Nelson the only absentee as Arsenal welcome Vitoria

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reiss_nelson_arsenal_2019

Arsenal have confirmed that Reiss Nelson is the only absentee as Unai Emery prepares his squad to take on Portuguese side Vitoria in the Europa League.

The England under-21 international damaged ligaments in his left knee in the win over Standard Liege and is not expected back in training for at least another couple of weeks.

Unai Emery is expected to make a number of changes from the team that started the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United with Emi Martinez, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gabriel Martinelli all in contention to start.  It’s anybody’s guess whether Mesut Ozil will be given a chance to play.

A win on Thursday would put the Gunners in a great position to qualify from their group with games to spare and boost confidence ahead of Crystal Palace’s visit to the Emirates.

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gus
gus

If Ozil is not in this squad then we should all start a campaign to get this ego centric manager out of the club.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Totally agree with you, the manager must go. But what will you say if he plays Ozil for 3 games in a row and he sucks? We blame Ozil? We keep switching blame on and on. One week is Ozil, one week is Xhaka, one week is the manager, and then we and mustafi back. Then we win one game, every one talks about top 4.

The reality is that we are not a top 4 side, and we don’t have a top quality manager like klopp to chance us. We probably have a top 3 side as far as skillful and talented players, but that’s it.

As far as commitment, strength, confidence, mentality, tactical awareness, leadership, pressing, passing, defending, shooting, crossing, we are a bottom 4 side in the league. Once we improve on our weaknesses we can talk about top 4. But with this lot, mid table will be a bonus.

Nzini
Nzini

Well Emery should let Ozil play 3 games in row and lets see if sucks.

Alex
Alex

Mesut Ozil is a player you build a team around. I understand if many don’t see that, but he has created more chances than anyone for this club by a country mile in his time. He has won everything. He still has the eye and the weight of those passes. He should be encourage and backed for an extended period – but he should be expected to play and play and play. If he doesn’t deliver those chances, fair enough, pull him. But he does. The stats just prove it. 3-5 per game. Where were those on Monday? Bloody nowhere that’s where. At least we would have identity. Put Guendouzi and Torreira behind him to mop up.

I can’t believe there is equivocation about whether this squad is underperforming. Lacazette, Aubameyang, Pepe and Özil should be enough to concern absolutely ANY team.

It’s not – and that’s 100% down to Emery

Martinaldo
Martinaldo

@Naked Cygan I have absolutely no idea why you’ve been down-voted for this. You hit the nail on the head in my opinion and the blame game will always be there.. maybe not the mid table bit

Dave
Dave

Ozil won’t play because he’ll be cup tied if he does.

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

I almost think that Emery is scared to play Ozil in case he plays so well that his position becomes less tenable than it already is.

If Ozil doesn’t play Thursday there must be something going on we don’t know about.

Runzac
Runzac

Just watching the team play everyone can tell that there is a lack of urgency and cohesion. That is usually the first sign of a manager who has lost his players confidence.

SB Still
SB Still

Agree.

I wonder how the players feel about the ‘tactics’. E.g. What Auba feels about a game in which there was virtually zero chances created for him. Or at the other end Leno making the most saves in the league.

On the sidelines and in the box, people like Freddie, Per, Edu, etc think we are playing to the potential of the squad.

If these people speak to Raul to express their views .

Alex
Alex

It’s simple:
– or the player is a real lazy guy unwilling to train (what UE and Raul denied), then the club’s leaders have to talk to him directly to clarify the situation and to threaten him of financial measures against his unwillingness to do his job (but this is not the case).
– or the coach is to blame and unwilling to just use his whole group and to allow them ALL to work on their game fitness (there are enough games to have your group running and practicing so that they can ALL stay match fit). Then the club’s leaders have to talk to him to clarify the situation and to demand him to just do his coach’s job.
Özil is the club’s highest earner, UE is the successor of Wenger, the club cannot let this going on without looking foolish. Simple.

Vaibhav

I think KSE is pulling the strings and dictating Özil’s selection. I cannot comprehend how Emery or any other manager keep on not selecting a particular player without buy-in from the leadership. Don’t forget Emery is just a coach and also doesn’t rate Özil highly which complicates the matter even more. It means Emery doesn’t want to stand for Ozil rather he will stand with KSE to save his job.

atom
atom

Given it’s going to be impossible to move Ozil on it’s almost certain that Raul/Emery / KSE were hoping that he would rediscover his form last year as Ozil playing at a consistent worldclass level would be a major asset. That didn’t happen & now it appears relatively obvious that there’s a standoff with Ozil making repeated public statements about seeing out his contract and not being willing to leave even on loan while the club trying to make it obvious to him that they want him to leave by not playing him.

Alex
Alex

His job is chance creation – basically – and he delivers. It’s like having a Ferrari at home and not taking it to the race because sometimes it breaks down, so we’d rather go with a reliable model which won’t win also won’t break down. Wrong metrics. Sports stars the world over – F1, NFL, you name it – generally need a bit more energy when they are at the top of their game. Maybe you or I would be cocks too, who knows? You work with it. The best managers are cocks when they feel like it too. They can afford to be.

Rich
Rich

Hopefully Ozil will sit on the bench for 90 minutes.
I’d go with this, and give Lacazette 45minutes, before replacing him with Balogun at half time.

Martinez
Mustafi Holding
Bellerin .Tierney
Willock Torreira
Niles Smith-Rowe Martinelli
Lacazette

Dan nichols
Dan nichols

No tierney bellerin or holding please lets play them in the first team

Rich
Rich

We need to manage these players, Do you really think Bellerin wouldn’t be starting in the league if he was ready?

Look at Tierney’s injury record over the past 2.5 years, its atrocious, and the reason we got him for £25mill, when the going rate is much higher for fullbacks.

BJACK
BJACK

Tierney played 40 games last year for Celtic…55 the year before.
That seems pretty healthy to me…

but yes agree these two will be extremely important long term and important to manage their fitness return form injury especially in the short term

anonarse
anonarse

What do we actually know about his contract? Could it be that a big portion of the reported 350k is bonuses for appearance? Would make this Özil saga more understandable.

Jack
Jack

Reiss is the only absentee? What about Ozil? Ozil is a constant absentee.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Ozil is waiting for Wenger to come back.

Rostock Gooner
Rostock Gooner

Seriously, if Tierney and Bellerin start in EL I would be very disappointed. Please give them some minutes but start them on Sunday. Any thoughts?

Jack
Jack

Sadly I think they’ll both start tomorrow but not on Sunday. I read that Emery said before the Sheffield game that Kola had done nothing to warrant being dropped which is why Tierney didn’t start…Extremely worrying.

Peter Story Teller
Peter Story Teller

Appears the coach is not very good at man management. When he said before the Sheffield game that we are “going to do something important” I guess he meant avoid relegation!

Dave M
Dave M

Important for him is selecting Xhaka in every EPL game.

Wolsty
Wolsty

Yet in the same breath Emery said that Kola had played 2 international games in a week so wouldn’t be fresh…. can’t have it both ways Unai….
We should win on Thursday with a ‘reserve’ side, so I’d play Tierney and Bellerin (assuming fit) on Sunday against Palace, especially with Zaha flying about. I’d push Chambers into DM midfield or play Torreira instead of Xhaka too….!!

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

A right back or left back changed won’t hide the fact that our manager is clueless. We need a manager who can handle different challenges. The only thing that our manager had changed is passing from the goal kick. Other than that Big fat Sam is a better manager than this clueless guy.

Santori
Santori

Torreira has made his fair share of mistakes plus is height challenge.

Granit is necessary for height bc otherwise we have ONLY Sokratis and Luiz, maybe chambers and kolasinac.

Santori
Santori

…and no Big Sam. You need to pull your head out of your arse, next you’d be asking for Solksjaer… seen where United are?

Dave M
Dave M

It’s getting close to our EPL XI being our second XI, save for Auba, Leno and Guendouzi (of the regulars…and probably Pepe…he just needs time) I would happily change the whole team:
Leno
Bellerin – Chambers – Holding – Tierny
Torreira
Douzi – Willock/Ceballos (whichever)
Pepe/Saka/Martinelli – Auba
Laca (I know that’s cheating a little…)

Vaibhav

If Hector is fit why he didn’t start at Sheffield, it is being almost two months since Hector and Tierney are with first team.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Start Xhaka, Sokratis and Kolasinac and then we won’t see them at the weekend!

Tonny
Tonny

Before we know it, we shall realise that Unai doesn’t rate Tierny. That’s how it started with Torreira last season and we were saying he is being careful managing him, he played at the world cup, he is new in the league etc. Some factors matter less if a manager truly rates a player. I can’t understand why Tierny didn’t start against Sheffield. The way Unai view football is weird and a popular player may not be popular with him.

Jeremy
Jeremy

How does anyone with 2 eyes and a brain rate Kola over Tierny? How does anyone with 2 eyes and a brain rate Xhaka over literally any of our other midfield options? How does anyone with 2 eyes and a brain (and a desire to pass the ball out from the keeper) not realise Holding is not only our best central defender but also our best passer of the ball in that position? Now take this empty headed person with no eyes, pay them several million a year, add a dollop of sabotage/tactical arrogance, and you have Unai Emery. Sack him now.

Dave M
Dave M

Problem with Emery it seems more a character thing than qualities. Xhaka is obviously a good dude, he is well respected everywhere he has been by coaches and players. Character’s help, but that’s not enough at this level – Xhaka isn’t at the level we need and being a good bloke also doesn’t mean you are the right character to lead the team – you think Viera or Adams would be complaining about Evra calling them soft mentally? No because (1) they weren’t soft mentally, and (2) they would have told their team if they were soft (like this team has shown far too often) that they need to harden the fuk up, or (3) they’d tell they’re squad – “let’s show this fuker what we are about!! Come-on!!”

Ozil has his problems and I definitely don’t think he should be an automatic selection, but he can do things no player in this squad can. Home games in the EPL especially Ozil should be starting…cut him from away games where he has struggled. I like Kola and think he gets a bit of a rough go around here – he has been very solid this season (especially defensively where people like to rip him), but Tierny looks absolutely EXCEPTIONAL – I know it’s early, but from the glimpses I’ve seen and his Celtic videos he could be a world class LB. Kola is not that so it’s clear you need to make the change, especially when when dropped big coin on Tierny (that must be pissing off Raul, Edu, and Venkat – it’s basically defying them).

I do not see a lack of talent in our squad. I see us using the wrong players and I see us not playing the style that suits the players we have and should be playing. That sits squarely on the manager. And nothing, absolutely NOTHING, indicates that he has the answers to change it. So for me its:
#EmeryOut
#BenchXhaka

Mother
Mother

You watch; Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Torreira and Ozil will all start, put in great performances and help secure a big win – only for Emery to then drop them all on Sunday for the likes of Sokratis, Kolasinac and Xhaka…

The mismanagement of players this season has been awful.

Santori
Santori

Selective viewing or memory lapse.

BC Mustafi has also put in great performance next to Rob with clean sheets.

And granit has also saved our bacon more than several times plus is needed for his height and distribution and took on a good shot from range.

meanwhile, Torreira has also been culpable for many giveaways conveniently unmentioned.

And Ozil has flattered to deceive when given opportunity recently.

Stop throwing your toys out of the pram.

And stop finding convenient scapegoats.

Now its Sokratis turn for stick when he is one of our more consistent performers.

The level of myopia by some here is simply incredible. Half of it is gullibility bc they listen to rubbish commentary then choose to focus on certain things highlighted. They are looking for faults in these players and conveniently ignore faults when their favorite players make them.

Mother
Mother

@Santori Your reply reads like you’ve cobbled together your usual empty, half-baked points with phrases that you clearly don’t understand the meaning of. Get over yourself.

My post was quite simple really (although obviously still too complicated for your little brain). The likes of Holding, Tierney, Bellerin, Torreira and Ozil have participated in our best performances this season. And yes, Mustafi has looked good too.

However, the likes of Sokratis, Kolasinac and Xhaka have not performed so well and yet they seem to constantly get picked in the league ahead of the in-form players.

So dry your eyes little man.

Rich
Rich

Arsenal fans base are dramatic, you all wanted change, but don’t want to go through the process to get to the destination.

You have no idea how things are earned, or how things are built.

Anyone who thinks that sacking Emery will suddenly turn us into a cohesive team with structure and a clear identity? Are in absolute dreamland.

Emery took over a team that was in decline, had no squad balance, lacked anything even resembling dynamism, was extremely one paced, had no dribblers or ball carriers, no width, and lacked real quality throughout the squad everywhere apart from our two strikers, and our right back.

We then got big injuries to Holding, Welbeck, Bellerin and Rambo broke down again as per usual, at the worst possible time, meaning what was the weakest group of players in the top6, became even weaker.

Last season I think finishing 5th only 2 points off 4th, was a false position, I think Emery overachieved with a bang average squad, to even get us that close.

This season he’s changed the dynamic of our forward line , we now have wingers and ball carriers, but Pepe is still settling, and the other 3 are 18,19,18, and the change in style is going to take time.

Changing the dynamic of our squad was always going to take 2-3 years, we have players earning too much money to shift, and our overall quality of our squad really isn’t up to much.

Sacking a manager during a rebuild would put us back to square one, this is the start of a new cycle, there’s been a huge turnover of players, which will likely carry on over the next 2 windows.

I’m not emotionally invested in Emery in anyway, I just don’t buy into the idea that changing him with take us forward, I think it’s much more likely to take us backwards.

arseblog
Admin

We’re more or less going backwards under Emery anyway. See the stats and what they tell us: https://arseblog.com/2019/10/arsenal-top-of-the-league-in-shots-against-penalties-conceded-etc/

How far back do we need to go before the time is right?

We stayed loyal to AW too long, that should be a lesson. I would absolutely give Emery time if we could see positive signs, but I don’t see those. Your points are excuses for him, not mitigation. I don’t mean that to sound personal btw, but what is Emery doing in the Premier League that makes you think he should keep his job?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Absolutely nothing. I am sure he is a lovely bloke behind the scenes and perhaps a half decent manager for a smaller club but ultimately he is nowhere need the standard we need. If we were somehow 10th, but playing football with a distinguishable style and green shoots of progress were appearing, I’d be more inclined to give him time. For me, while many of us have accepted transition, trajectory of performances comes above results. Also, to think we are paying a man several million a year to not play his best players makes me feel nauseous. Especially when it is clear to literally everyone else in the world who they are.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Agree that Emery has been poor, especially the end of last season. But I’m not convinced changing manager at this juncture will help the team in the short or medium term. He failed last season but so did the players and they’ll still be here regardless of who comes into replace him. Anyone that comes in will have the same excuse that Emery still has now; “these aren’t my players and I need more time”.

None of that is to defend Emery per se, I didn’t fancy him as manager and I feel I’ve been proven right by our results/performances. But I think to roll the dice now, before our new signings and academy players have even gotten their feet under the table, and to expect massively different results would be foolish.

It’s also funny how at the end of last season and during the summer a lot of people on here said they’d rather fail with young players than stick with the under-performers of last season. Now those same people are clamouring for those some of those same under-performers to save us while our youngsters (Guendouzi, Willock, Saka) flounder. We either have to accept this is a youth project and will take time, or we have to go big in the transfer market again. Anything else will probably just be a repeat of last season.

Dave M
Dave M

Are our youngsters floundering? Douzi has been our best midfielder this season (although he was poor against SU), Willock has been exceptional and an absolute revelation – but playing them both alongside Xhaka that forces them to alter the roles they should be is capping their games. Saka has also be a revelation. Dito Martinelli. People are dying to get Bellerin, Tierney, and Holding into the squad. If you’re making this about Ozil, I think all people want to see is ANY SIGN of Ozil actually being a part of the team. I’d be happy to see Mesut on the bench and getting some mins and the odd start because he is SO different to anyone else we have. So I don’t think you’re assessment is accurate.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I should have said “at the first sign of our youngsters floundering”. Not just in the Sheffield United game but also Watford, Man Utd and Spurs (in the first half) etc and in the future games to come. They’re going to have ups and downs here and there, and our results will be affected accordingly. This seems to have massively panicked people so I can only assume this is not what they expected!

I also think part of the problem has been the way we’ve talked about their good performances. “Exceptional, absolute revelation” etc. They’ve been very good but against Europa/Carabao opposition. So when they struggle against Sheffield United (joint best defence in the league) people freak out.

And it wasn’t about Ozil in particular, lord knows we talk about him far too much, but yes he fits the category. Someone most thought was finished after the Europa League final but are desperate for now so he can save our season (we are in 5th place and 2 points off 4th!). I just think we need to calm down a bit.

Dave M
Dave M

“Your points are excuses for him, not mitigation.”
This is absolutely it blogs and that goes for the way the manager deals with the media and criticisms of the team and the players too, he is forever making up excuses (especially for Xhaka). If all he is doing is make excuses for problems it 100% means THERE ARE PROBLEMS. Is it a coincidence that he has to defend Xhaka after nearly every game or does it mean that Xhaka (light bulb moment) might not be good enough!?

It’s like watching a small child with a square block continue to ram it into the round hole, while you sit there and try to patiently suggest to them that maybe it isn’t the right place…

Oregoon

One really has to ask, what has he brought us in 18 months, and are we moving in a positive direction? We can say he doesn’t have the best tools to do the job, but he should be held accountable for having the team play as a group, with a general style, and with real intention. Are we getting this game after game against league level teams? Don’t believe so, and will more time solve our problems?

Rich
Rich

I don’t think there’s been a structure, because there is no structure.

Emery has never previously played with wing backs, but last season he was forced into it, by Bellerin’s injury, Kolasinac’s inadequacies (he’s very poor in possession), and our options behind the striker, Iwobi, Ozil, Mkhitaryan aren’t dynamic wide players who play on the front foot, they all prefer the game played in front of them, so Niles +Kolasinac who are both defensively poor, but decent on the overlap, made sense, because it was the only width within our ranks.

Welbeck got injured, and Aubameyang is a striker playing wide, who attacks the spaces, he’s not a dribbler or ball carrier.

This season our attack hasn’t worked, but that’s because Lacazette’s been injured, Pepe is settling, and Nelson, Saka, Martinelli are very raw, but all are more direct, and in a completely different mould to any wide forwards we’ve had for a very long time.

We’ve changed the dynamic and makeup of our forward options this summer, but it’s going to take a while to transition from one style to another, the back 4 looks here to stay, but Emery hasn’t had the chance to work with his preferred system, because he inherited such a one paced and imbalanced squad, that I believe was average at best.

Wenger’s teams in his latter years were slow and one paced, and our scouting was opportunistic and very poor over a long period of time, I just think Emery is paying the price for that, and changing the dynamic of our squad, and the characteristics of our players was always going to take time.

I thought when Emery took over it was a 2-4 year project, he’s really only had one window, and I’m willing to hold judgement for a while yet, I think both Pepe+Ceballos will come good, and now he has the raw ingredients, something I don’t think he had last season, he deserves a chance to cook something up,

btw
btw

I agree with Blogs here, not only are we going backwards, but everyone can see we are playing dreadful football, and with the exception of a few matches, have been ever since he was hired. There is a lot of talk about who could replace Emery and do better. If we are playing that game I have a suggestion.

He may resemble a land-shark, but Rogers has had an incredible impact at Leicester. He did good work at Swansea and Liverpool, a Gerard slip from the title with a squad that was much weaker than what Klopp has now.

Look at Leicester and after Rogers
Before, 29 league games in 2018-19: 35 points from 84 possible = 41.7%
After, 19 league games across 2 seasons: 34 points from 57 possible = 59.7%

He has been on the job for less time than Emery and has made a huge impact.
Should we not expect the same?

gus
gus

We didnt all want change,some of us could see that if wenger had this group with ozil and the youngsters behind world class strikers we may still have been weak at the back but we would be smashing some teams to kingdom come.

Has that happened with emery ever or is just a dry drab victory thanks to the finishing prowess of our strikers.

the defence has got a whole lot worse as im constantly pissing me pants when the likes of lys moussett, billy sharp attack us.

Santori
Santori

A bit mental and frankly next to teenage girl hysterical from you lot.

Sure Unai has flattered to deceive but lets just take stock.

We are still in a good position.

How he can (if he will) remedy some of his tactical shortfalls of course is the question and I agree with the concern.

BUT he’s been doing OK not any worse than late year Wenger.

The pity is its minor tweaks and adjustments that can make us better.

1) Stop playing Luiz. Surely Holding is a better long term player and no worse (Luiz is Mustafi with age)

2) Find a better solution to receive the ball higher up. Problem is as much our options bc neither of Auba, Saka can receive the long balls. Auba is pathetic at it. Potentially, the best two options (ala Sagna) would be Kolasinac or Pepe at half way line.

3) Leno. He maybe the slightly better shot stopper but his decision making with distribution is poor> Partly it also stems as above from options available.

4) We have been relatively solid defending set pieces. Granit is critical bc torreira lacks height (and he has made his fair share of giveaways). With Granit plus Sokratis and one other Cback we have very limited number of players able to protect from high balls (maybe Chambers and kolasinac, tierney and Bellerin also lack height). This is something many granit critics simply choose to ignore.

5) BUT critically, we need to tailor our formation to threat. there should be no preferred formation just as there should be ZERO automatic starters.

last match with blades lining 5 across the midfield and hemming in our fullbacks, we should have gone 3 at the back (perhaps better suited for Luiz) and afforded the wingbacks in Kolasinac (and maybe Bellerin for a half) better option to press higher behind their wide midfielders. Also Have Auba and Pepe instead of the 3 up top. In the end we lumped 4 up top(erroneously took off Granit who would have been useful for distribution and long shots) and the front men ended up too static . we should have been making runs from midfield but we were instead down to two mids and what momentum we had first part of second half dissipated.

whether of course Unai gets it right remains to be seen but its not a magic wand that a new gaffer will either. Talk of Fat Sam and Ole sounds inane to say the least…butAllegri is of course available just saying.

Santori
Santori

…whole lot worse without Mustafi? who would have thought.

Some people were celebrating when we bought Sideshowbob…the fact that he was a panic buy on the last day bc we were pursuing the dubious tactic of extending on an over the hill Koscielny (who did us a favour not re-signing) and then wasted 27m on a relatively untried young player who would not feature seem to escape the criticism of the same people here…

Thierry Walcott
Thierry Walcott

Could Emery be an absentee too, please…

Santori
Santori

why? So we can be even worse?

He was absent enough last match.

He was making good changes last season from the bench. this season he seems to have become too dogmatic in approach. The whole play out of the back thing was evident all last season but looks like it is going nowhere this season.

he really needs to work on a solution but lumping it forward is not a solution either unless we find the players able to receive.

Auba is pathetic at receiving long balls. Young Saka too short.

I think the two candidates are kolasinac on the left or potentially Pepe on the right in combination with chambers or Bellerin supporting. They should work out an option for them to recieve as an alternative on the half way line so we have 3 options for Leno.

1) short pass to Cback if not risky.

2) Midway pass to half way line (Kolasinac left side or Pepecombo with either Chambers or Bellerin)

3) Long and direct if Laca is available or if Auba is peeled off into some space on the flank.

One should not shy when the going gets tough or expect the manager to do so. that is the sign of losers.

COYG 1001
COYG 1001

I don’t think Ozil will play in Europe until after the transfer window. We can’t afford for him to use Europe eligibility. It’s the utter waste of not using him in the League that kills me … and may get UE fired.

It’s a crap carpenter who blames his tools … and that’s what we’ve got.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Mesut isn’t going anywhere, I expect Emery to play him in the Europa League and the cups, I hope that Msut will ignore whatever crap instructions he is given, get the team attacking, play a blinder and get the MOM award, hopefully Emery is fired before Christmas and Freddie can get us playing decent footie again.

COYG 1001
COYG 1001

Hope you are right. Just think management may be holding out for big January transfer to Europe.

Vonnie
Vonnie

The management may want that but the player says he’s staying and they can’t make him go. There are no takers for him because he’s never been on the market and the more they ostracise him the more obvious it becomes that we have no creativity at all. I’m backing Mesut on this one, if we can get him enjoying his football again he can be a hugely important player for us, and I don’t think Emery can get anyone to enjoy football.

Santori
Santori

Its 50-50. You are both some ways correct.

I think first and foremost depends on Ozil’s attitude then application.

First and foremost is his off ball work. We have seen with our pressing that if one part of the machine starts to slack off, we get de-syncopated and gaps start to appear particularly between the front men pressing and the midfield. Then its all too easy to find the gaps and bypass the midfield get at our fragile back.

Ozil is not the only one with poor off ball work. Up till recently, Pepe was also guilty of taking the foot off the pedal when the going did not go his way. we cannot afford to carry one let alone two dropping off in energy levels.

So it remains to be seen.

It isn’t a question (as some here would imagine) that the gaffer is clueless.

We are not managing widgets and this isn’t FIFA. You can say Ozil is talented and needs to start (having of course said ozil needed to be sold…same people)

BUT the gaffer will have to weigh in on his attitude and therafter if he can apply himself sufficiently to cause. if not a more limited player like Willock is more appreciated bc of his hard work in the midfield, which we need.

this is the problem with too many commentators here. they like to prescirbe ills to just one thing (say Mustafi…of course conveniently ignoring his role in recent clean sheets)

Or they have pet hates like say granit with no bearing to reality.

The shortfalls are born of many myriad little things which need resolution.

Dan nichols
Dan nichols

Why has everyone just accepted that our defence is now Chambers Sokratis Luiz and Kolasinic? Id like to see the following defence on thursday AMN/Sokratis/ Luiz/ Kolasinic. Then in our next league game we can play Bellerin/Chambers/ Holding/ Tierney all of whom have been fit months now. I was furious when tierney didnt start on monday and have been furious since the start of the season about holding who started training with the first team in America!!!!!!!!!! its not as if the ones who are paying have been world beaters!

Santori
Santori

Chambers-Holding is fantasy.

Sure they may work but you prefer to risk them in a PL without testing them in a lesser competition? Check your head recently?

may as well play mustafi-Holding.

steve
steve

Keep it simple, squad players, returning starting XI players and youngsters.

Take Chambers and Maitland Niles off of that dreaded RB position and play them in their preffered position, give Laca some minutes to get back to speed, play Torreira deep and give Smith Rowe a go in that creative midfield role (if he struggles then replace him with Ozil)

—-Martinelli——–Lacazette———-Saka———-
————–E-S-R————-A-M-N——————
———————–Torreira—————————
Tierney——Holding———Chambers——-Bellerin
———————-Martinez—————————

Dave M
Dave M

Problem with that is Tierney, Bellerin and Torreira won’t play sunday and all three should at LB, RB and DM! So we’ll get more of the same…but then again a loss on the weekend playing the same shite over again might be the end of Emery…I see what you did there 😉 lol

Santori
Santori

Torreira bc he has shortcomings too (height) and likely just back from Internationals which is why he did not feature against Blades.

I would have thought off the International was perfect to intro one of Bellerin or Tierney.

We could still use them for next PL match if we limit their minutes in midweek to say 60minutes and have Kolasinac or chambers cycle in.

But likely the gaffer felt they are still not 100% physically fit to compete at PL level.

Santori
Santori

I would go :

Martinelli……………..Laca………………..AMN
……………….Ozil…………….ESR…………….
…………………….Torreira………………………
Tierney……Holding……Mustafi………Bellerin
……………………Emiliano………………………

Also simple. Worry will be Ozil AND ESR. One option would be to have Willock with either one for energy levels and Ozil/ESR take the other advance mid slot.

steve
steve

It’s a win win 😉

So sorry
So sorry

Tee hee… Tierney holding Chamber’s belle…

Santori
Santori

Have to say on second review last night, granit was in no man’s land for the goal and it was not Luiz but Guendouzi (again) that was left to take on the back end of the goal, Sokratis and Luiz were marking too far forward.

probably an issue of the zonal system because we lack players with height or aerial power particularly with Giroud gone who would have otherwise lend a hand.

Which is why granit by some measure is critical at the moment together with Sokratis and Luiz (or which ever other Cback) in holding 3 zones across the box (plus Chambers and Kolasinac)

but the system needs better work and regardless, Leno could have also done better.

AND the goal was coming because we largely did not have our tactics right on the night bc the Blades had 5 across midfield occupying our fullback.

Would have liked to perhaps seen us switch to a 3 at the back to match them, leave Pepe in a free role (he was decent first half I thought)

…………………..Auba…………………………………………..
………………………………………….Pepe…………………….
Kolasinac…………………Cebellos…………………….Bellerin
………………..Granit…………………Guendouzi……………..
………..Luiz……………..Sokratis………Chambers………….
…………………………….Leno…………………………………..

Thought Cebellos also came on and made a difference where Willock struggled a bit more.

Would have liked to have seen one of either Tierney or Bellerin involved at least for 50-60min.

The other issue of course was our obviously flawed tactical dogma of playing out from the back. Leno’s decision making was poor, several times playing short passes to Guendouzi who almost got caught out.

But we lack ability higher up to receive and protect the long balls (again where giroud was particularly useful) and it would mean we would be tantamount to giving it back to them.

Clearly some other tactical approach needs to find our players around half way line. Back in the day, it was an out ball to Sagna who often headed it forward.

Kolasinac and Pepe may be our better candidates at the moment to receive and protect the ball higher up and surely some sort of strategy to collect from higher needs to be worked on and give the keeper better options.

otherwise we are want to repeat the same ills.

Santori
Santori

Pity with Nelson, hope he gets back soon. Again I understand the temptation to sell Iwobi but we went one step forward half step back in that. Pepe has taken a bit of time to settle (as should be expected) and young Saka has been impressive enough but surely we still need depth other than shuffling Auba wide (albeit at least Laca is returning)

Other options I suppose would include AMN on the right or a Tierney/Kolasinac tandem left side.

I thought Pepe was decent first half and did some useful things including some tight dribbles deep in our half helping beleagured Chambers one of which led to his opportunity squandered.

He needs to just keep at it and play as much as possible but as I mentioned, a bit of graft off the ball will work wonders for his forward play as well as he gains confidence.

Still, we need to be more demanding of him now and he needs to start stepping up for us. There is reason to cut him some slack bc of adjustment issues but we should also not be shy of being demanding of players. Much is expected of him (not least with price tag) and we should not be apologetic in having him fulfill his promise sooner than later.

And I think he can bring something now.

Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of our other options mid week.

Mustafi-Holding have been keeping clean sheets. BOTH should be in contention for PL start.

also on show Martinelli again whom i thought gave a good go when he came on last 10minutes and showed (again) useful close control for us. Hope he continues to score another brace.

Maybe AMN may get a run out as well higher up at Rwing.

But Also tierney and bellerin should surely be edging now toward a feature in the PL.

In midfield, hopefully Torreira gets back on track. Martinez also has shown better use of the ball distributing from the back then Leno if maybe the German is slightly better a stopper.

And yes, we need to assess Ozil because he surely has a good creative role to play if he can up his work rate off the ball.

Competition should be keen…its all to play for.

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Mate with respect, you post too much and too long for people to bother reading.