A hard fought 1-0 win has us leaving our first away game with all 3 points and a clean sheet. I know, A CLEAN SHEET, imagine that?
Given how many of our better players were unavailable ,for one reason or another, and given our poor away form in recent years, that was a very good result.
I have watched the game twice now and I have to say that no one had a bad game, and some had quite a good game. Of course the usual suspects (at least in Mustafi’s absence) Xhaka and Mkhitaryan came in for their customary stick on twitter, but I thought that although Xhaka looked a little loose in the initial 20 minutes, he was top notch in the rest of the game. Also Mkhitaryan did some really good stuff, but having done it he mostly messed up the final ball. For me this indicates that he is either short on confidence,or he is trying to hard, perhaps fearing for his place in the team,or at the club even.It’s a shame, because he is a very talented player.
The problem is, that given no one had bad games, and the opposition were poor, why were we not much better as a team.? Normally it’s a struggle because some of the players are having an off day, but no one did, and our team play was turgid.
I think the young lads all did ok, none of them did enough to make me think they will force their way into our best 11, but they don’t have to do that, all they have to do is let no one down when they come in, and they didn’t let themselves or anyone else down.
The team will look altogether different when Lacazette, Ozil, Pepe and Luiz are in it, so there is much to look forward to.
It would be rude to not acknowledge that Emery got a result with a much depleted squad, so well done him.