Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bendtner should start every game. It makes more tactical sense

By 1970's Gooner

There were two tactical weaknesses apparent during Arsenal’s first game of the season against Fulham at the Emirates. The first concerned Hleb’s positioning during the game and the other the obvious lack of a strong centre forward.

In my preview of this game (and considering that Wenger was not going to select Bendtner) I favoured Hleb to partner Van Persie over Eduardo even if the latter had been available.

Hleb looked sharper and rejuvenated during the pre season relishing his new role behind Van Persie and getting on the score sheet too. A feat which he promptly repeated again in a real game.

However what he tended to do a lot during the game was to drop deep into midfield and try and dictate play from there.

This crowded out Fabregas and Flamini not only in terms of space but more importantly restricting Fabregas from running the show as only he knows how.

And I think that we all agree that Fabregas is much better at it than Hleb; who has shown however that he can replace Fabregas if need be.

This had another negative effect. There was no support for Van Persie which restricted his passing options when he was able to receive the ball.

The second tactical weakness concerns the role of Van Persie himself. He is better deployed behind or next to a strong centre forward and not as a lone striker.

This was very evident last season when Henry was around and now with Bendtner in the friendlies. This is probably the way Wenger intends to deploy him when Adebayor returns.

However he chose not do so for this game probably because, as he has said recently, he does not consider Bendtner ready for the Premiership yet.

In my posting after the Ajax game for the Amsterdam Tournament I argued that Bendtner was the new fox in the box that we have for so long been looking for and that he should be starting against Fulham.

Wenger I think has underestimated the boy’s capabilities. The answer is staring him in his face yet he refuses to see it.

Bendtner has proved more than capable of playing that role and it clearly showed when he was brought on the pitch at 72 minutes.

This had a multiple of positive effects as you often get in football games when a weakness is corrected.

The introduction of a strong and tall centre forward raffled the opposing defence and allowed Van Persie to play off him thus becoming more effective himself. Additionally Hleb’s repositioning on the left flank (to make room for Bendtner) released Fabregas to weave his magic.

Bob’s your uncle Fabregas releases the killer ball that Hleb dispatched into the net on 90 minutes for the winner.

The latest news is that Eduardo has joined Adebayor on the injury list. Bendtner, if called upon, is well capable of performing well in the Champion’s League qualifier.

We have set up a poll on the issue of who should partner Robin Van Persie. Please cast your vote and leave a comment!

Bendtner makes a case for starting against Fulham

Strength in depth eases Wenger’s team selection worries for the coming season

Ed: Can Asa or anyone linking here from the "Same old Arsenal" blog please contact me using the comments box as the link from Arsenal Analysis" does not appear to be working!


Anonymous said...

I see sense in what you are saying but I think Adebayor when he returns is now a more experienced forward than Bendner

Anonymous said...

Adebayor should partner RVP - go ask JT or Rio about his workrate & threat.He's stronger & more versatile than young Bendtner who's a good super-sub for now.
You underestimate how tired Fulham defenders were when Nick came in.

Anonymous said...

I think that Bendner has more of a goal threat in him rather than Adebayor. Also Bendner has a bigger aerial threat

Anonymous said...

To previous anonymous,

I appreciate what you are saying and there is certainly merit in utilising Bendtner as a kind of "super sub".

To my mind the boy has the knack of scoring goals and he is much more direct which gives Arsenal variation in their play.

In this way the opponents are forced to defend both in the air and on the ground. And it keeps them on their toes rather than providing them with the same attacking threat all the time.

Anonymous said...

it makes sense to have role based replacements

RVP and Eduardo for the second striker role

Ade and Nic for hold up striker role

Hleb for me still plays but on left

Cesc and Bert in the middle and Rosicky on right and replaced with Walcott

Eboue is not upto the scratch yet and can best be useful against teams that donot park the bus in front of the goal.

Walcott has much more pace to draw out the defence.

Anonymous said...

I think Bender has a big anal threat to be honest

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree, not with the previous anonymous (!), but with anonymous before that.

A strong squad needs at least two capable players for each position as well as versatile players who can play in more than one position like Eboue.

Walcott seems to be up to it and Wenger should give him more chances to prove himself.

Anonymous said...

I THink what 1970s gooner is right...i went to the traning day at the emirates and watched it...i gotta say i would love to see theo play as a left midfielder...

he was playing really well there in training cutting in with his right taking on players...

or better yet up front...if anything i would love the most is for him to get the opportunity to play up front in the carling cup...that would be great..he is very clinical and i would jus love to see him be given 90mins up front to silence all those critics..

on another note...he seems to forget the ball though it runs under his feet (maybe he is too quick hehe)..

also i think he needs to make more intelligent runs...what ppl must not forget is that he only started playing football when he was 15!(i think) so he has only been playing for 3 years..

bendtner is a good strong physical player and tall and is an option for crossing the ball...i think he jus needs more games under his belt..i like him..hopefully the carling cup will help him there...

but adebayor and dudu would get my vote ahead of bendtner...dudu is quite strong aswell and will get a decent amount of goals this season..

Anonymous said...

I think that Walcott's speed of his legs is running ahead of his brain.
What I mean is that he is so much concentrating on getting passed his player that he forgets the ball!
When he manages to remember the ball his delivery is not always what it should be.
He just needs more games and the coordination between brain and body will come.