Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wenger’s change of tactics indicate a radical change in philosophy

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger has been changing his way of thinking in his transfer policy in recent years by bringing in more mature players. Gone are the days when anyone over the age of 23 or so would not make the short list of possible transfer candidates. Ok I am exaggerating a little bit but you get my drift.

What has not changed on the pitch however has been his playing philosophy.

He plays a game of ball possession, uses only one defensive midfielder and the other midfielders as well as BOTH full backs play their game in the opponents half of the pitch.

That’s why whoever plays in defence for Arsenal will always look vulnerable as protection is at a minimum. And that’s why Wenger’s teams always look frail at the back.

Yet against Bayern there was a change of philosophy and therefore tactics.

Firstly the defending mentality adopted was one that had all the four defenders keeping a tight line, moving together in unison and the midfielders dropping back to form another line of defence.

This kept the opponents mostly outside the area having to shoot from that distance. As the full backs, at least in the first half, were more often than not where they should be (at the back ready to close the avenues on the wings) there was some proper defending going on.

Secondly Arsenal defended from the front. When Bayern’s defenders had the ball they were immediately closed down by Arsenal’s forwards as well as the more offensive midfielders. Tactically this meant that their defenders had to play the long ball forward or at least play passes under pressure.

The result was that Bayern could not play their normal passing game taking the ball from defence through the midfield onto their attackers. That’s how Arsenal’s first goal was scored when Bayern lost the ball in midfield.

Lastly Wenger decided to bypass the midfield and Arsenal’s passing game. When Mertesacker or Koscienly had possession they often chose the long ball on Giroud’s head with our midfielders working hard to win the second ball.

Quite a radical change if you ask me as it goes directly against Wenger’s philosophy.

But what it achieved was to render Bayern’s strong area rather superfluous even though it was an admission that our midfield is not as good as theirs.

Which is true but Wenger does not usually face up to this fact does he? He normally plays an open game with the same ball possession philosophy and tactics whoever the opponent is.

Will he adopt the tactics employed against Bayern in the Premier League?

I believe that he should carry on with the defensive tactical changes and the pressure on their defenders when they have the ball. We don’t need both our full backs bombing forward all the time however.

And our midfielders should be more aware of their defensive duties. The long ball to Giroud is not something that I would suggest as we can compete in midfield with our passing game especially with Wilshere in the team.


Anonymous said...

Then why such a belated change of approach when it was obvious to all except Wenger his pass and pass and attack aint working?The next game against Swans will tell us more.
I still believe if he doesn't change and the gunners are out of the top 4,he shd be off.

Anonymous said...

Nah, wenger shud stay on and get us out of this mess, then he can leave, regardless if he wins a trophy or not..we shud get pelegrini or the Milan guy as his replacement

Anonymous said...

If dat should be d case now dier is no need 2 exit verm, Mert n Sceceny since we've changed our tactis so let try dem on dis tactis n see hw dey wl perform cos if wl play our former formation wit d set of players dat played Bayern honestly dey wl beat us again cos its always expose our bk 4 n make our bk vunerable
In dis regard l'm soliciting 4 dis 3 players Wenger should resist selling or loaning dem out we should remember d other days dey've performed wonderfully well 4 our dearly team ARSENAl. My name is Zakariyau Jelyll. Gooners 4 life

rrichard said...

Hi i too have been a fan since 1979 and have seen the team change a lot in that period. Everyone goes on about our defensive frailty yet that was our twelve clean sheet this season the second in Europe. The possession football is correct way to go, however, it may need a change in formation just a bit to make it more successful something akin to madrid where they ha two deeper lying midfielders though they alternate which one of them joins attacks. so for me it would look something like this
1. Scezesney
2. sagna 3.Koscelny 4 vermalean 5

6. def mid
7 arteta


walcott giroud pod

That would accomplish more solidity with passing football. Let us also remember Wenger has done something no other manager has given us 15 seasons in champions league consecutively second round for 14 seasons now Ferguson has not managed that with at least three occasions failing to get out of group stage.We have been to a champions league final in that time ending up losing finalists so he has been close to a trophy in the last eight years just fallen short at final hurdle. Now i would prefer to see some criticism leveled at players who have let themselves and the shirt and the manager down by poor or inconsistent displays. Now I think There should be some appreciation for Giroud a player who played lower ligue football then last season had a good ligue 1 season finishing with 21 goals this season he has stepped up in class again and scored 15 goals but made 7 so a hand in 22 goals not bad return for his first season. He has hade some poor luck as well look at the home tie against bayern a lovely volley that hit Neuer on arm and stayed out neuer was motionless he did not move his arm to ball and had it been a few cm the other way he would have scored.

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Rauf Arshad said...

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