Arsenal’s early issues

It’s a new era at the Emirates Stadium, but from the initial two Premier League games, Arsenal have not yet picked up a single point. I have spotted a couple of things that explain why this is.

Defensively, they set up too high up the pitch. Against Chelsea, who play a free-flowing style of football that aims to expose the gaps of opposing defences, they effectively played on the halfway line and allowed Chelsea their entire half to play in. They needed to drop off and give themselves a bit of cover in that area. The second defensive point is that they still don’t seem to know where everyone is going, because the first Chelsea goal was scored way too easily. Between Bellerin and the central defender (I forget which it was), there was a gap so wide that you could drive two buses side-by-side down it. It just allowed Chelsea to play the through ball and get it in the box, which they duly did. This needs to be addressed if Arsenal are going to pick up points any time soon, otherwise teams will work this out and begin to take advantage of it with their wide players and full-backs really utilising the width and stretching Arsenal’s defenders (this is exactly what Manchester City did on the first weekend, incidentally).

In attack, they look ok with potential, but a little lacking in confidence to really finish chances off. So many times, the likes of Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan etc all blazed chances over from inside the box, and Ozil saw an early volley go right across goal. It’s not a disaster, but at the moment, if Unai Emery doesn’t start to address these areas, then Arsenal won’t progress and climb the table.

These are not major issues, in that all it takes is for Arsenal to start taking their chances when in good positions, which all comes from confidence because positionally they are getting into the right areas, and in defence they just need to work out who goes and when, and who needs to cover who, and then they will start to close the gaps and not make it so easy for teams to beat them.

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