Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Can we have our best player back please Mr Wenger?

By 1970’s Gooner

What is really astonishing is that Wenger said after the Sunderland game that he actually expected Roy Keane to play a more attacking style of play!

I mean did he really mean it? Did he really expect that Sunderland will actually play an open style of play, push men forward and leave the spaces open for Fabregas and Co to exploit?

Blackburn did that at Ewood Park by playing two men in more advanced positions and got annihilated. Roy Keane wasn’t going to be a fool and hand Arsenal freedom to play!

This is what Roy Keane said after the game:

“We've played Arsenal last year, Chelsea and United here, played 4-4-2 and got beaten 4-0; it could have been seven. Maybe Arsène Wenger should focus on his team. Part of the game is breaking down the opposition".

In fact most teams that play against the big four adopt a more conservative formation.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have to face it week in week out yet they find the way to get round it. I have not heard Alec Ferguson complain about another team’s defensive tactics. Have you?

The middle was already congested by Sunderland’s tactics and this was in a strange way aggravated even further by the tactics adopted by Wenger.

He played three central midfielders, Song, Denilson and Fabregas as well as Van Persie and Walcott on the wide midfield positions.

Add to this Sunderland’s five midfielders and you have “spaghetti junction”.

How on earth was Fabregas going to find space to weave his magic from such an area where space was at a premium only Wenger knows.

Clichy was not as effective on the left hand side for two reasons. He is not used to playing with Van Persie there so they did not hit it off.

More importantly Nasri is more suited to Clichy’s game as he tends to come in and allow the space on that left hand line for Clichy to exploit.

They also tend to play the one two very well together something that Van Presie was not that willing to do.

When Nasri belatedly came on, that left hand side threat from Arsenal was suddenly rejuvenated as Clichy began to bomb forward again.

The 4 5 1 (come 4 3 3) formation also resulted in Adebayor being isolated up front without anyone near to feed off him and lay balls to.

Fabregas is not really a forward player in the number 10 role and he was anyway instinctively dropping back to get the ball so that he could do what he is more used to doing well; dictating play.

Result? Stalemate for most of the game which was broken by another wonder strike. This is beginning to be a recurring theme, as in the Hull horror show, with again no one closing the scorer down.

Another recurring theme is referee’s mistakes. Yes the ball did not go out but referees and their assistants do make mistakes.

A strong and determined team however should be able to play through these adversities and score the goals needed to win games.

We did not really create enough to have scored them and the reason is that the tactics employed stifled Sunderland (until the 85th minute) but they also stifled Arsenal’s creativity.

Let’s go back to 4 4 2 Mr Wenger with Fabregas where he belongs.

Wenger gets the tactics wrong, again


Wrighty7 said...

I wouldn't say fire him but he needs a kick up the arse! So do the players.

Sunderland is a game we must win if we are serious about winning the title.

We have made a bad start to the season judging by the fixture list we were given and I think we need to go on a long unbeaten run with a lot of wins to make up for it.

Its going to be difficult but there are plenty of points to play for. I hope we can keep in touch with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United and then strengthen in January.

Great article 1970's.

Anonymous said...

We beat AC Milan with 4 5 1 and lost also with 4 4 2

Wrighty7 said...

We had the personall to play 4 5 1 then. We dont at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I think its always easy to point to error in judgement regarding team selection when we lose a game so I i'm rather sceptical on your views on nasri. Although he's a quality play we don't know what would have happened if he played, we may have even lost who knows? However i agree with your point about the formation selection it was always going to be crowded in midfield and we should have had the balls to go with a more attacking formation. I think the players need a serious kick up the arse as these kind of performances will see us battling for 4th spot, the abilty is there but the attitude is way off point.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to be critical with the benefit of hindsight. Arsene went for a cautious approach because we were away from home and had suffered a demoralising defeat in our last game. Unfortunately it didn't work, so he'll have to try something different next time. Anon at 5:41 who do you suggest we replace him with? Juande Ramos perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Do people honestly think that there is no manager in the entire world...somewhere...that can do as well, if not better than Wenger??? People who defend Wenger, fine, I admire you, the same kinda way you admire a man running into a burning building to save a cat. But please don't insult my intelligence by stating that Wenger is the best and only man for the job.

Can't wait for the day he actually leaves, not because I want him out but because I'd like everyone to get out of their little comfort zone. I mean the next manager can't be that much worse...granted losing to Hull, Fulham and drawing to a team promoted a couple of seasons ago in the space of 2 months is a tough act to follow.

Anonymous said...

I don't think formation is such an issue with our forward players, they can all pop up all over the place anyway.

The main thing Wenger needs to do is just wake some of the players up a bit to their responsibilities. The key goals against us in the last 2 league games both came from players not closing down. Denilson for the first Hull goal (he started towards Geovanni but stopped after one step) and Clichy for Sunderland's (he should have made a move towards the scorer as soon as he slipped past Song). We can't be giving people that kind of room in those positions, it's basic.

Anonymous said...

u cant play good football in all the games u play.. thats for sure...

man utd play bad in almost 20% of their games and still get a result u know why...? because they got the luck, they have done it since last season against lyon tevez got a flukey goal, vs derby county they almost lost drew and than ronaldo rescued them, against tittingham they almost lost and tevez scored a 94th minute penalty...on the other hand we score and it gets ruled out almost all the time.. its quite frustrating... van p's goal vs sunderland was one of them, against middlesborough??.. they also get penalties when they dont deserve it but we get penalties against us(clichy vs birmingham for a perfect tackle)..

i m least pleased with the standard of refeering its like they dont want arsenal to win... we got screwed over so many times last season(middlesborough,chelsea(offside goal),aston villa, birmingham and many more)... its just frustrating to see how manure can get a penalty form nothing and we get screwed so badly with a clean goal... just frustrating.. if this is gonna continue than might as well hand the title to Man utd from now.. no need 2 play...

Anonymous said...

actually tevez scored of a corner by bad not a penalty...

Anonymous said...

Haha, I must laugh. What plonker said that Utd play shit 20% of the time but get luck and win!!! Rubbish. At the end of the day they have a more tactically aware manager than us, they also have a stronger backbone in the team.

Nasri should have played, no doubt about it.

A theory I have is teh mayhem of teh summer, inc. the debacle with Ade, has ruined the spirit of the team....

Why not give Gallas and Silvestre a chance to play at teh back, play Toure deep midfield, and then we have a back bone, with Fab, and any one or two of our 4/5 strikers.

I have been saying for 4 years or more that Wenger is a genius.BUT... he is not a tacticiant hence we will never ever win teh Champions League with Wenger, but will bring lots of young talent through.

So, in my view, and I may get slaughtered for this is...... Wenger needs to move upstairs, we need a top top manager who takes responsibility of the first team, a fresh new view on life, without killing the basic skill that has blessed the Emirates!

Thoughts always appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Get Wenger out now - we're going backwards.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe u guys want wenger out. He's made a mistake here but u are being to short sighted.
Regarding the game wenger and the players hould have been more clever to break the team down. More direct running and moving into danger areas is what lacked yesterday.
When Song broke forward, Walcott's brief runs and when Van Persie came in field was our best opportunities to find something.

Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with thinking that sunderland might have been more adventurous going forward, methinks. after all, hull played 4-4-2 against us and won. keane might have been tempted to do so as well.

I support Wenger - he's not the best tactician, but he's the reason we've been able to do relatively well on a puny budget by bringing through the young talent.

we're just stuck in a bad rut of form. we'll get out of it i'm sure. hang in there guys...

Anonymous said...

im sick of almunia

every goal is out of the box

Anonymous said...

442 creats space width & movement 442 is about playing the Invincebables played nothing but if Arsene doesn,t play 442 he is admitting, what we all know the side isn,t good enough at the moment & there is no money at the present todo anything about it no top 6 side in Europe would buy Eboue as a winger us included but we got him plaing there

Anonymous said...

I would say its luck we lack of.. I mean think about it.. Who would have thought some lame ass kid of sunderland named leadbitter would come as a sub and would be able to score that kinda goal from that range. Look at his ball control before the goal. He barely controlled the ball and it was a total random shot that went perfectly to the top corner. I'll say if Cisse scored that goal you can blame the manager. It's normal that you ask your players to mark the most dangerous player attacking. If I'm wenger i'll ask the team to focus on cutting the pass to Cisse and marking him all over. Coz we all know tat the entire game, he was the threat for our defense.

I can't take people talking as if they know everything. Closing down is not as easy as it seems.. I agree that the goal wouldn't have been scored if at that moment someone had closed down the shooter. Usually managers won't give instructions to close down any player that has the ball. The more the defense run to close down some players, and if the opposition passes the ball.. Our defense will soon be running around and the mid of defense will be empty for strikers running in.

Its luck that we lack, I've seen Man U scoring out of random.. I;ve seen a total fluke goal. I've seen random penalties. I've seen deflected goals. With Arsenal, I've seen sudden world class performance by some random goalkeeper or some random defender. I see balls shaving the post. I see balls hitting the post. I see goals ruled offside, ruled outside. I see balls deflected off.

Our kids probably got demoralized also.. Imagine you;re trying so hard and it gets harder and harder for you. You try so hard then you tend to give up a little. But those days you see that the luck is at our side.. You'll see that they perform actually so well that they totally kill of teams with some 4-0 6-0 scorelines.

I'll only say one thing...