Emery: We’re tweaking our mentality, style and ideas

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Arsenal rounded off their pre-season friendly schedule with a 2-0 win over Lazio in Stockholm last night.

The victory, courtesy of goals from Reiss Nelson and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, included ‘debuts’ for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira, as well as minutes for the returning Granit Xhaka. It was a far from a fluid performance by the Gunners, however, that’s perhaps unsurprising given the tinkering that continues to take place on the training pitch.

After the match, Unai Emery explained that some of his players still aren’t at their physical peak and that he’s not yet committed to one particular formation.

“It’s a different match today for Lichtsteiner, Xhaka and Torreira,” the Spaniard told Arsenal.com.

“We want to give them these minutes for fitness and also so that they’re working together and tactically can start to work with us.

“In the first week it’s clear that they’re not at their best physically, but we want to continue working with them and if they are OK physically, mentally and in their performances, and better also than other players who were working with us, we could choose them in the first XI.”

He went on: “Each match is giving us information to continue to improve and continue to develop.

“Today we played with 4-4-2, to try this system and tweak our mentality, style and ideas, but for me in the first half the possession with the ball and control with the ball wasn’t as good as I wanted.

“It’s for that reason that we started the second half with three midfielders. I think in the second half we controlled the match better with this system.

“Today we tried in the second half and second half to choose the best system with the best players and best ideas, but I’m happy with this performance because they are working very well and improving also.”

Emery now has six days at London Colney to finalise his preparations for Sunday’s opening game of the season against Manchester City. As things stand it looks as though he’ll not have additional recruits to play with, so at this point it’s really about honing tactics and upping player fitness levels.

“My focus is on the first match and preparing, and not for the window and the possibility to sign another player,” he noted.

“Maybe we need some players to leave because we have lots in the squad, but at the moment, my one focus is on our work.”

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Air Bergkamp
Air Bergkamp

Why do all the quotes from Unai Emery remind me of that bit in Life of Brian where John Cleese goes, “Those people called Romanes, they go the house?”

Air Bergkamp
Air Bergkamp

Bit harsh

Onenil
Onenil

‘Far from fluid’ seems a little harsh. We dominated much of the match, kept a clean sheet and deserved our win.
I thought Iwobi and Mkhitarian were the standout performances, maybe helped by better conditioning than the newly returned players.

Gereoma
Gereoma

You can now begin to see the difference between a youthful management( never satisfied) and an ancient one(everything is OK).

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

From a fans perspective I’m sure you may have been , but it’s clear that Emery had some ideas amen olans that he wasn’t seeing, regardless of us dominating etc. It’s preseason, and there seen things he wants to see.

Anshul
Anshul

It’s surprising how UNAIanimosly every Jose of whose is PEPing sp**s to finish out of top 4 this season!
Klopp is ticking out for them..

Penfield
Penfield

Just… no.

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

No. And… what?
Actually… just no

Michael Young
Michael Young

I gave you the charity thumbs up. I know you meant well.

Granit (e) hard!
Granit (e) hard!

Well, i acknowledge we are just learning the Emery way….which i like by the way, and so things will get better with more practice, but our backline just gives me jitters at the moment, they just look nervous and with the season starting in a few days, if the kind lapses i am seeing are not ironed out very quickly, high scoring teams like city and liverpool will just slaughter us

Hantal
Hantal

Like last season then

Pijoe
Pijoe

Don’t remember Liverpool slaughtering us last season

May2689
May2689

And the season before and the season before and the season before……………………………………………………………………………

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

You mean the season we finished 2nd ?

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

I still find it amazing that people are somehow expecting rapid changes with just 3-4 weeks of tinkering by Unai, many of which weren’t even available for the whole preseason.

I think fans would be better off considering this whole season as a preseason for Emery.

   kaius
   kaius

One of the coolest things about the goal Nelson scored is it came from the kind of move Chelsea pulled off a couple of times against us. Playing keep-ball at the back against a high press, then springing forward with a quick vertical counter where every pass hurts the opposition instead of going sideways.

It’s the trademark move Sarri perfected with Napoli last season when they scored some of the best team goals around. And we’re already taking those lessons on board without a full-strength XI. Plenty to look forward to if we give Emery’s team room to grow this year.

santori
santori

Came from Iwobi being able to push and instigate from left side.

Iwobi and AMN seem to pair up very well (going forward at least)

Also shout to Chambers

Gereoma
Gereoma

That’s why a Vida- buy would make so much sense.

Matt
Matt

So if
“Today we tried in the second half and second half to choose the best system with the best players and best ideas”

Does that mean 4-3-3?
Mhkitaryan, Elneny, Gwen all start with Auba from left, and Ozil from right? Anyone think any different?

santori
santori

There is no best system.

He is saying he will rotate system as and when and within a game if need be.

The formation is moot. It can and should change within a game to suit circumstance and the strengths of certain players.

Rich
Rich

Some of our players look like they’ve been on the gas… Elneny and Cech look massive.

Next week I think we’ll see something like this:
Cech
Chambers Sokratis
Bellerin Elneny Niles
Xhaka Ozil
Mkhitaryan Iwobi
Aubameyang

If Torreira, Welbeck and Monreal were ready? I think they’d certainly start, and I’d be surprised if Rambo was still here.
Aubameyang isn’t really a winger, and Emery seems to have quite rightly ruled out 4-4-2 as a way of regularly setting up.
We’ll likely have less of the ball against City, and I’d rather have Aubameyang sat on the halfway line than Lacazette.

santori
santori

No Elneny please.

sambo
sambo

Im happy for Perez, Welbeck, Ospina Campbell and Jenkinson to go. I am happy for Welbeck and Perez to stay. If it means we can get a special winger, maybe Dembele on loan i will take it.
To face city –
Cech
Bell Sok Must Mon
Tor Xha
Miki Ö Aub
Laca
What do you guys think?

santori
santori

You’re happy for Welbeck to go or to stay?

Monreal has a knock.

santori
santori

He is still clearly learning about the team and individuals.

And that is the right thing to do.

Cycling through various formations is key plus exploring relationships between players. I thought for example Iwobi and AMN partnered up very effectively on the left.

The critical element though is whilst none of these formations, high press or highline are anything new (Wenger has done the same) it seems Emery is :

1) More willing to perfect them from sideline and pay attention to the details of execution.

2) More willing to use the advantages of the various formations in changing them to suit both circumstance and players available during a game where Wenger tended to largely set things up and ignore things only intervening IMO 10 minutes later than he should have.

I think we still have issues though outstanding in part thanks to the poor effort made in recruitment in the summer.

Cback is still a concern and I don’t think Unai knows which is the best pairing.

Rather than pay 10m extra say and go out and buy say an experience player but with pace and height like Boateng off of Bayern (who are willing to let go), Mslintat brought in yet another ex Dortmund charge.

Whilst the Greek looks composed and no nonsense, I don’t think he has the mobility (or height) the complement.

Mustafi is an overly criticised player. He leads the team in intercepts and generally comes up with many critical blocks unheralded because some people prefer to only see his faults.

BUT he is a player that still needs improvement as he generally gives you full commitment in concentration 95% of the game but there is always one instance in the game (at least) where he has a rush of blood.

We had Koscielny (himself not immune to mistakes last season) who could cover Mustafi for pace, but with him out for at least half the season, I’m not sure who can dovetail with the German.

Sokratis seems the obvious choice but as mentioned mobility may be a problem against quicker teams like City and Liverpool.

Chambers to me is the young player with the most organic improvement. What he lacks is aggression which maybe his new white supramacist look can help inspire?

The younger Cbacks in Holding and Mavropanos also have mistakes in them which many choose conveniently to ignore but they have the height and frame we may need in other circumstances.

So who we even start at Cback still seems very much up in the air.

And this is the platform from which everything-else stems.

Whether Emery can figure out the best option soon enough will be key before kick off of season.It will be our all too familiar Achille’s heel again otherwise.

Mpls
Mpls

I wonder with the left back issues if he’s considering a 3-5-2. AMN left wingback. But that could get scary with 3 slower CB’s getting run at by Sane and Mahrez and Aguero roaming around, though we’d really mostly by 5-3-2, probably with a Ozil one of the 2.

But it sounds like his ‘comfort zone ‘ is 4-2-3-1.
Thinking a little defensively,
AMN left back, Iwobi left wing.
Pick 2 CB’s of your choice. I’d prefer 1 fast one, 1 grizzled cynical one.
Bellerin RF, Mkhi RW
Ozil or Ramsey in #10 depending on how worried he is about defending the midfield
Xhaka and Torreira/Ramsey/ one of the shaggy haired lads as the CM’s depending on who’s ready.

Cech in net.
I’d probably start Auba, throw on a Laca late to add finishing. Though I expect we’ll be up 3 by then anyway.

But if Torreira is ready, why not the 4-1-4-1, with Ozil stepping up to join Auba?

In other words, I’ve got no fucking idea.

But I do know I am looking forward to it, and looking forward to seeing something new even if it’s just new for the sake of newness.