Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wenger will play it safe at Old Trafford
By 1970’s Gooner
Ever since Gallas and Clichy got injured and out of the picture Arsene Wenger has adopted a more defensive formation so that more protection would be given the defence.
This is because he wanted to protect against Silvestre’s lack of pace and Gibbs’s inexperience. This need was even more accentuated when account had to be also taken of Fabiansky's inexperience and Eboue’s positional unawareness.
So he came up with the formation that provided two defensively minded midfielders but because he wanted to maintain Fabregas’s creativity he pushed him up in the hole behind Adebayor.
Even if the goalkeeping and right back positions are now manned by their usual occupants there is still the need to provide protection for Silvestre and Gibbs or Djourou if he has to fill in.
So whoever plays in defence Wenger will need to adopt the 4 2 3 1 formation with Fabregas pushed more forward behind Adebayor to release one more space for an extra defensive midfielder.
However Wenger will need to account for the real possibility of Fabregas being closely marked by Manchester United’s defensive midfielder and therefore starving the team of the creativity that it will need to get that important away goal.
Enter Nasri, whose role will, under the 4 2 3 1 system, assume pivotal importance.
Although he will start on the left wing he will probably be instructed to come infield and assume playmaking duties, linking up with Fabreags, Adebayor and Walcott.
If he is caught up field then one of the two defensive midfielders will need to offer the protection to Gibbs.
In this system Arsenal’s width will mostly be provided by Walcott, which is what has been happening lately and I think most of Arsenal’s penetration and dangerous moves will originate form this side of the field.
This formation and players offer a good balance between defence and attack given Arsenal’s current available choice of defenders.
All the players will have to play at their best tonight to get a result but particularly Gibbs (or whoever palys at left back) against Ronaldo, Silvestre (or Djourou) against Berbatov or Rooney and Adebayor against Vidic or Ferdinand.
Adebayor in particular needs to up his game tonight as it will be crucial for Fabregas, Nasri and Walcott to have an effective outlet for their forward moves, otherwise the ball will just be coming back all the time putting more and more pressure on the midfielders and the defenders.
Sagna.. Toure… Silvestre… Gibbs