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What We Learned: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United – Barclays Premier League 2015/16

That wasn’t very good at all, was it? Barely a positive in sight. Here is what we learned today.

Finally found out

I think everyone knows what I’m talking about. It was bound to happen sometime soon, and I think most of us were waiting in nervous anticipation for the moment Daley Blind fell short at centre half. The reason for playing him there makes sense – he and Smalling had formed a very useful partnership – but in the current state at left back it really isn’t sustainable to continue playing him there. Arsenal had him on toast today, they showed all of his vulnerabilities. Couple that with down right repugnant first half Ashley Young (not his fault, he isn’t a left back in any sense) and Matteo Darmian had and there are now deep problems. The solution is obvious, play Daley Blind at left back and a Centre half at Centre half, whether it will be acted upon is another story all together.

The midfield was woeful

Michael Carrick is getting old. His legs aren’t what they used to be and he can’t cover the ground like the days of old. So when Bastian Schweinsteiger decided to go gung-ho and leave Carrick doing the jobs of 2 men it was never going to harbour a happy ending. And it didn’t. Again, Arsenal exploited the weaknesses in the whirlwind 20 minutes with devastating effect . The lack of tracking from Memphis helped nothing either, Young had no protection against the pacey Hector Bellerin and United paid a price. With the defence poor, the midfield needs to do more to help, today they didn’t.

Awful attacking

United didn’t play between the lines enough. Anthony Martial was completely on his own, trying with all his will to make something happen, but nothing came of it. Martial was easily one of United’s best performers today, which is more an indication of his individual talents. There was no cutting edge, it was a problem in the opening stage of the season and appears to be rearing its ugly head once more. Too much is played in front of the opposition, and that simply isn’t enough, it’s too easy to defend against. In Per Mertesacker and Gabriel, Arsenal have 2 Centre halves that are more than capable of a mistake, hardly at all was that acted upon. Poor, poor, poor from United on that front.

Conclusion

There aren’t enough derisory adjectives to sum it all up. It was lamentable, especially that first half. The second was an improvement, but that’s not really anything to take away, the damage had long been done. Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial were the standouts. De Gea and Juan Mata were peripheral figures (through no fault of their own) and it shows the impact Mata has when he is involved, he was missed. Another player that was missed was Wayne Rooney, it’s becoming boring saying the same old things about him, but what can we do? He isn’t showing anything like any kind of form or ability. It was a comedy of errors from start to finish, the first really big test of the season has been failed. Fortunately, there is plenty of time to recover from it. There’s no reason to be completely doom and gloom about it because there is obviously time to rectify the mistakes. Losing is just horrible, losing like that is a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, and the international break follows. Wonderful.

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