Have heard from friends who support other clubs that they can see little change at Arsenal.They think it’s basically the same Arsenal and I get that, as you tend to skip the details when watching other teams.
They just see the attacking highlights which Arsenal have always been capable of, given the quality of their forwards.
However, think most of us who do pay attention to the details have seen some quite noticeable changes.
The first is simply some basic organisation. It’s probably the first time players like Bellerin and Holding are getting proper coaching, being told exactly where they need to be and how to react in certain situations.
The arrogant Wenger ignored the obvious. He did not address the defensive midfield position and tried to fit a multitude of ball players into that position. He set up Xhaka to fail there.That issue was addressed in just one window with Torreira knowing his role and already fulfilling the remit with great consistency.
No longer are the CBs exposed and Xhaka, who is best on the ball can actually play effectively much the same way Switzerland set themselves up for him to do. Not rocket science, just solid pragmatism from the manager in doing what is right and not looking to be seen as clever.
You also feel that possession is not that tiresome, sterile recycling of the ball.
There is always someone on the move and possession has intent to draw the opposition out of shape and then make the incision.
The beneficiaries of this are the players with greater mobility, like Alex Iwobi, who was completely neutered by the passive recycling of the ball. Now Iwobi is always on the move, challenging space and encouraged to take on players when he has them isolated.
This is all coaching, ethos, intent and its transferring to the players whose positive body language says more than my words. When you buy into something, you enjoy the direction and see the results of your effort. You work harder, become more committed.I’ve not seen an Arsenal team work this hard since the Invincibles.
All this has been done with mostly the same players that Wenger left. I’m quite glad about this, as it demonstrates the lack of coaching, tactics and motivation we had all pointed to.
We have all said this is a three-year turnaround. There are still times where the team gets exposed, some of the passing from the back gets shut down and causes shaky moments, but you hope with more repetition and some new talent the team will become challengers.
An Emery team may never win the title given the strength of City and the playing style now instilled
You only had to see their bench versus Spurs to see how hard it will be to get past them in next few seasons (or until Guardiola leaves)
Guardiola took three years to get the team he has now.
He had to use Clichy and 2nd tier goalkeepers until got the players he wanted. So the same patience with Emery will be needed.
Some reporter said this week that the Arsenal fans took the roof of the Emirates versus Liverpool because they have been ‘freed’.What a great word to sum up what this season means to an Arsenal fan.
Winning trophies is great but not guaranteed given the high level of competition.
What we want to see every week is a team that is committed, that knows what it’s doing, and can go head to head with anyone.
Win lose or draw you forgive everything if you see that.
Enjoyed the Liverpool game. Good brave tactics that only worked if each player was 100% committed. Anything less and Liverpool can exploit you mercilessly.
We rode our luck a little but so did Liverpool and a 1-1 draw was the fair result.
Naturally, I’m delighted.
Arsenal badly needed a radical culture change.
If you have a decadent culture you’ll get knocked out of the Champions Round of 16 every year. You can get humilated 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich.
Right now, Arsenal is a Europa League club.
The Uruguayan isn’t Gilberto and he’s not Kante either.
But he’s Lucas Torreira.
Let’s hope the little man stays fit to play all the games Emery couldn’t win without him.