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Arsenal and Manchester United: Two managers, one tale...

Ninad Singh
ANALYST
Feature
1.13K   //    29 Aug 2018, 01:05 IST

Ente
Both managers have had a poor start to the campaign

They may have their accomplishments, on one hand, highlighting their remarkable careers in which they flourished with their previous teams, from league performances to European Cups, these two experienced men have them all in their pockets, but this stage is different.

It tops all the aspects of football. The Premier League is no easy offering as it always comes with the price of tears, sacrifices and a system of trial and errors. Managing two of the most accomplished and historically acclaimed football clubs in the history of the sport, these aren't the best of times for Jose and Emery.

The fact that this season, these two star-studded sides haven't really left the kind of mark that their history speaks of, both having a parallel record of two losses and a win, it is high time that they change the way their gears run.

Not so united?

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Mourinho thanking the supporters after the poor result vs Spurs

Jose Mourinho arrived at the Old Trafford at the beginning of the much anticipated 2016/17 season after the end of a controversial era carved in the form of Louis Van Gaal.

Nothing has changed ever since his dramatic entrance to the doors of the Manchester United locker room; having a not so successful 2015/16 season with Chelsea, Mourinho was quite the surprise for the United fans and did stand to what his legacy truly speaks of; winning the Community Shield, the Europa League, and the League Cup.

However, the last and the ongoing season isn't quite the reflection of what he truly is capable of. Making signings that are good enough to dominate and yet fail has been one of the reasons why the self-proclaimed 'Special One' has been so quiet.

After finishing second in the Premier League last season, the former Chelsea Coach now makes his decisions on the basis of his option, something you wouldn't want to consider. Losing to a side like Brighton (without any disrespect) and then playing against a side like Tottenham Hotspur with an unbelievable mapping, the 'Chosen One' could be soon nearing the axe.

Tactical Failures

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Playing Herrera in defence against Spurs was a horrendous decision

Making Ander Herrera play in place of Eric Bailly in a defensive role would only allow the likes of Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli to penetrate deep within the flanks, as Herrera portrayed his obvious lack of defensive abilities, as Spurs took advantage of whatever free space they had.

In addition, Phil Jones too left empty spaces in between the flanks and the midfield only to allow Christian Eriksen to deliver a picture-perfect grounded pass to Lucas Moura, and we all knew what happened next.

Five men in midfield to close out spaces? Mourinho needs to play his cards wisely. He must realize that you can never experiment against a team like Tottenham Hotspur by playing a back three and just two ahead. All that he needs is a tactical rejuvenation and playing the likes of Fred and Nemanja Matic in a box to box role.

Emery not 'Emerging'

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League
Emery hasn't been helped by the scheduling as well

After a profound legacy left behind by the Premier League's oldest manager, Arsene Wenger bid farewell to the Gunners, allowing room for the launch of a brand new era, an era most of the Arsenal fans were looking forward to, where transfers and changes could finally be applied in a more modern manner.

The right man for the job? A Spaniard who has experience, credentials, and has made some of the most vital signings the sport has ever seen. Having managed clubs like Valencia, Sevilla, Paris-Saint-Germain and creating some of the world class footballers in the form of David Silva, Juan Mata, and David Villa, Unai Emery, without a shadow of a doubt, topped the list of the candidates shortlisted for a new generation of club football.

Known for his 'Tactical Miracles', the question being the fact that the Gunners faced two losses head to head against an uprising Chelsea side and a more accomplished and consistent Manchester City. Is he truly the right man for this job?

The Problem

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Ozil did not feature against West Ham

Although a 3-1 victory over a struggling West Ham United splits the only difference between him and Jose Mourinho in the last few matches, it won't change the fact that the Gunners too have tactical necessities.

The problem lies not in the way Unai functions, but in the way, he aligns his squad; Mateo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka are a combination you must have seen quite often this season. The two have had their game time, but it is now that Emery needs to switch it up with a more experienced midfield. The inclusion of Lucas Torreira or Ramsey in the holding areas would be a key factor.

A team doesn't only focus on its scoresheet, but also on whats going on off the pitch. A conflict with Mesut Ozil wouldn't solve the issues, but make them worse. The German International has been a key piece to the Arsenal machinery and his exclusion does create conflict on the pitch. Making Ramsey play in the number 10 position and Iwobi on the left isn't quite making sense, as they have no experience of it.

Defensively, however, Arsenal have been a disaster not only in terms of marking but also tackling and stopping counter-attacks. Sokratis is an experienced defender indeed, but he still has to shine as someone who could be relied upon.

The Fullbacks, Sead Kolasinac, and Hector Bellerin have had their runs fueling the attacks against West Ham, but against a more competitive side, they too have failed to provide a more consistent performance; as we saw against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Leaving too many empty spaces again is a turmoil for Emery, as the former PSG manager is not accustomed to leaving so many gaps.

The Future for the two?

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Both boards will look to keep their faith in the under-fire managers

This Sunday, however, things are different, as a struggling Manchester United take over a much anticipated and underestimated Burnley FC, and the Gunners go up against a goal-shy Cardiff City.

Both clashes could truly determine the future of the two struggling managers. As of now, they just need to keep their composure and focus on what they haven't been able to do, that would truly make the difference and set them apart. Only the scoresheet can truly tell!

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Ninad Singh
ANALYST
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