Emery needs to improve poor record against Sanchez Flores when Arsenal take on Watford
Premier League football returns this weekend with Arsenal travelling to Vicarage Road as they take on Watford.
Premier League football returns this weekend with Arsenal travelling to Vicarage Road as they take on Watford. The Hornets enjoyed an extremely successful campaign last season reaching the F.A. Cup final and finishing 11th. However, memories in football are fickle and after a poor start this term, Javi Gracia was released from his duties with former manager Sanchez Flores returning to the club.
This moment of flux may have been looked on as blessing for Arsenal, yet, how often do we see new managers coming in and lifting the atmosphere around the club? To make matters worse for the Gunners, Sanchez Flores has an admirable record against Unai Emery only losing once to the Spaniard in seven outings.
Nevertheless, Emery should wipe away those concerns as he possesses the stronger squad as well as a large selection of players to choose from. In contrast, Watford are still struggling to embed their new signings and have looked even shakier than Arsenal at the back.
Bearing this in mind, Emery will look to control the first twenty minutes of the game in the hope that the buzz around the new manager fades out. In order to do this, we’ll most likely see Lucas Torreira returning to the line up with Xhaka and Guendouzi either side of him. While most Arsenal fans would welcome a three of Torreira, Guendouzi and Ceballos, it’s unlikely Emery will agree.
This lack of coherence between fans and manger is of course common, however, should Xhaka put in another costly performance it will be difficult for Emery to continue to justify his selection. Furthermore, with young Joe Willock signing a deserved new contract this week, it would be no surprise to see him in the eleven.
This selection headache is compounded further when Mesut Ozil is considered. The German, still yet to feature this season, has been training at London Colney for the past two weeks and may have earned himself some time to prove to Emery that he’s ready to play.
In truth, Emery should have decided on his best formation by now and with Alan Smith reporting that there are murmurings of players not understanding his instructions, it doesn’t fit with the ultra organised image which was painted before his arrival.
This weekend proves another opportunity to prove that there is a grand vision under Emery, but for now, him and Arsenal fans alike will settle for his second victory over Sanchez Flores.
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