The stat that sums up the misery of watching Unai Emery’s directionless Arsenal side

The stat that sums up the misery of watching Unai Emery’s directionless Arsenal side

first_img James GoldmanThursday 7 Nov 2019 10:32 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link152Shares The stat that sums up the misery of watching Unai Emery’s directionless Arsenal side Advertisement Unai Emery’s position at Arsenal is under threat after a series of soporific performances (Picture: Getty)In isolation a 1-1 draw away from home in Europe, having fielded a much-changed side three days ahead of a potentially decisive fixture, was by no means a disaster, but the nature of Arsenal’s performance in rain-sodden Guimaraes neatly encapsulated the sheer misery of watching Unai Emery’s increasingly directionless team.When Arsenal were at their best under Arsene Wenger, opposition teams would attempt to harry and unsettle the gifted technicians he had at his disposal, starve them of possession and disrupt their momentum.Emery’s team, by contrast, are at their least threatening when they are dominating the ball. Against Sheffield United recently, the back five were allowed to pass the ball between themselves for over a minute without ever threatening to break a line, or attempt a pass that would generate a semblance of attacking impetus.AdvertisementAdvertisementEventually, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was boxed in by the corner flag, provided Calum Chambers with a hospital pass which forced the makeshift right-back to concede possession by hoofing the ball up the line in the general direction of Nicolas Pepe.ADVERTISEMENTAgainst Vitoria, Emery selected different personnel and a different formation but the result was the same with Pepe was reduced to the role of a £72million set-piece specialist, Dani Ceballos forced to drop agonisingly deep to receive the ball, before his hamstring twanged, while the sight of Gabriel Martinelli rushing to the sidelines to seek clarification from his coach as to what exactly he wanted from him summed up the confusion which appears to be rife. Commentcenter_img Advertisement Arsenal completed just one pass into the Vitoria penalty area from open play (Picture: StatsZone) Arsenal goalscorer Shkodran Mustafi’s jot was short lived against Vitoria (Picture: Getty)Arsenal eventually took the lead when Pepe’s free-kick was headed home at the far post by Shkodran Mustafi with 10 minutes remaining, representing Arsenal’s only shot on target throughout the 90 minutes and, staggeringly, one of only five overall that made its way successfully into the Vitoria penalty area, none of which came from open play .It ought to be impossible but when eight of the top nine pass combinations were between defenders, this is the result.Moreover, it came as no surprise as Arsenal conspired to blow their advantage for a fourth game in succession when Bruno Duarte volleyed home in injury time, and worse so nearly followed when tragi-hero Mustafi came with in an inch of scoring his second own goal in the space of a week.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘They are very defensive with a big defensive structure,’ said Emery afterwards, attempting to explain Arsenal’s lack of potency.The irony was not lost on a fanbase who have been worn down by the Spaniard’s own safety first approach, no matter the level of opposition, and defeat at Leicester on Saturday, the majority hope, would at least force the change of leadership this club desperately appears to require.Should Arsenal sack Unai Emery if they lose vs LeicesterYes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Charlie Nicholas says Arsenal have got worse since Unai Emery replaced Arsene WengerMORE: Paul Merson defends Granit Xhaka over row with Arsenal fans: ‘He gives everything he can’last_img

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