Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw to it that Arsenal didn't leave Old Trafford empty handed on Monday night with an equaliser just shy of the hour mark. Jeremie Aliadiere, a former Arsenal striker and somebody who remains close to the club and its loyal fanbase shared his thoughts on The Chronicles of a Gooner Podcast just hours after the game.
Emery's team selection raised some eyebrows with many concerned by the lack of creativity in his midfield selection of Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.
“When you see that midfield trio, it lacks a little bit of creativity. He probably felt that with Torreira in there the midfield would be that bit stronger and that he could put him on Pogba.
“We missed an Ozil or a Ceballos, that flair and technical ability to find passes and create.”
Mesut Ozil was left behind on Monday night and when asked to comment pre-match Emery explained this was the squad he felt best equipped for the challenges posed by Manchester United. Not many Arsenal supporters would have expected Ozil to start at Old Trafford but his exclusion from the squad altogether certainly stunned many.
“For me, he is one million percent good enough to be on the bench and in the starting eleven. There’s been an issue since day one between Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery that's still not been sorted. It’s going to drag on until one of the two leave the club. That's the only outcome I can see.
"[Ozil] is a world-class player so I don't really buy the ‘he can't play away’ talk because he doesn't work hard enough. He's a number ten, a creative player and you don’t ask players to do the things they’re not good at. If it doesn’t work for Unai Emery in his system that's fair enough, I can understand that but they need to sort this out because having a player like him the squad and not using him is pointless.
"I keep reading they [the club] are looking to loan him out in January and it's simply bad publicity we don't need. It creates negativity amongst the players too, as professionals we are all friends and seeing how he’s being treated might not be viewed as a good thing amongst the other boys."
In recent weeks Torreira has taken up a more advanced role in the Gunners midfield with the Uruguayan often pressing furthest up the field. However, there are still question marks around whether or not Torreira has the attributes required to fulfill the more advanced role.
Aliadiere feels, “He may have started to use him higher up the pitch because he’s got unbelievable heart, he can run forever and he gets up and down [the pitch].
"But you need somebody there who can pick out a pass and link up with the strikers and that's not necessarily his game. I still think Ceballos and Ozil are our best options in that advanced role. In some games it makes sense, we may not create as much but at least defensively we’re a little more solid when the right and left backs are bombing forwards."
Last week it was announced Xhaka would head Emery's leadership group after a players vote. Is that common practice?
"I’ve never been asked, I’ve never been at a club where the coach has asked the players who should be the captain. I can understand it because he’s supposed to represent the team and so if the players feel they can relate to him it makes sense.
"But I can't understand why it's taken six games for this to be decided and it makes me wonder whether he's been given the armband to try change people's mindsets about him since the crowd's response vs Villa.
"As fans, we feel differently because at the moment we don't think he's performing as well as he could."
Arsenal's record signing Nicolas Pepe has yet to set the Premier League alight and although it is early days Aliadiere feels a 'massive' improvement is required.
He went on to say, "You’ve got to try and be as positive as possible because the kids just arrived. He's come from Ligue 1 which I’ve played in and it's a completely different level, there's not as much intensity and the tempo is a lot slower."
"We expected more from him, more end product, we’ve yet to see any goals other than the penalty [vs Aston Villa] or assists.
"I don't see him creating a lot of chances. I see a guy who has good technical ability but he's still thinking a bit too much and worrying about his price tag."
Finally, Aliadiere shared his thoughts on our progress under Unai Emery so far.
"It’s tough to say, I've seen improvement in some games. At the start of last season I saw a different mindset, a different attitude and for a good period of time.
"I don’t really know whats happened, [towards the end of last season] it all went out of the window, we’ve stopped pressing high and we’ve gone back to what we were before."