Hull City 1-4 Arsenal: Four things we learned

Hull City 1-4 Arsenal: Four things we learned
Sep 17, 2016

Arsenal Featured Hull City

Saturday afternoon’s game between Hull City and Arsenal saw an important game to take place between the duo as both needed the points to keep their league objective alive. Whilst it’s still very early on in the Premier League season, Hull City need as many points as they can get to keep their place in England’s top footballing division next season whilst Arsenal in need of points to apply extra pressure on title favourites from Manchester City. An incredible start to their league season in comparison to a lacklustre start for Arsenal soon changed as the North London side looked far more dominant as they clinched an easy 4-1 win against the Tigers. Here are four things we learned from today’s fixture…

Here are four things we learned from today’s fixture…

1) Iwobi needs to improve defensively.

The Premier League possesses a variety of incredible talent who certainly look to earn the credible status of ‘world class’ in the future. Whilst Manchester United have Marcus Rashford and Manchester City have Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi has certainly become that man for the Gunners. The winger put in another fantastic performance against The Tigers, playing a significant part in producing attacks and nearly put his name on the scoresheet before it was deflected in by Alexis Sanchez. Producing a spectacular assist for Theo Walcott later in the game helped build up his chance of being shortlisted for the Man of the Match award.

At the age of 20, Iwobi certainly looks like one for the future. Whilst possessing many qualities that will help build himself up as a fantastic winger: his quick feet, outstanding work rate and also his overall pace and dribbling ability. However, considering his age, a lot of work will need to be completed to make himself a better player overall – especially making him more comfortable with contributing to the defence.

Iwobi’s continued lack of defence contribution has created more and more problems for left back Nacho Monreal as he is left exposed to deal with more attacking pressure from the opposition. Although not as visible during today’s game, the clash between PSG and Arsenal evidently proved one of the Nigerian’s greatest weaknesses as a player. The future certainly looked bright for the winger, but more work needs to be done before he becomes Arsenal’s first choice winger in the starting line-up.

2) Snodgrass has a great season ahead of him.

As noted, Hull City will be looking to survive the drop and remain in the Premier League next season. In order to achieve this objective, the Tigers will need to put up as many good performances as they can this season such as their victory against last season’s champions Leicester City. Moreover, they will also need as many players as they can to play to the best of their ability to clinch victories for the newly promoted side.

Whilst players such as Abel Hernandez, Curtis Davies, and Eldin Jakupovic are players, in particular, to receive extra pressure and support to play at their best, not as much has been given to attacking midfielder Robert Snodgrass. Despite the overall poor game for Hull against the North London side, Snodgrass looked to be one of their best players once again and was lucky enough to score his third goal in this year’s Premier League campaign.

Although difficult to judge which players will have a top season, the Scotsman has undoubtedly been the best player at Hull this season thus far. In spite of the fact that he has failed to deliver an assist this season, his overall passing, holding an approximate 87% successive pass rate, has been an asset to his side this season. Should Snodgrass extend on his goal tally as well as produce more attacks for his team, he will undoubtedly have a fantastic season this season.

3) Mike Phelan’s future will be decided in the next few days.

Regardless of your opinion on Hull City, it’s hard not to deny the fantastic job that caretaker manager Mike Phelan has done during his reign at KCOM Stadium thus far. An extremely limited squad of thirteen first team players combined with previous manager Steve Bruce stepping down from his position, life for fans of Hull City certainly wasn’t looking bright. After five games into the new league season, Hull City have comfortably earned seven points in five games.

As of writing, the owners of the club have recently offered Mike Phelan a two-year deal become the manager of the club on a permanent basis. Although losing to Manchester United in a close effort and an embarrassing performance against Arsenal today, Mike Phelan has still done a fantastic job thus far as the caretaker manager of the Tigers. Whether he agrees or rejects the proposed contract offer from the club, Mike Phelan’s future will be decided in the next few days.

4) Arsenal’s penalty policy needs to change.

Following consistent poor performances from the Gunners, the victory against the Tigers certainly added some much-needed positivity to both the squad and also the fans. However, although the game was full of surprises, there was one ongoing negative that has cost Arsenal once again. For years, Arsene Wenger has made the decision to rotate his penalty takers every game to give new players the opportunity of adding their name to the scoresheet.

Despite Santi Cazorla – the club’s first choice penalty taker for a majority of his time at the club – playing against Hull, Alexis Sanchez was the man to take the penalty – and later missed it. For an unknown reason, Wenger continues to rotate his penalty takers around which continues to have mixed results for the club. Luckily for the win, the missed penalty will go unnoticed to a majority, but it’s hard to deny the implications it could have had.

This isn’t the first time rotating penalty takers has caused problems for the club, famously when Mesut Ozil was chosen to take a crucial penalty against Bayern Munich despite first choice penalty taker Santi Cazorla already on the pitch. The rotation of penalty takers at the club needs to come to an end, the next time a rotated Arsenal player takes a penalty and misses could have far worse effects on the scoreline. If Santi Cazorla is on the pitch he MUST always take any awarded penalty – it’s time for a change Wenger.

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