Arsenal began their Premier League challenge on Sunday with a 2 -0 loss to Manchester City. This is hardly news as almost everyone had written Arsenal off before the game. The reason for that is not far-fetched – this is a team in transition! And then, there is the small matter of the fact that we were playing the Champions.

What is however astonishing is the fact that some Arsenal fans have actually started bashing this team. Despite being a Wenger fan, it’s no news that this team declined seriously last season, and while I believe he would have gotten them back on track if he hadn’t stepped down, I am not gonna deceive myself into believing the new man should have hit it well right from the start.

After all, it took Pep Guardiola 1 year and some ridiculous amount of money to get his team playing this way.

As I tweeted yesterday via the 9jagooners Twitter Account, I believe we lost the game not because of City’s brilliant play, but because we lack that clinical instinct to take chances when we got them.

Despite all the talks about how dominant City were with their display, they were vulnerable when we pressed them. Alexandre Lacazette had the chance to get a shot on target immediately he came on in the second half. Aaron Ramzey, Ozil and Mkhitaryan also wasted chances to get an effort away. On a good day, those chances would have been taken and the result might have been different today.

Games like yesterday also showed why we missed players like Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. With pacy players in our attack, Mendy and Walker wouldn’t have much joy attacking us down the flanks.

Also, we were not composed defensively. In my opinion, the two goals we conceded could be prevented. Guendouzi’s inexperience showed for the first goal and I believe Sokratis and Lichtsteiner should have shown more awareness for the second goal. That, however, is not an attempt to ridicule the players as I feel they did well.

Guendouzi was making a big leap from Ligue 2 to the EPL, and while he played well, you can’t help but wonder if the story might have been different if Emery had started with one of Torreira or Elneny. He wasn’t really helped by those around him and that might have contributed to his inability to cope defensively. The most notable of such situation after the goal was when he misjudged the ball – a move which gave Sergio Aguero a clear run at goal. In all, I’m not going to blame the lad. He was our best player on the day.

I am also of the opinion that Xhaka (understandably rusty probably because he didn’t have enough preseason session), Ramsey, Ozil and Mkhitaryan should have done more. There was little service to Aubameyang upfront and you wonder why that is when you consider the quality we have in the middle.

Ozil and Silva
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Bernardo Silva

There are lot of positives to take from this game and the future is bright. And despite the fact that there are folks who would scream ‘It’s still the same old Asenal’, even a blind man can see it’s not the same. These same people who scream that are those who still bashes Wenger even when the man is no longer with us. Give it a break, please! 

What’s done is done and we can only look forward to the next game. We play Chelsea on Saturday and I expect us to take the game to them. They are also in a transitional period and then, they are also not as good as Manchester City. I expect us to take our first point(s) from the game.


Last week, we recorded the first edition of our podcast – GoonerHub. It was an interesting discussion as I sat with Adeniji Sodeek and Taoreed Alausa to talk about our prospect for the season. You can listen to them via the following media:

GoonerHub Website
RadioPublic
Google Podcasts App
Breaker
Spotify
Stitcher
PocketCast

Please listen and give your suggestion. Thank you.


Finally, don’t forget to join our prediction league, the Octopus Challenge. Visit the Prediction League website to begin.

See you all soon.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a good write-up and a balanced one. Even though before the City game i already said Emery’s season will start after the Chelsea match, so i wasn’t really disappointed.
    However, i’ll like to point out a fact alot of our fans are missing and ive been saying this even during our hangout chats that much more than the quality we have especially in the middle, our team structure is something to really work on. We looked lost in the first 15-20 mins of the city game as it was obvious Mhkitaryan and Ozil were playing out of position as opposed Mahrez and Sterling who kept on dealing with us because they were in their natural habitat.
    Can’t say everything i wanna say here but i think one of Mhkitaryan or Ozil shouldn’t be starting together. Ozil is definitely better at CAM, so let him have his space while Ramsey can have his place at CM(if needs be that he starts). In all it was a learning curve for the coaching team and hopefully we’ll see gradual changes as the season progresses. Thanks

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