Analysis: Arsenals midfield, offensive dilemma and how to go about it
Last time we talked about the defensive weakness, strength and some significant changes of Arsenal ever since Unai Emery took over its management.
Now in this article, we look at its midfield strength, weakness, and improvements under a new era.
We clearly saw the changes and transformation in Arsenal’s defence last time which cleary indicates Unai Emery’s impacted on the club. Right from its organization and also their reaction when the team loses the ball plus when they plan to attack the opponent through playing the ball out wide from the back shows a super transformation from Wenger’s time.
In this part we are going to look at the midfield together with offensive organization plus their positive and negative aspects;
Let us look at the negative first; we shall look at the positives later to see how Unai is going to handle this one for the club to succeed under this new era.
First and foremost the helplessness on cut-backs which was exhibited in the Arsenal match against Cardiff City where seven of its players marked four Cardiff players in the six yard box and no one was on alert to the spaces in front of the box area, leaving the team in a very dangerous situation in case of any second balls.
Instead of building this giant wall Xhaka and Guendouzi for instence would have eliminated the spaces in front of the box to stop the opponent from taking a short which can result into a goal opportunity.
Credit here goes to Unai because he saw these mistakes for some good matches and dropped Guendouzi for Torreira and since they brought this Uruguayan star, things have changed in the midfield, meaning the combination for this duo might work out.
Torreira has swiftly developed as a fans’ favourite at Emirates, as he was all over the place during the Liverpool match, blocking attacks and also playing with the eagle eye up, beholding for killer passes after winning possession.
Arsenal’s biggest challenge has been Granit Xhaka who neither is able to attack nor defend properly with his mistakes being costly to the club right from the Cardiff game where they scored from his mistake and also gave out a penalty against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park after fouling Wilfred Zaha in the box with the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
Cardiff had pushed 6 players up to attack. Arsenal had an opportunity to hit them on transition with the big space available.
Xhaka had two passing options to punish Cardiff on transition by playing a simple pass in that space but he decided to give the ball straight to the Cardiff player, this resulted into a full dilemma with the fullbacks out of position which resulted into a goal.
However Torreira offers cover up and gives good defensive stability to the team. He provides protection for backline as well as linking with the offensive line.
The Uruguayan star is very good in breaking the play and then turns defence into attack.
Despite being a young star Guendouzi has shown a great impact and he is a very good addition to the team. His good vision, accurate passing and looking to move the ball forward make him a different player.
Apart from pushing the ball forward Guendouzi is also good defensively.
Offensive, however much Arsenal concedes goals, the good thing is they are scoring too. But their front line needs more sharpness due to number of chances wasted just like the very recent match against Liverpool where they would have gone into half time with two goals ahead but missed two clear chances from Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea likes to press the opponent high up the pitch meaning that midfielders often play very high up the pitch and thus in case of counter attacks or quick transition they are unable to give defensive cover, Arsenal noticed this very
early and exploited it well but their attack let them down as they missed a lot of chances which would have given them three points. “During the Chelsea match”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, have a very good link up and are deadly when they start together.A first Unai favored Aubameyang with Lacazette coming up as a substitute but these days a times they start together or starts Lacazette with Aubameyang coming from the bench but they both share great chemistry when they play together.
With two lethal strikers upfront who link very well, scoring goals will not be a problem and indeed they have scored good goals but they need to improve on their sharpness.
In conclusion, Arsenal’s biggest issue,is defence more so on the right back and slightly in the midfield though Xhaka nowadays he is improving on his game and his link up with Torreira looks to be increasing day by day, but Torreira and Guendouzi would be a good partnership though the young French starlet gets exhausted so quickly.
Finally, Aubameyang and Lacazette are becoming a very deadly combination which everyone would like to watch.