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  • #31
    Arsenal finally playing with some width. Pepe has been introduced.


    • #32
      You beauty. Lacazette with a great looping header. It was a smart play and Arsenal tried it earlier in the game. Kolasinac was even there to help the ball in if needed. Smart play, great header.


      • #33
        Arsenal are finally taking control of the game and making great use of their right-wing. They have woken up.


        • #34
          1-2 Brighton.

          Arsenal are a joke.


          • #35
            Brighton won 1-2. Luiz was beaten to a header in the air. I have no idea where Sokratis was on the play, but he was nowhere near where he needed to be and Arsenal looked lost at the back partly because of that.

            Arsenal started the second half strong. They should have scored more goals and taken control of the game. They didn't. Luiz had a goal ruled out correctly for offside and that about came at the tail end of their dominant period. The momentum was then gone.

            The midfield doesn't have the technical quality to command the ball with real authority. Xhaka is good, but he's no Busquets. Torreira works hard, but lacks quality. Poor touch, not the best at passing the ball. Willock had to do go off. He just wasn't playing well and looked out of sorts. Luiz just plays it straight to the forwards, bypassing Arsenal's middle completely.

            Ozil is suffering the equivalent of writer's block. All work and no play makes Mesut a dull boy.

            Aubameyang and Lacazette are far from perfect themselves. They can do better too and very well should have scored more goals here. They had chances and didn't make enough of them, although Lacazette deserves full marks for his goal. That goal was above and beyond.

            Only Leno plays consistently up to the standards expected of him. He's the one Arsenal player who consistently gives a good account of himself. I thought Kolasinac also stood out today. Torreira deserves full praise for sheer work ethic. He worked hard today and wanted to prove himself, but the technical quality with him remains wanting.

            Martinelli and Pepe are guilty of dribbling at opponents a little too much with little effect. They need to play smarter. But Pepe's introduction changed the game, he gave Arsenal width and they made use of it on both wings.

            Arsenal are out there trying to play like Barcelona, except instead of having Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets, they tried to do it with Xhaka, Torreira, and Willock, the result was Brighton outplayed them in the opening period.

            Ozil should be dropped for Pepe. I think the midfield should compromise Xhaka (playing in a more advanced role), Guendouzi/Torreira, and Luiz. There should be a center-back pairing of Sokratis and Mavropanos. Ljunberg needs to take a risk on Mavropanos. He coached him at the u23 level on numerous occasions. He needs him in this eleven. If he doesn't make the grade, so be it. Ljunberg isn't going to make out any better with another player on this roster.

            In the winter, Arsenal need to make changes. They need to. I think they can probably sell either Xhaka or Torreira for a decent price. They need try to offload Ozil, Sokratis, and Mustafi this summer. I think even Luiz, Lacazette/Aubameyang, Bellerin, and Kolasinac may need to be sold too. The team needs big changes so a new manager can come in and forge a proper identity away from what Arsene built. That style of football just doesn't fly with Arsenal. They're not Barcelona. When they had Cesc Fabregas it was one thing, but not anymore.


            • #36
              Arsenal is winning 1-3 over the only other team in the league that defends worse on the transition. Sokratis was winning his headers today, but was very poor on the ball again. He looks very sheepish, like he doesn't want to be on the pitch.


              • #37
                It seems Ancelotti will become coach of Arsenal soon.


                • #38
                  I thought Arsenal would go with someone more proven, more conventional, but instead Arteta is set to be named manager. I think we may see Mavropanos and Sokratis sold as early as this winter. Mavropanos has already been linked with Olympiacos.

                  Arteta has a big task on his hands. It's impossible to set high expectations of him.


                  • #39
                    Can't believe they are going for Arteta... I hope their form continues given they play Olympiakos in Feb but at the same time, hope Olympiakos is not the club that plays them into form which can also happen.


                    • #40
                      They'll probably sell and sign some players in the winter, so it's anyone's guess what they'll look like come February. It's hard to set any real expectations on Arteta. He needs a summer transfer window to really set things right before anyone can really say, but he could be out by then if he fails to show any kind of improvement by then.


                      • #41
                        Not their best performance, but the truth is they should gotten more than a draw against Crystal Palace.

                        Luiz was dominant for the first 20 minutes, after that Crystal Palace pressed more and gave him less time and space on the ball. Arsenal were not making good enough use of the wide men. Luiz struggled more in the second half and gambled quite often with the ball at his feet, but he showed tremendous leadership at the end of the game to force Crystal Palace to take their free-kick several yards further the back than had been intended on their part.

                        Kolasinac in particular should have seen more of the ball and needed more support when he got forward. Late in the game he probably could have made a game winning assist if he had instead played a cross into a wide open Pepe rather than a simple ball into the 6 yard box to the Arsenal player nearest to him in the danger area. Pepe too was unlucky not to have scored, with the Crystal Palace keeper doing just enough to force the ball onto the post. I think had Arsenal players done a better job of looking at players in wider positions, as opposed to constantly trying to find the short option, Arsenal probably could have won the game.


                        • #42
                          I saw this analysis of the EPL games this weekend and it seems about right.


                          It's very evident to me that Arteta has instructed his players in very precise terms on how to move possession. Kolasinac really should have seen more of the ball, but didn't due to instructions or perhaps he had to move into a higher position before warranting the ball, which may have been the result of hesitance on his part.

                          It's also clear Arsenal's holding midfielders struggled under the press and this is indeed a problem. They need to hold the ball better. And this problem is really owed to Torreira and Guendouzi, who simply lack experience. Xhaka is actually very good. Then there is Ozil who is too weak to hold the ball. He can't even turn his man, he can only afford to lay off the ball for someone else. Sokratis isn't the best passer of the ball. Luiz is very good, in fact he's better than all of Arsenal's midfielders, even better than Ozil due to his more extensive range and power, which is why it's Luiz, not Ozil, who strikes the direct free-kicks.


                          • #43
                            Arsenal seem to be in the market for a left-back given the lack cover since Tierney's injury. Their technical director went to Brazil to sign a promising defensive midfielder. It seems Arsenal will wait until the summer to upgrade the CB positions.

                            They have a big game tomorrow against fourth placed Chelsea. Arsenal need nothing short of a win to stay in the race for 4th place and they'll need to do it without Aubameyang, their top scorer.


                            • #44
                              It seems Sokratis is still out with the flu. Mustafi played a disastrous back pass which devolved into Luiz getting sent off trying to defend an open net. Despite conceding a penalty, which was converted, and being a man down, Arsenal managed to claw their way back into the game ran out with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. It's a very encouraging result, but I think Arsenal have all but ended hopes of a top four finish this season.

                              Xhaka who has been much under fire for his performances, has found new life under Arteta. For a player who was nearly sold in the winter to Hertha Berlin, he has proven clutch as of late, stepping in as a CB in the absence of Luiz here. Martinelli is also proving to be a star in the making. He has a real knack for scoring goals and making things happen against the run of play.