Arsenal were knocked out of the Carabao Cup quarter-finals by North London rivals Spurs earlier tonight, and it is a game the Gunners and their fans will want to forget quickly.
Having watched the match and shouted at the TV several times from what I was watching, here are five things I learnt from the game:
Wrong line-up, wrong formation
Right from when I saw the line-up, I thought Arsenal would be in trouble. Unai Emery decided to once again start Granit Xhaka as a centre-back and opted for Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nacho Monreal as his full-backs – it was a disaster waiting to happen. The formation didn’t suit the selected players either and it cost Arsenal tonight.
Eddie Nketiah can’t be relied on
I hear a lot of Arsenal fans on social media praising Nketiah and having high hopes for this kid in the future. This may be so, and Emery is eager to give him more chances in the side, which is fair enough, but the 19-year-old simply cannot be relied on to win Arsenal games should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette be out of form or made unavailable.
Henrikh Mkhitarayn is a shadow of his former self
I don’t know what has happened to this guy in recent seasons, I really don’t. He was one of Europe’s top creative players when at Dortmund, but since arriving to the Premier League, the Armenian international has become a shadow of his former self. Ok, he’s had some decent displays for both Arsenal and Manchester United in the past, but he hasn’t hit the heights of what has been expected of him. In my opinion, he performed better for United than he has done for the Gunners, and his place in the squad needs to be looked at
Not enough creativity tonight
The Gunners lacked the creativity to open Spurs up as evident from our two shots on target in 90 mins. Some players tried to make things happen, but it just wasn’t enough to cause Spurs any real problems. Although his work-rate his questionable, this game was crying out for Mesut Ozil’s creativity to spark Arsenal into life.
Signings needed urgently
When the January transfer window, Emery and his staff need to pick up the phone, email or do whatever they have to do in order to bring in a few new faces next month. This current squad is decent, but it lacks depth which could lead to Emery failing to achieve his goals this season for the Gunners. A new forward and a proper centre-back need to be signed, and if Arsenal can strengthen other areas as well then that would be a bonus.