If your glass is in any way half-full this morning, you’ll point to the fact that Bukayo Saka should have put us ahead in the first half; that Alexandre Lacazette’s abysmal miss in the second half ought to have calmed the nerves; and that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang probably should have done better with an opportunity when he was belatedly introduced. Not to mention we did actually get ourselves ahead – although I think enjoyment of finally scoring wiped out the memory of a glorious Slavia chance just a few minutes before, but thankfully the player shanked his shot wide after we were in all kinds of trouble.
I’m not sure too many glasses will be half-full though, after what was a really poor night for the team and Mikel Arteta. Starting Lacazette rather than Aubameyang felt more like punishment than picking the right player for the game. Nobody can say he’s been in good form, but Lacazette was just as bad against Liverpool, and at least the captain had the ‘excuse’ of not playing in his best position. Against a team which plays such a high line, something we tried to expose as much as possible too, it didn’t make much sense.
I suppose the absence of Martin Odegaard might have fed into the decision to start Willian, but I no longer have anything new to say about him or his continued inclusion in the team. Neither he or Lacazette can play football at the pace it needs to be played these days if you want to be good. If you want a leaden footed veteran he ticks all the boxes, but beyond that it’s hard to see what he contributes. Or, indeed, what Arteta thinks he can contribute.
Gabriel Martinelli尚未成为他将成为完全圆润的球员，但至少他可以跑。他的腿正在工作。同样，Nicolas Pepe展示了能够以与他的目标速度移动的有用性。来自Aubameyang的好处，但经线速度奔跑和辉煌的饰面对于斯拉瓦亚来说太多了。游戏状态可能已经发挥了一部分，但带来了具有功能性腿的玩家让我们更有效。在此之前，超出了允许Lacazette在目标上发狂的错误，他们几乎没有担心。
Whatever about selecting those players in the first place, leaving them on for so long only compounded the problem. Martinelli came on for his elderly compatriot, and eventually a triple sub saw Arteta introduce Aubameyang, Pepe and Elneny (replacing Thomas Partey who was just as bad as Willian and Lacazette). This was the 78th minute, in the home-leg of a European tie we needed to win. Arteta has his flaws, no doubt about it, but the most obvious one is substitutions and in-game management. It’s not something that appears to be improving. I mean, you could argue that two of those subs combined to put us ahead on the night, but what if they’d been on earlier? That one goal might have been two and given us control of the game.
至于他们扳平比分,整个通道made me sick. I advocated for Saka to play at left-back, and the cost of playing a right footed player there was obvious when Cedric, with all the space in the world to drive on and play the ball up the line, chickened out and played a pass back to Gabriel. The Brazilian’s touch wasn’t good, but he shouldn’t have been given the ball in the first place. From there they got a throw, forced Leno into a good save, and from the resulting corner Cedric’s defending is pathetic and there’s nothing the keeper can do about a point blank header.
Look, whether Cedric is right footed or not, the position you’re in on the pitch, the position we were in in the game, and the position of left-back itself demands you go forward. Ease the pressure by getting the ball away from your final third.
Our ability to hit the self-destruct button is now so masterful we have added layers to it. Subtleties that others simply can’t see. It’s so refined we push it and a few passages of play later it goes off. In seriousness though, 1-0 would have been ok. Not great but a lead to take into the second leg. 1-1 is terrible, because they now have an away goal.
It’s not a down and out situation. Win in Prague and we go through, but the way we continue to make life as difficult for ourselves as possible is hard to stomach. It can’t keep happening, and when a significant part of it is down the manager because of his team selection and his refusal to change things when it was absolutely necessary, you have to worry about where we’re going.
我认为这是一个团队，我们在这个赛季的其他比赛中比昨晚更糟糕，但我不认为结果和表现比这更有arteta。我一直试图看到积极态度 - 而且我不驳回已经有一些 - 但昨晚真的诱惑了我对他所做的工作的看法。每当他说话时，我都听到一个聪明的人，大部分时间都说正确的事情，我认为他真的在乎，但我不能再理解他的许多决定。
如果我们都能看到威廉是一个破坏的冲洗，它是什么 - 超出某种喧嚣，渴望被证明签署他 - 看到他挑选了？为什么，如果您在临界者背后的技术球员与临时中央维护者一起演奏高速公路的小队，那么您在多年（而且我包括Olivier Giround在那个）中，您会发挥最不动的，迟缓的前锋吗？早期的强制arteta确实变得更改，承认他的团队选择首先弄错了，这是骄傲的观点？为什么，当你看到一个看起来他正在努力与踢足球的概念来挣扎的反对守门员，当他在他的脚上时，我们没有把他放在更大的压力下？就像我说的那样，我不明白。
We now face Sheffield United on Sunday; we’re很可能没有少年的一对比赛because we played him against Liverpool when we knew he had an ankle injury (another lesson we keep not learning); and have it all to do in the second leg next week. What’s left of our season depends on that game, and that game alone, and Arteta needs to get it as right next Thursday as he got this one wrong.