Results weren’t going to keep swinging for us, this weekend, they’ve roundly gone against the top 4 dream.
Spurs beat Norwich looking super organised.
United beat Crystal Palace.
West Ham beat Chelsea.
Basically, the pressure is on. We’ve dropped to 7th place in the league.
The game against Everton really takes on a different kind of pressure.
The pressure to keep up with the pack.
Everton presents a weird challenge. They’ve been awful this season, Rafa hasn’t gotten a grip on their squad, they’ve won four games all year (last, 25th of September). On paper, this game should be a standard win. But they’ve been so bad, for so long, that we’re in that territory where something has to happen to them.
Will they down tools on Rafa to move on the Liverpool legend? Or will they show up and save him?
Great teams don’t pay heed to that sort of stuff, they just pile on the misery. Arsenal has to be that team on Monday.
Win the game, we’re right where we need to be.
In fact, if there’s a 2+ goal advantage to Arsenal and we keep a cleansheet, we’ll have the same amount of points as Chelsea over the stretch, we’ll have the same defensive record as Liverpool since the new team started, and we’ll move into the top 4 for goals scored over that period.
Lose the game and we start to get into shaky territory, especially with online fans, who seem to have desperately weak knees. Someone told me Arsenal was a ‘rotten’ club this morning… imagine being that disconnected from what’s going on at Arsenal?
So what are we looking for?
Well, an answer to our attacking problems. Auba is out of sorts, he’s not built for the system we’re trying to play, and as a result, it makes it hard to create and score goals.
Arteta can’t sit on that issue forever. We’re 5 games without a goal. Something has to budge.
The issue? Most of our options are either limited in the same way, or they’ve never been tested before.
Do you really take this moment to play Martinelli through the middle?
Do you take a chance on Eddie running the line hard when it’s clear his mind is on the fat contract he’s going to get next season?
We’ve seen Lacazette through the middle, he’s very good at certain aspects, but he lacks the speed we need.
Everyone has watched slack-jawed as Folarin Balogun has lit up the U23s, but he’s so, so green.
There’s no simple solve in the system.
Thierry Henry is channelling some of that Class of 92 spirit with his media outings. I love the man, he’s one of my favourite humans, but the cattle prodding at the Arsenal project is quite boring. This is his hot take post-United.
“Aubameyang is your captain. He is your goal scorer. You put him as your captain. 15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off.
“3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field. You know he can score you goals so something is not right there.”
Arteta did make a mistake with Auba, he left him on too long, the guy absolutely stunk out Old Trafford, if we’d brought one other options, we might have made a go for it.
Everyone is entitled to a shit opinion, my issue with Thierry is we all saw him hanging out in the box with the Swedish billionaire. We all heard him say he couldn’t see what the plan was. We all know he’s being disingenuous with his commentary.
Each to their own, but insinuating dressing room unrest off the back of a poor take isn’t helpful… it’s not even good trolling, because I don’t think there’s an Arsenal fan around that would agree.
The striker rumour mill is getting spicy. DCL was linked on Saturday. We’re being linked with Jonathan David of Lille today, we know they’d sell anyone if the bid was right. Luka Jovic came on for Madrid yesterday and won a MOTM award, certainly, he’d be a possible loan candidate, Edu has a great relationship with Madrid. There are options, hard to see an outcome where we do nothing… as long as we’re in the mix for top four come Jan 2nd.
The ask at Everton is clear: 3 points. Keep up the pressure. Show that the chance creation issue is being taken seriously.
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