As you know, i am an Indonesian Gooners fans, so every single Arsenal match in UK timezone affected my activities for a whole day. Do you believe how much i suffer from our lose against Southampton last night. I have to wait at 2.45 A.M for the kick off and analysis pre-prediction. Arsenal are looking great for present after winning several big match against Olypiakos and Manchester City. Thou Lord please saves my day, we lose 4-0 and it was hurting my eyes not puts insomniac night and several drinks. It hurts me when it just a little bit step for kicking Leicester before January transfer. And All of Arsenal fans mostly asking, why stupidly we lose?
And yeah, why we lose so much badly? (i try to swear,dude, really)
Arsenal is afraid
Yeah, you must be asking why? why i told you that Arsenal was afraid last night? Nonsense? No. It was the fact. I was looking several keys and moment whenever we attack Southampton in first half and that adjective verbs are flashing through my mind when i see how we are playing. Arsenal is playing defensively and cautiously playing their ball and lack of physical performance from every side of pitch from Arsenal. Southampton playing very well to pressure and tackle us, and get every single chance on every single mistake Arsenal was made.
Here an analysis from Opta which based on Arsenal heat movements (both starter and subs),
If you could see that Southampton space a little bit wider and it means preventing Arsenal counter attack and pressure, also makes controlling ball easier because the space has been made. Southampton’s Bertrand has been overlapping and Long has been effectively breaking offside trap many times.
But what we could see in Arsenal movements, Bellerin and Campbell (also with Ox) are in almost the same position and almost of them are in middle field. This is why i told you that Arsenal is afraid, Campbell always looking for Ramsey, Flamini and waiting Bellerin overlapping. But he rarely drives in and making crosses again, too busy defending and playing safe is bad factor for striker too. Walcott also didn’t make any impact with his runs again, rarely pass, and often make mistake which is rare reminding how badly he became world class striker.
Giroud also playing hard and physical, but he always miss his target and didn’t running enough. He oftens gave up for every long crossing from Ozil, Ramsey and Koscielny. Petr Cech also playing bad actually if you mind, i don’t wanna defend him this time, sometimes he lacks of courage. What i give an exception are Monreal and Ozil, Monreal playing very well cover left side, although Mane challenge our left and right side. Ozil actually so active, he gives a lot of pass through and lob passing with diverse a little bit cross in right or left side of the pitch. Ozil also loved pressure opposition player this time, i give him 8 in 10 scale.
But my focus is how poor our defence, this time Per Mertesacker shows how rusty he is. Koscielny and Mertesacker are having bad day, they are slow even in steady mentality but often do mistakes. looks in this stats which show how poor our defence.
As you can see above, there is a lot of ball recoveries by Southampton and there is a lot too in Arsenal area. There are 15 ball recoveries by Southampton in third opposition area, not mention on bad passing from Mertesacker and Koscielny, Flamini and Monreal wrong judgement and etc. This is one of fact which lead us to abomination in boxing day. Crazy let down performances by Arsenal.
Chambers coming in midfield also didn’t make any differential between formation and defence. He didn’t cover Wanyama a lot of times, and Wanyama have a chance to see Long up front, when Mertesacker didn’t have the pace for chasing Shane Long. Typical BFG..
Arsenal arguably afraid to playing this time, after physical disturb and many of failed attempt on pass through, short pass, and crossing. This is how beat “Arsenal”, if you remember Sir Alex when asked about the recipe killing Arsenal in his reign. And yet that is true, every single English premier League club which known by their physical tactics, are having good stats against Arsenal. And every time we fought this kind of team the result are, red card, injuries and loss.
But don’t mind, we really do collect 4 losses in half of season, while Leicester just have 2, which makes they really have a big chance to winning EPL too. We stay in 2nd when City trailing with 1 margin point and Leicester still on 2 margin points. We are in status quo, didn’t do any and didn’t have impact on race, we choose to stay and lose. Are there any messages nor positives build up for Arsenal after this match?
Yes, we really have.
Arsenal are the team who learnt from pressure
This is Arsenal main mentality power from past decades, while Arsenal have struggle to win or achieve something, this situation always give Arsenal became underdogs or no favourites from bookmaster. And this give Arsenal plays fearless and playing original attacking style based on possesion. This mentality has describing our season in the last 4-5 years before.
Like whenever we playing against Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Bayern Munich we are no favourites, but despite all of that, we won it. Well, sometimes it works for this side, that this psychological situation gives Arsenal new spirit and togetherness again but even no guaranteed it would be succesful. The main point is, Arsenal always cope from this situation and really do give an attention for their rivals for not giving a single chance for Arsenal to rise up.
Now how we are gonna do for rise up in the rest of season? look our rival first, Forever in Our Shadow a little bit giving challenge in 4th position, Crystal Palace and Watford suprisingly in 6-7th position respectively, and Manchester United are crumbling like pastries. Even Ed Sheeran started training for replacing Paul Scholes right now. Ginger for another Ginger… Never works!
Manchester City rising with Yaya Toure and Aguero now, Leicester became more solid and solid for every single match. If you read my assesment about our title chances in ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE : ODDS ARE NOTHING, you knew that humble pie better on our side than any dinner table out there. If i giving situation, dropping some of key players like Per, Petr Cech, and Bellerin for giving chance Gibbo, Gabriel, Chambers, Debuchy and Ospina are sometimes better fresh solution. Giving us another psychology for players their position are meant to fighting for.
Whenever they realized it, lads would be know if they stepped on the pitch there is no reason for lose since they would lose their place. Well. i am just looking in psychological situation, remember Chambers, Gibbo, Ospina and Debuchy are all quality player and deserved their place too. But what happen in Arsene mind still secret for his own. I hope when 3 days after this slump, we will ready to win against Bournemouth. Because we have to win it. No matter what.
I have been off writing this 2 days off because of Christmas day, and this post a little bit my 1st person of view as Gooners and a little bit personal, i hope you enjoyed it too. And later i will writing focused about one of our player also with preparation assesment against Bournemouth. So keep the traffic.
Anzala Ryanto is author of this post and right now focused as freelance sports journo on Indonesia, USA and UK. @anzalariveris