Arsenal fans will have been having serious Unai Emery flashbacks last night against Wolves.
Exactly one year after the Spaniard was sacked, the Gunners turned in a performance befitting of the final days of his tenure as manager.
Mikel Arteta’s side slumped to their third consecutive home defeat in the Premier League, losing 2-1 to Nuno Espirito Santo’s spirited Wolves side.
Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence grabbed the visitors’ goals either side of Gabriel Magalhaes’ towering header in what was a rather eventful first-half.
Wolves striker Raul Jimenez was stretchered off and rushed to hospital after a sickening clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz in the opening minutes of the game.
It was a horrible moment for both teams, but the visitors responded the better of the two sides to take a 2-1 lead into the half-time break – one they managed to protect until the final whistle was blown.
The pressure is now building at Arsenal and Arteta needs to remedy the club’s issues in the middle of the park.
Yesterday, the Gunners’ midfield lacked any spark or creativity, with Granit Xhaka typifying that in one needlessly pragmatic moment.
One fan has posted a clip on Twitter which shows the £25.2m-rated midfielder unnecessarily passing the ball back to Bernd Leno after Gabriel completed a timely interception.
Xhaka had so much time and space to turn and play the ball forward, or simply leave it for Gabriel…
Xhaka summing up Arsenal
Just play it forward, Granit.
One Arsenal fan summed the situation up perfectly, replying to the clip: “I had a similar trail of thought when watching Leeds yesterday. I was shocked when Phillips got the ball on halfway and then instead of playing it back to the GK, he turned his man. Always positive, always on the front foot. Why was I shocked? Because Xhaka goes back 8/10.”
This is why the Gunners signed Thomas Partey, as the Ghanian always looks to pass forward and break the opposing team’s lines.
Arteta will be praying his marquee summer signing can return to action over the festive period…