EPL WEEK SIX
THE SARI BALL & THE EMRY ERA, ISSUES
The blues lost their 100% start of the new season to THE HAMMERS who have managed just a win so far this season. After a short-lived intensive start to the game, THE BLUES had a massive possession of the ball but lacked incisiveness. CHELSEA dropped off the pace and were guilty of leaving gaps behind, which made HAMMERS create more dangerous chances and looked to finish leaders in the first half, were they able to finish them. CHELSEA did better to get behind HAMMERS defense, at the later part of the game and created a few chances but failed to convert.
KANTE – looked ineffective in the game and squandered the best chance for CHELSEA to take the lead in the first half and one more in the second as well. Strangely, he looked lost in an advanced role, which he has performed greatly in this season. The arrival of JORGINHO meant he was moved to the right side of the midfield.
GIROUD/MORATA – it is becoming increasingly evident that CHELSEA do not have the strikers to compete at the highest level. This needs to be addressed this JANUARY if there is any ambition to win trophies this season. The 2 front men have managed just 1 goal combined this season.
DEPTH – this squad obviously lacks quality depth, which has really limited SARI’s options and might lead to burnouts pretty soon. The challenge now will be to keep the key players fresh.
The GUNNERS are currently in a run, winning five in a row in all competition including a EUROPA game, and secured their first clean sheet of the season in 7 tries. Even with TORREIRA handed his eargerly awaited first start of the season, following run of good substitute appearances, ARSENAL looked all over the place in the first half. The team lacked discipline, ambition or sensitivity to danger. EVERTON can only blame themselves for not being at least 3 up in the first half.
MUSTAFI/SOKRATIS- this partnership is not working. SOKRATIS is really looking like a quality signing for ARSENAL but this partnership has left more to be desired. This area of the team needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Strangely, the defense looked better after loosing SOKRATIS to a thigh injury and was replaced by ROB HOLDING.
BELLERIN– EMRY has continually shown confidence in HECTOR, but he has consistently looked suspicious; from playing opponents in, unintelligent positioning, to allowing attackers space to get the better of him in dangerous positions nor has he sustained flashes of improvement on his final ball he showed at the beginning of the season. This is definitely an area EMRY really needs to take a hard look at.
RAMSEY/OZIL/MIKHITARYAN – failure to sign a winger last summer and trying to accommodate at least two of these three has meant like in the past, ARSENAL playing with a counter-productive structure for the most part of their games. This has led to ARSENAL being exposed at the middle of the pack most of the times. Playing WELBECK and IWOBI at each wing and OZIL in the middle, even gave the team a better shape in the later part of the game. EMRY has shown he is not scared to make big calls so far, but this one looks inevitable, if he wants to be successful at THE EMIRATES. He should either change his formation or make the big call of dropping two of these to the bench in most games.
No doubt ARSENAL players look more industrious under EMRY, but there is still a lot to be improved upon. It also appears that the emerging LACAZETTE/ABAMEYANG partnership can only get better.
EMERY has shown he can quickly identify problems from his starting but he will be doing the team good to start good and try to avoid repairs.
Analysis by Reginald Uche.