7 Conclusions: Arsenal 0 - 2 Man City

New boss Unai Emery is hands on, quite literally.
Photo Credits [HERE]

The first time Arsene Wenger took his first press conference for Arsenal, I had barely learned the alphabets. In fact, I still relied on my sister lend an extra hand during exams to write down "z" comes after "y." So when new Arsenal boss Unai took showed up in front of the camera with his pointy nose and excessively heavy spanish accent, it felt like a new chapter - the talk of the summer, mind you - had firmly now begun.

Not in a fairy tale, "hey we just beat the champions" kind-of-way though. With Manchester City's Pep doing his Pep thing and Arsenal going one goal down on a very familiar time of the game, there was none. The difference was as clear as any crystal you see in any crystal-ly display; Arsenal under Unai in a transitive stage and City, well, city going about their usual business. 

All's not lost though. There's definitely signs of improvement and belief and structure that will take time to bear fruit. So let's sit down, open up that can of crafty booze and talk what just really happened on the pitch. 

1. Matteo Geundouzi started and was the good and the bad at the same time

Special Hair Boy's hair looks like an old banyan tree you see monkeys hanging around

The Spaniard left his key signings warming up the bench while handing out starts for Peter Cech and get this, 19 year old Matteo Geundouzi. The latter had a very promising pre-season but his weakness in defense was apparent. Starting him with a Xhaka pairing wasn't exactly what the audience at the Emirates stadium were hoping to see. 

About his play though, there were many suspects, and while neat in occasions, did let City a couple of chances that allowed them to dominate. He's someone that Emery clearly trusts and wants to mold him into a first class holding midfield player. Yet, I personally wasn't sure playing him against the champions was the best choice when you had a player like Lucas Torreira as an option. On the flip side, his diagonal long passes were pretty exquisite. 

All I can say is that it was a brave choice. Brave in foolish way? I don't know. The results speak for themselves.

2. City's forward flank create ton of problems

Mahrez is now in Citeh

With shining new signing Riyad Mahrez attacking from the right and Sterling starting out from the left, City had two very direct players who could stretch the play or go in on one-on-one with the defenders. There was no surprise that both ends of the pitch saw Arsenal struggle, especially in the opening stages of the game where Sterling was too hot to handle. Reminded me of times when Arsenal had their own Andrey Ashravin who could just weave in through defense and score a goal. Raheem Sterling did just that. 

3. Arsenal have defensive issues

Niles had a torrid time defending from speedy Mahrez and Walker

There were a large number of chances where City could have scored and the backline, for now, looks more like a handyplast on a bullet wound than anything else. With our top and second choice left backs injured, Unai started out the with youngster Maitland Niles and he had a torrid time defending Mahrez and Walker. In a typical Arsenal fashion, he then got injured leaving the boss to use of his backup center back into that position. Not ideal. Arsenal need Monreal back and fit again. 

4. Arsenal's new pressing is working, somewhat

I shall be the one. And you shall press.

On the other half, City had their own issues with the way the newly implemented press that forward players in men in red were applying. There were times when the opposition did not know what to do and were either playing it long or giving back to their keeper. As the game wore off, Arsenal still pressed and there was a handful of chances - with better finishing- the team could have atleast knocked off that 0 from the scoreline. 

5. Cech's foot on the ball is suspect

Cech is now 36

He nearly scored the most ridiculous goal you would have ever witnessed. Reminds of this guy Aviskar in school who basically made a complete shit out of a back pass because he got overly conscious when a bunch of girls were passing by the field. 

They weren't even looking. 

6. Unai is vocal on the technical area

No zippy problems

Arsene would either be throwing bottles, trying to zip and unzip his coat/jacket/some clothing or just sit there looking absolutely tense. Unai is complete opposite. He's shouting. He's pointing. He's changing stuff and demanding his players to perform. I like that. Players need guidance on and off the pitch and that's what he does. 

What I  also liked was that the team was still calm after conceding. Calm that the manager had their back, that he had some weird ideas that he's going to throw out to change the game to their favor. Arsene's philosophy was to rely on the player's strength and trust them to come good. The new Arsenal is different. Unai takes full charge till the final whistle.

7. Arsenal need patience

Season is long

If you only look at the game without understanding the background, you could point out to so many things that have gone wrong. The defense looks bad, the forwards aren't on the same wavelength and there's still much work for the goalie to be comfortable on the ball. And yet, I am sitting here feeling very very optimistic of what I have just witnessed. A little more discipline on the ball, a little more gelling on Unai's principles and I think there's a pot of gold waiting at the end of this season. It's going to be very interesting how the next game against Chelsea unfolds but we can worry about that later.

Somethings different about the way they play and I can't wait for that click-idy, click moment.


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