We’ve been here before.
After so much anticipation and expectation, we are undone rather swiftly by our defence.
35 minutes in, David Luiz came on and we lost any chance of a respectable performance.
All of our central defenders, bar the new arrivals, have had games like this. I did like what I saw out of Kieran Tierney on the left, who seemed much more confident than when he first started.
Behind every great team is a solid central defensive partnership and right now Arsenal have one-and-a-half good central defenders. To rely on an 18-year-old Saliba is dangerous. We need a good centre back.
Not an “okay” centre back, not a centre back on loan – we need a solid, highly rated, special centre back who can command the backline and help organise the midfield.
Whether Upamecano is this player remains to be seen but he is already better than our current options who seem devoid of all ability and confidence.
Partey may organize the midfield but he won’t be able to control the backline and from the Manchester City game, we again realise that is the core of our turmoil. Raheem, who has had an average 2020 by his standards, only needed a whiff of a mistake to score. Similarly, Mahrez only needed a split-second advantage over David Luiz.
Had Luiz not made his mistakes and the game is 0-0 going into the 60th minute perhaps we see Pepé, Lacazette or Martinelli.
Maybe we steal the game, or at least put in a performance that generates confidence.
This was rendered impossible by a mere two lapses of concentration. Sadly, that’s all it takes.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect a win or even good football given the circumstances, but I did expect a structure and a roadmap to a better future. This was a reality until Arsenal showed the hole we’ve been trying to fill for years.
Arsenal need a good centre half, we’ve needed one for years and I truly fear for Arsenal’s chances if Partey is prioritised.