Why Liverpool loss showed Arsenal boss Unai Emery has to be brave vs Tottenham – Nicholas


Arsenal have an opportunity early in the season to extend the gap between them and their north London rivals when they host Tottenham on Sunday.

And football expert Charlie Nicholas believes the Gunners manager, Unai Emery, needs to better utilise midfielder Dani Ceballos if they are going to take something out of the game.

The 22-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, put in a great display of his abilities against Burnley but was limited in his effectiveness in Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool.

Nicholas thinks the Spaniard was playing too deep in Emery’s 4-4-2 diamond formation, however, he believes the player would be more effective if he was moved higher up the field.

“Tottenham are nervous at the moment and mistakes always come from these matches,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Ceballos needs to be closer to the front three too.”

Emery went with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and new signing Nicolas Pepe as a front two against Liverpool, and while the pacy strikers had opportunities during the game, when the manager switched to a 4-3-3 formation late in the game, his side appeared to have a better balance.

Nicholas thinks Emery doesn’t trust his squad enough and has a tendency to rely on his fast players, which he feels was evident from how he setup his side against the Reds last weekend.

And Nicholas believes the Emery should pick his strongest line-up for the north London derby and for him that means reverting back to a 4-3-3 formation to include Alexandre Lacazette.

He thinks the Frenchman should play through the middle of a trio, that has Aubameyang on the left wing and Pepe cutting in from the right flank.

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“Emery does not trust his players enough. He always tends to leave Lacazette out and go with pace,” Nicholas added.

“You need to go into these games with the best attackers.

“I would always play Lacazette through the middle, Pepe on the right and Aubameyang on the left.”

Emery has described the upcoming clash as the best match in the world for football supporters.

“Matches like last week against Liverpool, this week against Tottenham, they are the two teams who played the final of the Champions League. It’s amazing and is the best test,” he said.

“Every time is a good time to play against them with our supporters. Maybe this match on Sunday is the best match in the world for all football supporters.

“We can remember some positives and some less positive from each derby match. Overall I want to create a new derby, a new match, a new moment for us.

“We want to have a special day with our supporters at our home.”



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