From the moment Gunners have gotten their win, they were on a roll with 7 straight wins in all competitions, and that is also when the Arsenal jokes stopped. One could say that Unai Emery is playing a rather clever game, as he is trying to be in charge of Gunners’ group, however, the change at Arsenal might actually bring on some tough choices and conflict.
Below you have a couple of changes that we noticed while watching the practice at Baku’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday. Seeing that Unai Emery was once already criticized as ‘difficult’ by Marco Verratti, it was interesting to see the skills his team demonstrated during practice.
Straightening their defense wall
As many of you probably know, on Wednesday Arsenal had training practice, and here are a couple of things that we noticed. Their defense wall presentation was not the best, not to mention that it had a rather odd visual. A couple of players that displayed the defense wall had their arms crossed, which kind of resembled the pose of a traditional war dance. Nevertheless, it will certainly get a lot of attention in the upcoming games.
Not featuring Sokratis Papastathopoulos, is that a good choice?
Due to Sokratis’s injury, Rob Holding had to step in, and it is good that he did as Sokratis was able to fully recover. However, he was not featured in the game at all and while Rob Holding has done a great job and was even praised for the win over Watford, should their strategy change?
There is no doubt that the manager is looking forward to seeing the partnership between Holding and Shkodran Mustafi, as are we, but Sokratis has fully recovered now, and the manager would be crazy to let the player’s experience go to waste.
What about Mesut Ozil?
While Mesut Ozil was benched for the Vorskla game, after seeing the practice on Wednesday, things might be turning around for him. Due to the exceptional skill that he demonstrated during the practice, the fans went crazy and his popularity started to grow even more.
During the practice, all players demonstrated their skills, and Mesut Ozil could not resist doing the same. He was filmed pulling off an amazing pinch shot, chipping the keeper, and as it was mentioned, many fans were quick to praise the 29-year-old for such an amazing performance, while some did not have such good words to give.
Have you seen the young Gunners?
There was also an indication of promotion for the two youngsters who were training with the team, Eddie Nketiah, and Emile Smith Rowe. The training showed off their exceptional skills, and it looked quite promising; not to mention that while Eddie Nketiah might still be waiting for his opportunity and first appearance in this season, Emile Smith Rowe showed off his talent in the final 20 minutes for the Vorskla game during Gunners debut.
Some big names in the Gunners team have been on hiatus, which is probably why these two youngsters got the opportunity to show their skills off during training with the whole team. In case some of you might not have realized, No. 55, Smith Rowe was injured, while Nikeitah wore No.7, which is actually Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s number, while his No. is 49.
What to expect from Unai Emery
Arsenal’s group is definitely not the best one, but as a manager and a former football player, it is safe to say that Unai Emery knows what he is doing and what he can expect from his team. There is no way that he would leave this opportunity to ‘chance’. It is expected that Unai Emery will send his strongest players on the field, as they are bound to get the job done.