of prison and taking him to a strip joint on his first night out.

    It’s been far far too long…

  21. Tony

    China1
    Well put! I was going post similar.

    Good response to Charlie who found Ceballos’s performance “encouraging”.

    That said I agree with Charlie that Ceballos shouldn’t be touted as better than previous senior players, such as Ozil and Ramsey at their best just yet, although at such a young age Ceballos can only improve, especially as this loan is his shop window for Madrid et al.

    Winning attitude is everything in life whether in sport, business or just life in general.

    Ceballos seems to have that in abundance from what we have witnessed thus far, which should serve us well this season.

  22. Northbanker

    China – hardly a big insightful hunch to state that one of the worlds best players with the best goal stats will be wanted by arguably the world’s biggest club!!

  23. Graham62

    Who the fudge is this PhD geezer?

    He states that it’s nearly three years since Wenger left the building, when infact its only 1 year 3 months, and then he proceeds to write another thesis justifying his mistake and pointing a finger at me for having a bee in my bonnet regarding Wenger.

    So, what’s new?!!

    Comes across as a very angry individual and a bit of a dick.

    He’s probably right in one respect, I’m getting too old for this shite.

  24. Leedsgunner

    Ceballos had one great day.

    Let him repeat it against top opponents consistently before we lose our heads. Delivering against Liverpool and Tottenham would be a good start but to be honest, I’m tired of focusing our hopes on one player… I want the whole team to start pulling for each other.

    As someone said last week, if Real Madrid go for Pogba or Mbappe they will need to sell. Let’s hope that Ceballos keeps this up, and in the meantime we should get all our ducks in a row have a contract ready to offer the player by the season’s end.

  25. PhD2020

    Graham62August 19, 2019 08:26:01
    Who the fudge is this PhD geezer?He states that it’s nearly three years since Wenger left the building, when infact its only 1 year 3 months, and then he proceeds to write another thesis justifying his mistake and pointing a finger at me for having a bee in my bonnet regarding Wenger. So, what’s new?!!Comes across as a very angry individual and a bit of a dick.He’s probably right in one respect, I’m getting too old for this shite.
    ——–
    Sorry to burst your bubble early morning..Though,that’s hardly likely “Victor Meldrew.”

    But I started off talking about the limitations or how one dimensional Frankie Lampard has been in the managerial hot-seat-called Chelsea to date.

    You went on to imply that I called him,in your words “shit”.I simply corrected you.Reading comprehension failed you on that count.

    Your follow on was to say or to paraphrase you-“I’m experienced in monitoring managers that are limited and one dimensional”

    My riposte, was that you are (to paraphrase me) “The go-to guy,or veteran of war on the subject-given Wenger had left the building almost three years ago.”

    Of which you duly questioned me on the three years-rightly so..My response in kind,was to correct myself and say” Yes it was 1 year 2 months or two footballing seasons..” And put a scenario forward that you are a Victor Meldrew type character.

    Which you have kindly confirmed.

    You will find arguments in anything,more so, where the mere mention of Arsene is so much as whispered in quiet corners..

    Yes,I’m the angry guy and you are the life and soul of the party.I bet when invites are being drawn up, you are first on the list???

    Remind me ,when Arsene is attending a function,to give you a call,as to whether you want to meet your beloved?

    Better still,why don’t you and CG organise a charity boxing match between yourselves and you can knock seven bells out of each other in the ring.
    Arsene Fan(CG) vs Non-Arsene Fan(Victor Meldrew/AKA Graham).It would be for a worthy cause on all fronts..

    At least we would be spared both your daily drivel of Arsene this,Arsene that..
    Two geriatrics going at it-hammer and tongs.Worth the pay-per-view I reckon.

  26. Dark Hei

    “As far as xG and all that shit is concerned I’m with Mark Twain on this one”

    Just don’t ignore what your doctor says if your x-Cholesterol is on the up.

  27. PhD2020

    Graham62August 19, 2019 09:33:34
    As I said, a very angry individual and a bit of a dick.Enjoy your day.

    —–
    Says the geriatric that bangs out 100 posts per day,with every other reference to Arsene and engages with another geriatric in the form of CG..

    I reckon Victor Meldrew-you walk around the neighbourhood wearing a tank top or tight t -shirt with ARSENE OUT emblazoned across the front in big bold letters.

    Probably walk your pet poddle wrapped up in a body and leg warmer with the same words”ARSENE OUT” emblazoned over the poor mitts body.

    Enjoy your day also-oh positive one..

  28. Valentin

    Looks like Tuchel has lost his mojo. He won his battle with the DoF, but like at Dortmund in the end he lost the war. Asking now that the Neymar fee being reinvested in players. With Leonardo already making clear that he is not a fan of his, he may be kick out before the end of the transfer window.

    Mourinho with his crocodile tears about his current lack of employment may have found his next prey. PSG odious club with more money than sense and more arrogant attitude than respect would be a perfect fit.

  29. Valentin

    Next week end could be very instructive.

    Chelsea will face Norwich and I can see them getting torn to shred by their quick counter-attack. Kante is not a right winger, he is the best defensive midfielder in the Premiership and maybe the world. He should be playing in his position. Lampard is currently playing the Sarri runbook but at a faster pace. It will end in tears, because neither Jorginho, Kovatic or Mason Mount can handle quick transition.

    If we can exploit Liverpool susceptibility to quick ball in the channel behind their advanced fullback, Arsenal could get some joy there. I don’t expect a 0-0, but a high score draw or even a victory for us will do me fine.