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Monday, November 12, 2007

Coppell: "Reading have three different ways of playing against Arsenal". Really?



By 1970’s Gooner

There are indeed, as Steve Coppell has said, three different ways available for Reading to play against Arsenal. But are they all viable options?

Coppell knows that if Reading play a 4 4 2 as they did the last time these two sides met at the Madejski Stadium they will get hammered again.

The open spaces that such a system will leave for Fabregas et al to exploit will in the end allow Arsenal to dictate the game carving up Reading’s midfield and creating chances for Arsenal’s forwards.

Especially if Arsenal play a 4 4 1 1 system with Hleb just behind Adebayor.

So Coppell’s only other options are to either deploy the man to man marking that worked so well against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the first game of the season or pack the midfield with five men and deploy the lone striker up front.

Playing man to man is likely to prove very risky against this Arsenal side. More than it did against Manchester United. This is because Arsenal’s style of play is full of quick passing and more importantly movement.

As Marcus Hannemann the Reading goalkeeper said of Arsenal “they're the give-and-go kings”

And it is the mobility that usually untangles this tactic which requires only one man to falter in his covering or positioning and you are already chasing the game.

Also it is very difficult to switch into a new formation should you wish to do so. If you fall behind for example.

So Coppell has only one option really. He will pack his midfield in a 4 5 1 formation and hope to catch Arsenal on the break or score from a dead ball situation.

What is also interesting however is the formation Wenger will choose to deploy.

This game comes after his “Mea Culpa” following the draw against Manchester United at the Emirates where he accepted that the formation selected meant that there was no real support for the front striker.

"Sometimes Adebayor was a bit too isolated up there. Maybe I could have played Theo Walcott up front, or Eduardo or Niklas Bendnter. But I went for a different approach.

"Without Robin van Persie the balance in the final third was not completely right. “That's my fault. I'd look at that again.

It seems that for the difficult games Wenger tends to go for the more conservative approach. But for games such as tonight’s I would be very surprised if he chooses a conservative 4 5 1.

It’s more likely to be a more attacking 4 4 1 1 where Hleb will be the support striker or a more traditional 4 4 2 with Eduardo or Walcott partnering Adebayor.

Since Arsenal ex boy Steven Sidwell departed for Chelsea, Reading have been missing not only his industry in midfield but also his creativeness.

Sidwell often carved up chances for his teammates and for himself. In this respect Coppell has failed to replace him and the team is suffering for it.

It is no surprise therefore that only Wigan, Derby and Sunderland have scored less goals at home than Reading (6 vs 7 for Reading).

What is more ominous however is that Reading has the weakest defence in the Premier League along with bottom placed Derby with 26 goals conceded.

They tend to concede on average one goal every 42 minutes. Arsenal on the other hand score on average one goal every 41 minutes!

Prediction: Away win 0-3

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading have only one way of playing against Arsenal. Very defensively. And they will get hammered for it.

Anonymous said...

I am a Reading fan and if you think you will have an easy ride tonight then you've got another thing coming to you!

Dont forget that we drew against Manchester United at Old Trafford and you only managed a draw against them at home in the last second of the game!

So stop being so arrogant.

milotmehmeti said...

than Empoli (serie A) is better than Manchester United..!!! if u compare manU vs Arsenal and reading that way...than Empoli is better team than Manchester United because, Milan won Manchester and Empoli won Milan at San Siro...stop please, go watch SmackDown.

milotmehmeti said...

than Empoli (serie A) is better than Manchester United..!!! if u compare manU vs Arsenal and reading that way...than Empoli is better team than Manchester United because, Milan won Manchester and Empoli won Milan at San Siro...stop please, go watch SmackDown.

Anonymous said...

"I am a Reading fan and if you think you will have an easy ride tonight then you've got another thing coming to you!

Dont forget that we drew against Manchester United at Old Trafford and you only managed a draw against them at home in the last second of the game!"

Yeah I suppose you can say many of us Gooners are perhaps too confident of a result, but you also have to remember in your analogy that Utd were appallingly bad at the start of the season and only just fluked a result even against Sunderland at OT for fucks sake. Arsenal on the other hand have been a little below their best for a couple of games and for the past month United are arguably in more consistent and successful form. In that respect it's not even worth comparing. Sunderland, Spurs and Everton all should have gotten results against United, so it's not really the same as now, when they're scoring almost 4 goals in every single game.

Anonymous said...

I am the Reading fan....
Manchester United at Old Trafford is Manchester United at Old Trafford full stop. And a draw against them is a great result whichever you look at it.
You would be jumping with joy if you get a draw at Old Trafford wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

Unlucky with your prediction 1970's! Almost got it! A great performance from the boys and at times, with no disrespect to Reading it looked like a training session. Its a shame that Ade's 'goal' was disallowed, that was a brilliant counter attack at its best. This team amazes me with the football we play, and a Geordie I met in the 2nite reckons we're piss the league! Hope he's right! Wrighty7

Anonymous said...

Unlucky with your prediction 1970's! Almost got it! A great performance from the boys and at times, with no disrespect to Reading it looked like a training session. Its a shame that Ade's 'goal' was disallowed, that was a brilliant counter attack at its best. This team amazes me with the football we play, and a Geordie I met in the 2nite reckons we're piss the league! Hope he's right! Wrighty7

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