Another day, another chance to drop points. And Arsenal took that chance today, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first half finish of an Alexandre Lacazette ball into the area providing Arsenal with a first half lead that they held for an hour before, like an overdue library book, giving it back with 15 minutes to go, and thus settling for a 1-1 draw.
Arsenal were outshot 25 to 10, so that’s swell. Mesut Özil finally got a start, and played well, which just begs the quest...oh why bother we all know what the question is, and there’s no answer. Granit Xhaka had the day off, of course, but if he was watching, he got to see Dani Ceballos not pay attention on the throw-in that led to the goal, and Calum Chambers and Sokratis generously allow Raul Jimenez to score that 74th minute equalizer. Oh, and Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal’s all time record signing? Yeah, he didn’t play.
As Aidan said earlier, this is who Arsenal are now: defensively frail, devoid of ideas in attack, or even the desire to attack much. Asked about the game afterwards, Unai Emery said “The result is a bad result, but tactically we worked like we wanted”, which, um.
I remember when Wenger would say things like “we were the better team” in games Arsenal lost, and it was not a great look then, and it’s really not a great look for a manager under pressure the way Emery is right now. The better move would be to say nothing, not to give your critics the ammunition they’ll use on you, but it would appear Emery hasn’t learned that lesson, among others.
Vitoria in the Europa League is next, followed by Leicester City in the league. Will Arsenal “work like they want”, or will they win? Who knows.
Whatever happens next week, let’s talk a bit more about this week. The player ratings form is below, or it’s here if you can’t see it down there. Rate the players and the manager, and let us know why you rated how you did in the comments.