Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Arsenal’s movement, Liverpool’s long balls and Adebayor’s hunger

By 1970’s Gooner

There are a lot of press columns (and blog postings) written about this intriguing encounter at Anfield where the League’s two remaining unbeaten teams lock horns.

There are also a lot of comparisons being drawn between the two sets of players and the respective styles of football.

There is one attribute however that Arsenal have got in abundance which Liverpool seem to lack. And that is movement off the ball.

There has been wonderment and bewilderment as to how and why Cesc Fabregas can get so much time on the ball and dictate the flow of the game so masterly.

This has been the norm in nearly all the Arsenal games so far; even if the opposing manager had detailed one of his more forceful (hatchet) men to man mark the boy wonder.

And the reason for this of course, beyond the boy’s obvious technique and skills, is that there is so much movement around him from the rest of the Arsenal players.

So much that when he looks up to see where he will next pass the ball he has so many options it almost becomes impossible to stop him.

It is this continuous movement around the pitch that Arsenal do so well, drawing players out of position, exploiting the gaps thus created and eventually tiring the opponents so much that a goal is almost always scored in the last 15 minutes of games.

And above all this is what is very likely to tip the balance in deciding the winner at Anfield today.

To do that of course Arsenal have to be able to defend well especially the inevitable long balls that are likely to be employed by Benitez; especially if Crouch is selected. This is what served Liverpool well the last time they met Arsenal at home winning 4-1.

Arsenal were no that bothered with this tactic during their game against Bolton last time out even if Kevin Davies got at the end of most thumps up the field!

Granted, Anelka was not there to pick up the pieces but the Arsenal defence with Gallas back is now much better at dealing with these kind of tactics. Wenger might however select Diaby in the starting 11 so as to add some height in the team especially at set pieces.

It’s as well to defend well but who can score the goals at the other end? The encouraging aspect for Arsenal this season is of course that the sources for goals have come from the midfielders as well as the forwards.

One forward not in the goals recently is Adebayor.

He has failed to score in the last five games he played. In fact he has not scored since his hat trick against Derby.

There is nothing that spurs a player’s hunger on than competition for places. And with all the praise going to Walcott recently he will want to make a mark today.

He can after all ran the 100 meters faster than him: 11.41 seconds against Theo’s 11.48 !

Arsenal can storm to victory by exploiting Liverpool’s weaknesses

Wenger's dilemma:Who should partner Adebayor against Liverpool?


Anonymous said...

More importantly whats the time difference over 40 yards ?

Anonymous said...

For those that are interested Thierry Henry's time over 40 metres: 4.85 seconds. Adebayor's time over the same distance: 4.90!

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