Arsenal and Emery’s plan badly backfires at Liverpool. Plus: Griezmann steps up for Barcelona

This is another astonishing addon!

1:06 PM ETGabriele MarcottiSenior Writer, ESPN FC Gab Marcotti is here to recap a busy, dramatic weekend in soccer. Welcome to Monday Musings.Jump to: Arsenal’s errors at Liverpool | Real still a mess | Spurs’ Eriksen problem | Refs wreck Fiorentina vs. Napoli? | PSG need Neymar | More Man United woe | Mihajlovic is inspiring | Lewandowski carries Bayern | Griezmann the hero for Barca | Business as usual for Juve | Milan’s epic failWhat Arsenal got wrong vs. LiverpoolUnai Emery’s resume is what will likely get him a pass for what Arsenal fans saw on Saturday. A decade at the highest level with Valencia, Seville and Paris Saint-Germain, often succeeding because of his tactical nous and his ability to read opponents and exploit their weaknesses, means that you want to give the benefit of the doubt. But having watched the approach to Liverpool away at Anfield, it’s a tough thing to do.It’s not just the midfield diamond that ceded the flanks to Jurgen Klopp’s crew (who, for those not paying attention, have two pretty darn good providers in Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold). Nor was it the decision to try to keep possession without Lucas Torreira, your second-best passer. Nor was it the insistence on playing out from the back against arguably the best high-press team in the Premier League, just a week after another high-press team, Burnley, had given them fits. And, for that matter, neither was it the reluctance to occasionally mix in the long ball (the two times they did it, it worked well) when you have speedy forwards like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe.It’s that it’s really difficult to figure out what pathway Emery sees towards success at Arsenal.There’s nothing wrong with adding Dani Ceballos for a season in midfield, but if you’re trying to build something, do you really want everything to hinge so heavily around a guy who’s there on loan? And given that it’s hard to find a natural home for Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the setups he has used this season, is it really wise to write them off at this stage?Arsenal finished two points away from third place last season in Emery’s first Premier League campaign. They may well hit the target this season, or come close to it, but that has more to do with issues elsewhere. The real goal has to be reducing the 27 points that separated them from Liverpool in second. It’s not clear at all that Saturday did that.- Weekend Review: Are Tottenham getting stale?
– O’Hanlon: Should we be worried about “superteam” Man City?
– Jones: Sheffield United prove heart can beat talentAs for the European champions, they played with big-game vitality and intensity as Klopp opted to turn in one of his extreme high-press performances. I’m not sure how often we’ll see that from him this season. It’s extremely taxing on the front men and the midfielders, which is why, incidentally, you should expect more rotation in the middle of the park this year. Not to mention the fact that you’re always vulnerable to the ball over the top or teams with enough quality to break the press wide open.All that said, in one-offs and for shorter spurts during games, it remains a devastating weapon.Real Madrid still a messAgainst Valladolid, Real Madrid managed to field not just an entire XI without n

This is the interesting addon ever%sentence_ending

Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the Linked Source