The rumours coming out on social platforms yesterday was that Arsenal had another friendly yesterday against Brentford, supposedly losing 2-1 with Auba scoring for us and Leno dropping a corner, which of course has caused widespread panic amongst some Arsenal fans that we’ve signed a dud.
One of the things I used to love about Big Dave Seaman was his ability to do nothing spectacular. He made that save against Sheffield United in the semi final just before leaving The Arsenal, but the fact that you can count his unbelievable saves on one hand says to me at least, that he wasn’t one of the most acrobatic of ‘keepers.
But he did the basics right. He collected crosses, he made good saves, he was decent at saving penalties, he was rightly lauded as a legend and we all love him. I must point out at this stage that I don’t know if some of these Leno rumours are true or not, but what I am hoping for in our new German is that he minimises ricks and does the basics right.
It’s great when a ‘keeper makes saves you don’t expect them to make, that make you gasp, that get roundly applauded. But first and foremost let’s hope he’s just working with the new Arsenal coaching team to minimise any mistakes.
But every ‘keeper has a rick in him no matter how many millions you’ve paid for them. The ‘keeper situation is certainly one we all want resolved, but it wasn’t that area of the field that saw us finish sixth last season. We didn’t get enough goals going forward, we looked a little too one dimensional at times and at the back, well it was a complete shambles with no real midfield to cover.
If Unai can sort out the defensive composition of our team – mainly the guys that sit in front of the ‘keeper and the screening they get in front of them, I reckon we’ve now got enough firepower to get more goals. Aubameyang adds at least another 10 to 15 goals to last season’s team straight away and with that in mind it feels like we’re closer to the top four spots than it looks on last season’s table anyway.
I hope we see a different Arsenal start to form. I hope we see an Arsenal that has an emphasis on pressing high and from the front. I love the concept of forced errors in your opponents and I love they idea that we’re going to try to win the ball higher up the pitch. That’s what I want to see when we play City. Let’s see if we can catch the Champions off guard.
It’s also why I’m looking forward to next Thursday and Sunday’s game, because I think we’ll start to see the first proper formation of Emery’s Arsenal. We’ve had the traditional Borehamwood game, we’ve heard of the behind-closed-doors matches, the players have been training with him for a month, but now it’ll be time for us to see a team structure and style emerge. And that is exciting.
Is it as exciting as bringing in another data analyst though? We’ve got some dude who was involved in the Candy Crush games and I have a theory on this appointment. Arsène once said that he was responsible for 600 people involved at the Football club. I reckon Ivan is doing his level best to see if he can outshine his former coach by doubling that. It’s the only reason.
On a serious note though, it’s pleasing to see that Arsenal are embracing all of the modern techniques in the game and in a world of ‘marginal gains’ it’s pleasing to see that we’re finally catching up – or should be with all of the talent we’re bringing in – to some of the other clubs. Change for changes sake is not a good thing, but with every appointment we’ve made in the last 12 to 18 months, you can’t help but think this will be better for us as a club and hopefully for the way we’re run.
We’re giving the coach the best possible chance of success by bringing in the best people in their respective fields. But by doing this we’re also ensuring that if it doesn’t work with Emery, a new man has an infrastructure in place to slot in. It’s the continental approach that Ivan apparently loves so much but it’s also an approach that means the only risk you have to take is on getting the right man to coach the players and set them up on the pitch. He will have all of the tools available to be successful and so then the only piece of the jigsaw that is needed is a manager/coach who can effectively articulate his ideas to the players.
It feels like Arsenal have done a lot of growing up in the last year. Let’s just hope it pays off.