Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, October 25, 2007

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

By 1970’s Gooner

Does a football coach select his starting eleven according to who’s on form?

Or according to the system that is the most appropriate for the particular game coming up?

It’s usually a combination of both of course.

And if Robin Van Persie was available tonight we would not have been pondering the question posed in the title or trying to decide the formation.

It would have been 4 4 2 and the team would have almost picked itself. But now we have the new kid on the block.

Theo was spectacular against Slavia Prague and has given Wenger a real selection dilemma. Probably one he invited on himself!

Does he stick with Theo thus continuing with the 4 4 2 formation that he anyway favours or does he decide that 4 3 3 or even 4 4 1 1 would be more appropriate in which case Walcott may not be preferred?

Keeping Walcott on the bench has its merits and would be my choice.

The 4 3 3 system is very flexible as it can of course be deployed as an attacking formation using three forwards.

But at the same time you have three midfielders (Fabregas, Flamini and Gilberto/Diaby) who can, between them, protect the defence when the forwards lose the ball.

It can also be transformed during the game into a more defensive 4 5 1 formation especially if you want to keep the score or contain the game; by the two wingers tacking in to the middle of the pitch.

Additionally by keeping Walcott on the bench Wenger will have the option of utilising the high tempo impact that Theo can provide as a substitute if the team need a goal; just like it proved against Sunderland and Bolton.

If Theo is already on the pitch who can Wenger bring on that can change the game as dramatically as we have witnessed recently?

On the other hand starting with Walcott has its merits.

For a start he is on a high and there is nothing more that adds to the potency of a forward than scoring in the previous game.

But as important is his blistering pace. It could prove to be a very big and telling advantage considering that the Liverpool central defenders, Carragher and especially Hyppia, are not particularly blessed with this attribute.

Placing those balls behind Liverpool’s defence for Walcott to run on would be Fabregas’ brief and one, I am sure, he will excel at fulfilling.

And with the team on such a high after trouncing Slavia 7-0 it may prove too difficult for Wenger to make too many changes.

One he is more likely to make is Rosicky, who likes scoring at Anfield, for Eboue.

Will the other one involve Walcott?

That’s Wenger’s dilemma.

Ed: What do you think? Leave your comment below and cast your vote on the poll we have set up: “Who should partner Adebayor against Liverpool?”

Wenger enters the world of advertising but with a touch of class

We are all Goonerish now!


Anonymous said...

I would go with the formation we used at O.T last year. With Hleb just behind Adebayor. If it isn't working at least we now have a bench that is capable of changing the game.

Anonymous said...

Theo simply has to start. He will blow Hyppia and Caragher apart!

Anonymous said...

Theo on the right, Rosicky on the left with Hleb in a free role behind Ade. Hleb is a magician in the free role and it would allow us to switch to a 4-4-2 with Theo going up front if we needed to chase the game

Anonymous said...

It's a real dilemma. Since Wenger himself has said that whoever is in form plays, he surely can't drop Walcott now. Doing so means he might as well drop Almunia or Flamini. Tactically, playing Walcott with his pace is sure to give Liverpool much trouble. The only fear would be his temperament, if he's ready for the big games.

Anonymous said...

The only change I'd make is to put Hleb on the right in place of Eboue and then Rosicky on the left.
Liverpool aren't exactly the form team at the moment, so we have no need to be too apprehensive about them.

Anonymous said...

A tough dcision faces Arsene. Liverpool on the back of a defeat in Europe will be raring to make a point against the form team. So, the obvious would be to revert to 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation. If we were to play this, Theo should be on the right and come on, if needed in the strikers position. The reason is that he will tear their central defenders apart on pace. This tactic will err on the side of caution. That said, I think Arsene will keep the same line up. Costa.

Anonymous said...

Are you all crazy? Yes I enjoyed and cooed over Theo on tuesday as much as every other Arsenal fan, but let's not get carried away. Everyone is forgetting that for the first 20-30 minutes Theo wasn't really very effective. He came into his own after the mistake that gifted him a goal after which Slavia were already heads down and accepting defeat. Theo is a great person for when the game is open and the opposition allow us time/space, but otherwise he will struggle, at least for now until he becomes more experienced and/or bulks up a bit.

Anonymous said...

We'll need a goal poacher on Sunday. Chances will be few and far between. Start with Dudu and Ade, then bring Bendtner into the mix, if necessary later on. He poses a different kind of threat.

Anonymous said...

It's a tough one, I can't quite make up my mind. Starting Ade and Hleb up front with Rosicky and Eboue along the flanks makes some sense. The option on 60mins would be to bring off Rosicky and Eboue, switch Hleb to the left and introduce Dudu through the middle with Theo providing ammunition from the right.

I doubt that Theo will start in any case despite Tuesday night. He still needs protecting from premier league knocks.

Anonymous said...

I'd play the 433 with Gilberto coming in the middle with Cesc and Flamini with Hleb on the right, Rosicky on the left,Ade upfront. U can always go 4411 at any time with these players, the system is very flexible and we smashed Liverpool using this last season. Theo would be good as an impact sub when the game opens up late on. I feel good about this game, C'mon the Gunner's! Wrighty7

Anonymous said...

I agree that Walcott should start on the bench. Eduardo should partner Ade in a classic 4-4-2. With Rosicky on the left he'll have more time to sniff around the box. Hleb's going to be all over the place, he's got a good sense of positioning, he shouldn't be tied to one area. I wouldn't be surprised to see red cards/penalties in this one. As far as predicting the score, I'd go with 3-1 to Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

I would go for 0-3!

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