The two-goal slip against Watford still stings especially with the goals coming from two individual defensive errors. Sokratis’ terrible judgement and David Luiz’s needless tackle in the box gifted the Hornets a route back.
Playing out from the back has been a consistent feature since Unai Emery’s arrival but the lack of players who are able to achieve that has been our biggest problem. David Luiz is arguably our only defender who is competent enough to draw pressure and get out of the situation safely but that doesn’t seem to be enough.
This begs the question as to why we sold our best ball-playing defender in Nacho Monreal. The Spaniard was our most able defender in terms of helping us play out from the back and the decision to sell him looks absurd now.
Leno to the centre-back and then to Monreal was a constant feature and the Spaniard was our ideal exit route. Monreal’s departure has forced Arsenal to shift the whole process to the right side which clearly isn’t working.
Sead Kolasinac is arguably a better player in attack but he lacks the composure to resist the pressure around our box. Monreal excelled in this and had the vision to find a player in space to start the transition from defence to attack.
Was Monreal was sold because of Tierney’s quick recovery?
Selling Monreal was a terrible decision but Kieran Tierney’s early recovery could have played a big part. Arsenal announced today that the Scotsman is back in full training and he could make his debut very soon.
Tierney settling in quickly could turn out to be a boon and with Bellerin also back in action, Unai Emery will finally have the opportunity to see if his strategy of playing out from the back is efficient with good ball playing full-backs on either side.