Gotta love Twitter...

So, Arsenal got back on the winning track in the Premier League with a laboured 1-0 victory at home to Bournemouth on Sunday. But the most important thing is that victory was secured in a weekend when traditional top four rivals Spurs (oh dear!), Manchester United (they're in disarray) and Manchester City (wow - what a shocker!) lost, along with this season's hopefuls Leicester City and West Ham United.


Arsenal fans should be very happy to move up to third place - a single point behind City - and to put a bit of daylight between themselves and those mentioned above. However, if you looked at Arsenal social media in the aftermath of the game you'd get a different flavour. So before I go over what I took from the game, I want to cover this sense of disappointment and 'entitlement' that I saw all over social media. A sense of which I both understand and share.

You see, Arsenal fans been spoilt recently. No, seriously ... because if we're trying to compare what we're seeing now with the peak Wenger years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when we saw some of the very best football we could ever imagine, we are going to be very disappointed. But lest we forget before Wenger's arrival we witnessed the George Graham years of 'Boring, boring Arsenal' and 'One Nil to the Arsenal' - and one could therefore say that these days we're merely reverting to the norm.

Now I'm not saying that this is good, or right. But the prime consideration is always the win. However - and this is where I find myself agreeing with some of what's being written - football pitches are pristine, players are more skilful and more athletic than ever before; and, of course, Arsenal attract some of the very best players in the world. So why is it all so painful to watch?

I actually think that this game sums up all that is lacking as regards the tactical mind of Unai Emery. A decent start and almost total first half domination, and a half-time lead. But something happened at half time, and it can only be what Emery said to the players in those 15 minutes. Because the second half was an entirely different game. Arsenal made Bournemouth look really ordinary for 45 minutes, but then seemed to sit back and invite them on after the break, showing a distinct lack of both energy and ambition. It's okay to go by the motto of 'what we have, we hold' if up against a team at the same level, but surely not against Bournemouth? They were absolutely there for the taking, but were allowed to make much of the second half running.

And I have to blame the manager. We're seeing a continued lack of ambition. Midfield - the engine room of any side - remains a mystery. And on top of that you'd really have to start to question the in-game decision-making. So yes, we'll take the win, but the warning signs are there and I really can't see that a club with the ambition of Arsenal, and with the sort of money that's started to be spent, is going to reach the heights under him. He is in the second year of his initial two-year contract, and while if we look forward really optimistically to a top-four finish and winning the Europa League - all a bit far away in October I grant you - I would not be confident for next season were he to still be in charge. For all that it would be very difficult indeed not to roll the contract on.

The problems of early in the season are simply not being addressed, and they stem from the midfield where I truly feel that Xhaka is the problem (have I said this before?). He is simply not quick enough, not athletic enough, not dynamic enough to give the team what it needs; which is cover for the defence and the ability to transition quickly to attack. If, as I suspect, Emery is trying to turn Arsenal into a counter-attacking team that soaks up pressure and hits hard and fast on the break - although I can't think of any reason why he is happy to give up the initiative so often during games - then I don't see that Xhaka can help him deliver that (but despite all my criticism, I'd nonetheless like to congratulate him on becoming a father earlier today).

And whilst upgrading the defensive personnel should certainly help, it's not the only answer to the defence's inherent shakiness. Yesterday Sokratis was nowhere near his best, but Kolasinac performed better - funny what competition does for you! - Luiz played well and Chambers impressed again in an unfamiliar role.

Of the others, I'll single out Ceballos, who I think we can see why Real Madrid sent him out on loan - he lacks presence and consistency to my eyes; Aubameyang who, almost starved of service, had a quiet game - notwithstanding that he missed an outstanding chance in injury-time; and Pepe, who started brightly including one dazzling dribble past three players, should have had a penalty and began to look a little bit more like the player we're hoping to see, until he faded badly in the second half. Of the rest, Leno made some critical saves (as usual), Guendouzi was his typical dynamic self and Saka had another solid game, with added flashes of brilliance.

I suspect that we'll see some drastic changes to the side after the international break, with Tierney and Holding coming in and Bellerin soon after, Lacazette returning after injury, and hopefully more of the dynamic Joe Willock. But if the midfield issues are not addressed, Arsenal are going to drop points that they should not in the near future.

Just four more small things.

Firstly, I enjoyed Thursday night's performance and thumping win over an admittedly dire Standard Liege far more than the Bournemough game. There was plenty to be excited about going forward - provided Emery gets over his Xhaka fixation, that is.

Secondly, this is an Ozil-free zone. I think, sadly, that the fat lady is clearing her throat as regards his Arsenal career.

Next, Tottenham and United are in a right mess. They looked disinterested and not prepared to fight at Brighton/Newcastle respectively. Long may that continue!

And finally; Sadio Mane. If that was a penalty, I'm the Pope! I'm sorry, but that he had that awarded and Pepe didn't when he tumbled over Rico's outstretched leg is something I simply cannot understand. Can somebody please beat Liverpool ASAP!

No game until Octoober 21. I'll be back after that. Have a good one.

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