Arsenal are now 21 games unbeaten in all competitions after Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Huddersfield at the Emirates Stadium. As with most Gunners games this season there were good and not so good points.
One of the good points was that Unai Emery’s team recorded a win and keep up in the race for a top spot. The fact that Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira also had a big effect on another game was a big positive.
Huddersfield obviously came to park the bus, with a ridiculous number of niggling fouls in the first half. Referee Paul Tierney never really had control of the game and the visitors took advantage of his inexperience at Premier League level.
David Wagner’s team look to have achieved their objective of coming home with a point until Torreira’s 83rd-minute winner. The fact that Arsenal made such a sluggish start to the game was a key factor in Town coming so close to getting a result at the Emirates Stadium.
While Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both good chances in the first half, the Gunners looked lethargic and may be fatigued. They lacked attacking ideas, so the forwards had few chances to find the net.
The formation with Aubameyang and Lacazette up front, which many including myself were crying out for just did not work. A midfield central three of Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi just did not work.
While all three can have an attacking impact, as proven by the winning goal, it would hard to see that creativity was top of any of the trio’s top talents. When Emery changed the formation at half-time, the teams display improved.
The Spanish boss has had to make changes at half-time and early in games so many times, that is now concerning. It is good that Emery’s changes seem to work, but it is worrying that his team has a tendency to start games in a slow manner.
Arsenal need to improve to mount top four challenge
The unbeaten run of 21 games in all competitions is obviously a positive thing. However, Arsenal can only get away with only performing for 45 minutes each game for so long.
Some would say that they have had luck on their side at times in recent months. When that luck runs out, the Gunners could be in trouble if they do not improve their performances. Arsenal are currently evens to clinch a top-four spot this season. Hopefully, the Gunners can start performing for 90 minutes, as it could be vital in a return to the Champions League spots.
Should Arsenal start with Lacazette and Aubameyang up front at Southampton next weekend?