Arsenal - Five areas for Improvement

What Unai Emery must do to address weaknesses

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Emery – better tactics, less tinkering and a leader required

Away Form
Arsenal’s away form over the last two seasons has been dreadful, it’s obviously a massive issue for the team leaving the Emirates to go to play at other grounds. The Gunners finished 8th in the Away League last season behind both Crystal palace and Leicester and 11th the season before behind the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth and Southampton. This is not good enough for a team aiming to finish back in the Champions League spots. I think there needs to be a different tactical approach or style of playing when away from home, or as a minimum see if the mental issues of playing away need to be looked at from a psychological angle as it’s becoming a common trend for the team. Should you choose to take a punt on Arsenal improving away this season, then you would do well to take advantage of current offers, so for example, after a £30 free bet  then use this promo code from betfred. Backing the Gunners on the road last season was a leap of faith after the four wins during Wenger’s final season, although there was marginal improvement with 7 wins out of 19 matches.

Defensive problems were the biggest issue from last season. Arsenal conceded 51 league goals which was more than Newcastle who were in a relegation battle for half the season. The team had big injuries in that department with Bellerin, Holding and Koscielney missing large chunks of the season which obviously had a big effect. I also think the tactical tinkering between three at the back and a back four caused issues. There was never a preferred formation and this will ultimately have an effect on consistency. There was a clear lack of leadership and communication at pivotal times. Big improvements needed and more stability will come from less tinkering.

Fans’ reaction
Certain fans, although in a minority, were the cause of a lot of booing at the Emirates last season. It seems to be the norm now if a result doesn’t go our way for some fans to jump on the bandwagon. Mustafi was recently the victim of being booed, coming on as a sub in a pre-season friendly. This isn’t on and will cause more damage then good in the long run. The club are in a transition period at the moment with new management, new players, and new tactics and it takes time. Back your team regardless. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Mesut Ozil
Arsenal need to find the key to getting the best out of the former World Cup winner, because on his day he is one of the best players in the world, however there weren’t many of those days last season. Cristiano Ronaldo once said that Ozil was one of the best footballers he ever played with, very high praise from one of the greatest to ever play the game. The fact he is the club’s highest ever earner at 350k a week and his not performing is rubbing the fans up the wrong way. But if and it’s a big if they find the key to getting consistency from him it would be a massive step back to the big time.

A lot of problems faced last season were down to individual errors, and being too careless with possession. There were times where we sat back and looked frightened of teams who we should have been pulling apart. There was a real fragility at times when teams had a real go at us and we would sit back and ultimately like a house of cards on a windy day just cave in. I think a real leader within the team would help in these matters, someone leading by example with either a strong tackle, hoofing the ball out of play, getting in opponents’ faces, someone to pull a player up when he’s messed up, getting the crowd on their feet, getting the team motivated and directing them forward instead of sitting back when it’s getting tough. We need a real captain and quick - it really would be the biggest difference and would solve most of the other issues.


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  1. Pauljames

    Aug 5, 2019, 19:00 #114492

    Agree with Rob , it seems to be going unnoticed too that we have zero proven back up in the goalkeeping department.Unless we buy , we are even weaker than last year defensively.

  2. RobG

    Aug 5, 2019, 10:27 #114491

    No question that they are all real problems. But deadline is Thursday and it is mind boggling negligence, that we have not signed some defensive cover for this season. Truly shocking. The Pepe surprise has acted as a distraction to that but as soon as we start shipping goals, the reality will hit home. I just hope Sanhelli does something and pretty damn quick. Because defensively we are barely top ten, let alone top four.

  3. Big Andy

    Aug 5, 2019, 02:30 #114490

    Here's five reasons why we'll have yet another dreadful season: 1. The utter failure of the club to address our most glaring problem: the lack of quality in defence. Even before Kos decided that he didn't want to play for us any more we needed 3 quality defenders. But we've signed none. 2. We got a manager who rubbish at coaching defending and therefore concedes on average 50 league goals a season. He's no George Graham. 3. We needed to get rid of the toxic influence of Ozil. He has no future at the club and should have been shoved out the door. It's no surprise that morale is so bad when our "star player" can't be bothered to turn up for big games. 4. The manager is in his last season and there's no sign of a new contract. What authority Dick had will be greatly diminished. My guess is that he'll be gone by this time next year. 5. The likes of Everton and Wolves have spent well and are showing the ambition we lack.

  4. itsRonagain2

    Aug 4, 2019, 21:33 #114489

    Ozil one of the best in World? Good grief matey where have you been this last few years? He’s not even the best in his Club. Getting more out of him is a horse that bolted yonks ago and it ain’t a coming back. Needs flogging smartish or giving away. Booing? That’s what fans do now if they don’t win every week and in today’s social media age they’re the experts and are entitled to disparage and tear apart people’s lives and career efforts despite having achieved sweet f— all in their own lives. Boo boys have been at Arsenal for at least 50 years and have driven out great performers in the past and will do again.

  5. Don Howe

    Aug 4, 2019, 19:41 #114488

    I love it that you despise booing. I’m with you in theory, but I’ve told Parlour and Bergkamp to get off the park. They got better. Ozil is an expensive waste of time and the only way I would get behind him would be to verbally kick him up the ****. This is Dicks second year and he has to use it to freeze Ozil out. No first team appearances and sold to Olympiakos in January on a free. More than anything else I want to play with 11 men this season. The Gooners fans review shows what most of us think of him. Let’s make that clear in the stadium. As far as I am concerned he is the enemy within.

  6. Pauljames

    Aug 4, 2019, 19:26 #114487

    No argument from me about the problems listed in this article, the question is of course how to address them. The sight of Ozil, Mikhitarian and Xhaka all in tonight’s starting line up do not inspire a lot of confidence that much will change. I was hoping all three would disappear this summer along with the hapless Mustafi. Hopefully Willock will break through this year and Pepe will make us a better counter attacking side away from home, that’s about as optimistic I can be.

  7. markymark

    Aug 4, 2019, 16:08 #114485

    A Captain ? Don’t worry we’ve got 5! That’s all we need to know about how important the captains role is with Unai. You’d think he’d get this sorted out as it was a source of player problems with him at PSG. Booing Mustafi? Well we used to have teams of lads who always do their best and have the odd one blow up . Gus Caesar springs to mind. But for the last 10 years and under Dick as well it’s been take your pick as to what player can under perform for such extended periods of time. I’m afraid if Mustafi gets a few boos and that persuades him that his very fat London based contract is not so nice after all. I’m all for that I’d say. Apparently the wing play has been deep analysed as the reason for our poor away form. We simply get suffocated. It sort of makes sense. Good tactical article I’d say

  8. Cyril

    Aug 4, 2019, 10:04 #114483

    It’s good to get back to tactics - the last article was a bit leftfield but entertaining. I’d like to know how we fit Ozil in if PAL play. Wil he play in the middle,on the other side or what ? Will Ozil be at the expense of PAL. What I do want to see now more then ever is real concentration on holding positions in the midfield. Looking forward to it now, was really down about it all a few weeks ago. Leno can only improve as well.