Arsenal v West Ham United

  • 3rd mn Guendouzi passes long off a quick restart to pick out Bellerin
    • Possession is lost quickly
    • Guendouzi blows the tackling going the other way
  • WH striker reaches for a ball bit of a rough tackle via Stafi that seemed to give WH strike a knock
  • Arsenal passing isn’t crisp but its quick
  • Lots of pressure on the backline due to the high-line and the transition to the shorter passing style
  • Back four isn’t synced
  • Front four isn’t fully synced either
  • Guendouzi sees things ahead of his teammates and when he understands his teammates runs a little better he’s going to spring people
  • 7th mn Bellerin gives up a ball that turns into a counter 5-4 but arsenal recovered to have numbers 7-5 pretty quickly
  • Midfield shape seems to be more of a quadrant system than a pure one back, one up idea
  • 11th mn Ramsey offside goal.  The combos are there they just need time to perfect
  • 12th mn WH offside trap beat shows the lack of cohesion
  • Nacho goes down 17th after a great run up the pitch
  • The game was really slanted toward arsenal the first goal really came against the run of play
    • Arsenal gave it up in midfield then recovered
    • While starting to push numbers the midfield was up.  It was a 3 on 4 Arsenal’s advantage
    • Arnautovic makes a simple run from Cech’s right post towards the left.
    • Felipe Anderson takes the ball from inside the right post toward the outside of the same post.  
    • Stafi commits to Arnautovic the pass comes in and Stafi misses the interception and the subsequent tackle.  Sok steps up to challenge just as Arnautovic shoots. Arnautovic picks out just inside Cech’s right post and even though Cech has guessed correctly he’s not able to cover.  
  • Instead of deflating Arsenal keep pressure and keep finding the ball
  • The linkages are just fractionally off.  
  • Bellerin and Mkhi share a few passes down the right flank.  The recycle with Stafi to Mkhi who finds a streaking Bellerin.  Belli crosses in and Auba, Ramsey, and Iwobi all commit to the box.  The pass doesn’t find anyone but Nacho is on the backside to clean up the free ball and bury it for a 1-1 scoreline.  
  • Shortly after the restart Antonio just runs passed Belli who was on the front foot and not ready for the run.  
    • Luckily Antonio was expecting this much space and just essentially passed it to Cech
    • This really speaks to the depth and quality top to bottom.  There are clearly danger men on every EPL side. Anderson has qualities that should find him as a starter on any team in the league.  Antonio appears to be more of a rotational player based on the form of the moment. In fairness maybe he’s still feeling out this attack.  Heaven’s knows Arsenal weren’t cleanly linking
  • The WH midfield plan wasn’t really clear to me.  
  • Guendouzi and Xhaka are clearly seeking and destroying with the free reign to pick out any passing going forward of their liking.  Ramsey/Iwobi/Mkhi all are pretty high which creates a definite separation or space between the two levels of the midfield.
    • I’m not that interested in this double-pivot set-up at present.  I like Xhaka and Guendouzi in the midfield together. I’d rather see them slightly higher with a true 6 behind the two.  It’d mean one less attacking midfielder. The work-rate that Guendouzi and Xhaka bring is great. If Auba is going to be the lone striker you could get width through Iwobi down the left and the Bellerin/Mkhi combo down the right.  With two central midfielders slightly higher up the pitch than Xhaka and Guendouzi have played thusly would also give more options when Belli and Mhki are finding combinations down the flank.
  • Auba took one from distance that was nice.  I’m sure he’ll be wanting to get off the mark
  • Sok and Stafi don’t have a great feel together at present.  Too much space created between the two and they are both reacting at the wrong times.
    • Sok seems slow
    • Stafi is coming in for the challenge but just not timing them well so he’s a fraction early/late
  • Laca on to start the 2nd half is fun.  Iwobi didn’t look bad to my eyes.
  • Cech reminds me of the last few years of Brad Friedel.  The ability is still there for the most part but he’s probably not a twice a week starter and it’ll probably take him a little longer to get back to match fitness every week.  
  • The Anderson-Arnautovic combo is solid.  Arnautovic having to sub off was too bad
  • Chicharito has always been a dude that should cause more issues for my money.  Anderson and Chicharito might be too similar but being able to go from the more direct and powerful option to more of a speed option will probably prove useful during the season.
  • Torreira coming on made sense to me and I’m interested to see him with Xhaka
    • I think that Torreira is more of the pure 6 that Arsenal have lacked for years
    • I want to see him with different pairings.  
    • Xhaka has more experience within the EPL and putting him with Torreira instead of Guendouzi limits the youth you are exposing to difficult situations.  
    • Both players are still capable passers.
    • It’ll come down to who is best acquainted with Emery’s formation/system and who ends up having the fitness is to the level to best extract results
    • I’d still rather see Torreira as a lone holding midfielder
  • The issues that I see for Arsenal is mainly associated with our lack of cohesion.  I think that when the team has a few hundred more hours under their belt together things will look a lot more smooth.  


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