The Premier League is back at last.
This has been an exciting season and the title race has been fun so far because it’s not a repeat of Man City waltzing to 100 points.
What do I think of Unai Emery so far? I like him.
But it’s hard because Emery inherited a dodgy squad and a decadent culture and a skinny German who expects the team to do all his running and tackling. Ozil is often a passenger.
Emery v Rafa Benitez is not till Monday night and a scrap between these two Spanish tacticians promises to be very interesting.
Why does Emery switch is team around so much?
To be unpredictable? No.
He just sees football as 45 minutes of trying to outnumber the other team in key zones, followed by another 45 of the same, plus more of that in stoppage time.
Emery is not a possession-freak. He’s a cut-and-thrust dispossession commando who plans an ambush, a raid, a couple of killer shots, a safe exit from a short battle.
This weekend it’s Klopp v Pochettino on Sunday followed by Emery v Benitez on Monday Night Football on Sky.
This weekend Emery will be figuring out how to win. Because a draw might be no use to Arsenal.
In a game like Newcastle, the tenacious Lucas Torreira would have been a vital asset. But the Uruguayan is still suspended.
And Granit Xhaka might not be fit after picking up a thigh injury playing for Switzerland against Denmark.
Do you enjoy gegenpressing, the heavy-metal football played by Klopperpool?
Could Arsenal play like that? Seems unlikely.
Because Stan Kroenke just wants to participate and accumulate. He does not want Arsenal to employ expensive stars like Allison, Van Dijk, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
Most of Liverpool’s assists are not from crosses or passes by midfielders. Most of their assists come from Firmino and Salah and Mane. The strikers pass to each other frequently in a very dynamic way. They fly at you, slice through your lines, play each other into the penalty area AND the six-yard box. They keep setting each other up for shots and headers.
Wolves, having beaten Man United, play Watford at Wembley in next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.
Well done, Nuno!
You’ve got me interested in the FA Cup for the first time in 20 years.