Dear oh dear. The only way to describe our recent performances. On paper we started the season so well, the 22 unbeaten run (we all had 49 on the back of our minds, don't deny it). But just where did the magic go?
From an optimistic perspective the start of this season was what we expected and a whole lot more. The team finally starting to get that togetherness we were lacking under the final days of Wenger, we seemed to have a resurgence of fighting spirit, Sokratis looking like prime Martin Keown, Rob Holding looking like he was starting to fulfil his potential and Lacazette and Aubameyang banging in the goals weekly. It got to a point where no matter if we were winning or losing during a game, it was almost certain we would be getting a result.
From a realist perspective, the upcoming loss was inevitable. This being as we hadn't won any big games, and we were almost relying on luck, more than good performances, as we only had a handful of them. These being against Everton, Leicester, Liverpool and Spurs. All these games (apart from one) had one key theme starting behind the strikers but that would be a whole other article. But it is a matter of fact, without him on the pitch Arsenal struggle to create many chances, even in his cameo against United Özil was the only player receiving the ball and moving it forward. With an injury to Mkhitaryan, who certainly isn't on Özil's level and Ramsey already with his bags packed for Juventus you'd think Emery would want to keep his most creative midfielder, but as I said that's a separate article.
But as the unbeaten run came to a crashing halt at Southampton, as we saw a returning Koscielny looking like Bambi (I don't blame him at all as he was forced back in the team), Xhaka not being a centre back and Lichtsteiner being as useful as a gun without a trigger. Since then not much has improved, having won only 4 of our last 10 games, including losses at home to Spurs to get dumped out of the Carabao Cup and against United to get knocked out of the FA Cup. To add to this injuries to Sokratis, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Welbeck and Bellerin (the latter two out for the season) things are looking bleak at the Emirates.
But... Let’s be positive, and look at what can be done (I'm begging you Emery please). With a shift of formation, playing Özil behind Lacazette and Aubameyang with Xhaka and Torreira behind him (wishful thinking, I know) we would, in my opinion start to look like more of a threat going forwards, as well as more stable in possession. Which brings me on to my next point, Emery needs to establish a style of play, counter-attacking or possession, as at the minute we seem to be in limbo between the two. As Solskjaer has done at United, choose a style of play and stick to it and I believe we will start to see a renaissance at the Emirates.
In summary all I want is for Emery to put some faith in Özil, let him show his worth again, and to adjust the style of football we play to either possession or counter-attacking, not both, as we can't. We've shown that.
As always I always support the players, and we can play like the Arsenal we know and love again. COYG!
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