View From The Sphere

Crucial element: Unai Emery must be more ambitious when focusing on this area

Image for Crucial element: Unai Emery must be more ambitious when focusing on this area

During Arsenal’s 4-0 win against Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday, a different side of Unai Emery’s team was brought to light after recent criticism.

Following a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, many Arsenal fans were unhappy with the negative style of tactics that the Spanish manager had implemented. Leaving out Mesut Ozil from the starting lineup was the talking point before the game and the affair might have panned out differently had the German contributed.

The lack of creativity going forward for the Gunners’ was evident. However, after Emery’s side triumphed over the Belgian outfit, it appears that the manager may have turned a corner.

On the chalkboard

With the implementation of Dani Ceballos in the middle and Kieran Tierney down the left, there was a gargantuan difference in terms of attacking levels between the two games of football.

Arsenal’s pressing, eye of the needle passing and ability to drive at opposition fullbacks worked spectacularly in the Europa League. The same attacking ambition needs to be brought to the table in the Premier League for Unai Emery’s side.

With Tierney completing two successful dribbles and finishing with a 93% pass success rate, the Gunners can be a huge danger down the left-hand side. Ceballos bettered this with four successful dribbles and a 94% pass success rate in the middle of the park and both players two of many outstanding performers during the match. Having two defensive midfielders taking on their own roles such as the Real Madrid loanee and Lucas Torreira will win Arsenal a lot of games in the future.

The game at Old Trafford will still be rued as a missed opportunity for the Gunners. In the hope that rival teams around them drop points, Arsenal can make up for lost ground by using this positive and attractive style of football to pick up points.

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