by Bulldog Drummond
Unai Emery has put forward the view that the poor away form of Arsenal is a psychological issue, and of course there may be something in that. But the interpretation put on the remarks by journalists has as always been very short term, rather than looking back over this season and last season.
What we all know is that Arsenal have had a bad run of away games recently – just as they had last season – of later losing four and drawing two in the league.
|16 Dec 2018||Southampton v Arsenal||L||3-2|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1|
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|03 Feb 2019||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1|
Mr Emery has suggestd that Arsenal do better when they “prepare the matches by thinking it’s going to be very difficult,” which shows a growth in the psychological awareness of what happens in football. As a result he is talking up the game as being tough and the need to respect the opponents.
“We can have better balance when we prepare by thinking it’s going to be very difficult,” Mr Emery said. “We need to think this match is very important for us. Every player needs to be ready, be focused and be thinking we need to win this match.
“We must impose ourselves from the first minute and throughout the 90 minutes but first is the mentality. It’s to think this match will be very difficult. For us tactics are the second issue. The first is to think we need to win and after that it’s how we can win – preparing tactically and individually.”
Mr Emery said also that he anticipates that Huddersfield will now change their tactics and press higher up the field rather than dropping back to defend deep.
In the last press review he said that both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were recovered from injuries and so available for the game, as are Laurent Koscielny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who have both been ill.
But he also returned to the psychological issue, talking about the need for high levels of confidence; confidence of the type that was to be seen during the long unbeaten run earlier in the season. He said that the team needed to “work hard, take a good feeling in training and then show it in the match. This week we’ve had good days of training because the feeling of the players and their wish to work every day is good. I want to do the same against Huddersfield. After that, we know we can win. If we cannot, it’s different.”
So here’s another version of the team…
Mustafi Koscienly Monreal
Maitland-Niles Torreira Xhaka Kolasinac
Iwobi Lacazette Aubameyang
This would leave, on the beach a selection of seven from these eight
Cech, Lichtsteiner, Mavropanos, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Suárez, Özil.
We shall see.