Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arsenal really played with 8 men in an unbalanced formation

By 1970’s Gooner

It was difficult enough to start with Eduardo as the front man in a 4 3 3 formation but the wide players, Rosicky and Nasri were also not up to it today.

Add to that the fact that Fabregas was played in the deeper midfield role and Ramsey the more forward and you have a team that was in my mind unbalanced.

Let’s start with Eduardo.

He was hopeless in the front man role. He couldn’t keep possession and as a result our midfielders were always under more pressure than usual to win the ball.

His passing also failed him today which was probably a result of very tight defending from the opponents. He simply isn’t a front man to my mind and maybe Wenger will think again as to whom to play there against Chelsea.

The wide men.

Both Nasri and Rosicky were not penetrative on the wings preferring to come inside all the time. As a result Arsenal had no width and therefore offered no attacking threat.

There was also no attacking threat from the midfield areas as Fabregas was deployed deeper than usual. So where were the goals going to come from?

When Wenger decided to make the changes things improved but we were 1-0 down by then and when you are chasing the game it becomes very difficult doesn’t it?

If Arshavin was too tired to start then I think Walcott should have as he was obviously fresh enough as was evident when he came on. The result may have been different then.


Yes I think that with so many players involved in the World Cup qualifying games the team looked tired. Sagna, Gallas, Ramsey even Fabregas looked fatigued.

The only player to have played well in my mind was Traore who rose to the occasion and put in a performance of high standard, defending well and looking very dangerous when attacking. I think we can rely on him in the future.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your observations 100%. Whilst people give Diaby stick, it shows the contribution he makes to the midfield of Song and Cesc, allowing Cesc to push forward. Rosicky and Nasri were awful, too many touches, poor vision. I have always said, Eduardo is not strong enough or fast enough to be a premiership main striker. We will have big problems when Song goes to the ACN! We need to buy a decent, strong and fast forward.

Richard B said...

I would like to make a few ounter comments... just my opinions...

1) Song had a poor game, his distribution was worse than I can remember so far this season.

2) Cesc tried to do too much.

3) Rosiky started very well, but faded as half time approached.

4) Nasri IS NOT a winger. He shouldn't be played there!!!

5) Eddy was disappointing agreed.

Having said that we had more han enough chances to win this game. The season will be long, and one defeat means nothing in its own right. We played well enough to win, and could well have won. Let's not get too downbeat!

Davi said...

While I agree he had a bad game today, I wouldn't be so quick to condemn eduardo in that position.
Its a tough job at the best of times, but its 10 times worse when you have no support.
Sunderland closed us down well, and I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis or the midfield and wide players. It didn't work.
My 1st thoughts after the game were that wenger got it wrong today. He's been more-or-less perfect with his tactical decisions this season - and up to this game I think we've deserved to win each time. This time he got the selection wrong, and made the useful substitutions too late. Nobody's perfect. We'll still give chelsea a game next week.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there was any problem with the formation. Eduardo and Rosicky had very poor games and didn't work hard enough. Whenever our front players don't move well the flow of the game suffers.

The wide men also came in too often which is just an extension of poor movement. Substitutions were poor and Arshavin should have come in for Rosicky and not Ramsey.

Overall there wasn't enough desire and urgency in the team and that was the biggest problem.

Anonymous said...

Too many of this team are coming back from long-term injuries and the remainder, Vermaelen and Song excepted looked tired. Without Van Persie there is too little goal threat and our forward play lacks shape.

Anonymous said...

Eduardo was dissapointing period.
Ramsey quite off.
Fabregas could have done a lot better.
Gallas, Vermalen, Traore and Song, decent performance except goal conceeded (Vermalen).
Nasri missing, Rosicky faded into the wind.
Arshavin not motivated, a little bit understandable but he's a professional.
Theo still needs rehab, Vela needs sense of urgency!

LEts all get behind the team next week n and scare the pants off the chelski players! C'mon arsenal!!

Luka said...

I don´t think that Eduardo was disappointing today. What can he do when he doest get any support today?

2 many players had a bad game today and that was why we didn´t had any good chances....

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I think nothing wrong with tatics. We
had enough chances to win that game.
Dudu played very poor, no pace , no
desire, no comfidence , not worked
hard enought .He walked aroung 18 yrd
box & 2 defs marked him & there was no pace to advance cesc & Rambo . Cesc can't support long decisice
pass to Dudu , coz Dudu stood within
defs .We missed RVP's pace,skill,desi
re to win $ influence over Teamates .
We missed Diaby's solidness ...

Gilberto said...

Put diaby back

Anonymous said...

Firstly, if we have serious of winning the league we cannot afford to drop points against teams of this nature ! I accept we cannot win all our games, but we need to take a point if not all 3 against the inferior opposition. Defeat in games like this mean we must beat the other top 3 teams !! Which ain't easy.

Bringing Vela on was not a good substitution, he is not a proper predatory striker, we should have left Ed on. Rosicky should have come off for Theo and Ramsey should have stayed on as he has something about him, I think it's called passion !

Once thing is for certain, we cannot keep a clean sheet, so we must score to avoid defeat !

Really disappointed to lose today.

Song played well, and Ed aint strong enough to lead the line on his own.

During the last 10 mins we were crossing high balls in the box ? Why ? Vela/Theo/Shava are not going to head it in ?! Losing RvP and Bendy at the same time is bad news.........

Femi said...

Lets get behind d team, the problem is eduardo couldnt hold possession, especially high balls, now lets focus on our next match, if can win it, it'll boost their morale.

Danny said...

The fact is we were UNLUCKY today with the fixture. Out of the top four we had the hardest game. Sunderland, who are in form are great at home and Bent has scored against all the top four teams.
How come we had to play away to sunderland and chelsea have a HOME game with WOLVES? Its a joke!!!!
Many of our players were on internatoinal duty and were tired, sunderland on the other hand were fresh.
Any team would of struggled against sunderland today.

ps. Eduardo IS a great Centre Forward and will do fine... stop panicking!!!!

Anonymous said...

This game shows us how important is the balance of the team with few physical players like bendtner and diaby. How can a team has so many similar players, as in all attacking midfielder like rosicky, nasri, ramsey and fabregas. Ramsey did too many mistakes since liverpool game, but the fans chose to like players with some brilliant performance but got no enough game under the belt. It is important to have 1-2 masterplayer, and few runners even like eboue will do us good. Good lesson for those fans who always like to boo own players. A slap on their face.

Petey Go said...

I think you're right on a lot of points.

I would have rather had Nasri play in the midfield where Ramsey was. Shifted Rosicky to the Left Wing and started Theo out right.

That being said, can Walcott provide any service? My god..

Anonymous said...

problemis weve had 3 big tests and lost all 3,manure,manshitty and now sunderland away, i count sunderland as a big test because were missing robin and legs were gonna be tired after internationals, but 3 big games and 3 big losses!

Anonymous said...

Traore was shit. Eduardo was shit and will never be able to play at lone striker role. He should of started two up top with a combination of arshavin, eduardo or vela. Walcott on the right.

Anonymous said...

i hate games after an interlull week.

NaSei said...

Unfortunately we didn't penetrate Sunderland in the final third enough, Rosicky had a bright start but faded, nasri had quite a poor game, had some neat touches but wasn't decisive enough in the final third, Eduardo had a very poor game, that can happen but I still have faith in his ability to score goals long term, I also feel that Wilshere should have had some games under his belt, despite his age, he clearly has the ability but I think Wenger is holding back and trying to protect him from the british media over hyping him, personally I feel that the boy is hungry and eager to play, if u keep holding players like that back, they lose confidence and that can be damaging. Overall a disappointing performance and result but Im confident we can bounce back and get a win against Liege and then beat Chelsea!

Anonymous said...

We lost to a fortunate goal, I really cannot remember S'land having too much in attack, and when they did it came down Traore's side, his postioning needs working on. Until Arshavin came on most of our play seemed to go down the left hand side. The midfield looked out of sorts today, thought Song did well though. RVP took a while to develop in this formation and I can only guess Eduardo will also need time to adjust.

Anonymous said...

OPPS: *most of our play to down the right hand side* re Anon 8:08 pm

Anonymous said...

thought song was outstanding, him and cesc stood up,song won ball after ball and really got physical.Vela looked good. i cannot see ramsey good enough to start yet, nasri a bit over confident but him and tom will be right for next week. team 4 chelsea would be
sagna verm gallas traore
cesc song nasri
rosicky eddie andrei

thought we should have got at least a point but my belief is we will still fight for the league.. 1 defeat, we will beat chelsea, come on u gooooooners

Steve D. said...

Credit to Sunderland - they played a good game tactically and closed us down throughout the game. They look a fit team.

We looked very tired after such a big (shitty) interlul and we had by far the hardest game having to go away from home and to a good team. Before the game Mark Bosnich commented that form etc goes out the window after an interlul and it becomes a bit of a lottery. That for me sums it up.

We were also unlucky. A couple that would have gone in on another day and we conceeded a bit of a flukey goal. It also looked like another penalty not given to us at the end of the game but I didn't see a replay, so I can't be sure.

Unlucky boys - keep trying and we're right behind you. We'll support you ever more as they say.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis and comments,
Everyone in support of Dudu but he still not found himself at all this season, in fairness he barely had run of games and also VanP went 4,5 games in the beginning not being very productive. But I feel that Dudu has not yet proven his efectivity for Arsenal's game. I cannot see him cope alone against Terry and Carvalho.Fab certainly was not at his quick best, and you saw he misses Arsh and VanP for quick link play. Vermaelen was begging to have couple of shots at goal with surges but the midfield was slow to react; With Rosicky you see the intelligence and skill but does he still have it? not only missing quite a few very good chances he used to make good on,but with all his good technique he is somewhat half a step slower in the dribble and penetration then he used to be, no doubt. I loved Song today, I do not understand how some saw his game weak today he was positionally great and tackling everywhere breaking the counters AND should have had two breathtaking assists of worldclass skill! but He did miss the header from which Bent eventually scored,and his head game is statistically his weakness, but compared to whom?(But Rosicki again was at the near post was slow to react and close down) Ramsey has heart and should have been on the field for the last minutes possibly, but can anyone contest that Wenger has never been a great improvising tactician in midst of games or with his substitutions?, and his late fury of subsitutions with both Vella and Walcott so late in the game seemed panicky to me. Last , Almunia, you cannot fault him with the goal and yet he is not really the bravest of keepers, if you saw Loris for france this week you know what I am talking about.
Wenger was very grave after the game and for good reason, this is a massive setback, that puts the pressure on and cuts into self belief, and the sort of game they should have been able to grind if they are to be champions. how the boys react midweek and next weekend(!) will be very crucial to asses out chances. Go gunners!

Anonymous said...

We Lost the game not because of several outfield performers but because we have the worse goalkeeper in the league even worse than Gomez. Just like the Wolves game the other week this clown comepletly has no idea what to do when a corner is taken (he's not 21,22 he's 31,32)Two decisions a keeper must make.Come off your line and take the catch or stay on your line,that's it but this prick doesn't know this after 12 years of being a professional giving all teams extra chances with his indisiviness.
We will win nothing while he remains No 1. The best choice at the club is Fabrianski but even he is not top class yet but he's still better than the real spanish waiter

Anonymous said...

song had a bad game???? are you on.Song was arsenals best player by far

Unknown said...

while i disagree to put blame on almunia, i must say the team looked tired and out of ideas.kudos to sunderland! for me the best option would have been to revert to a variation of the 4-4-2. 4-3-3 is a tricky formation that requires players been used to one another and today we could see how that played out. Traore wasnt bad but seemed not to be trusted by other players as few developments was from his wing unlike when clichy plays...ramsey, had a few crucial bad seemed to be more concerned about not conceeding a yellow..eboue would have started for sagna..too late to make calls, but definitely we would do better againat the chavs..sure about that!heads up b oys!

Messi said...

haven't seen the game yet guys since i was at work but i seem to have a shit day at selling electronics whenever arsenal are loosing or have lost and my whole day just becomes disappointing. from what i have been hearing and reading on the forums it seems that some players did not perform to their best but you can agree with that when you think about it, away to sunderland AFTER THE INTERNATIONALS, chelsea liverpool and man utd all at home after internationals so a bit upset about the loss. good to see people are missing diabys strength in the midfield and people saying good stuff about song continuously considering 1 more yellow would of banned him from the crucial chelsea game next sunday!

keep your heads up boys lets continue playing with the desire, quality and commitment and i cant wait till i watch football first today then what the pundits are gonna say you know all who they are on match of the day. Definitely gonna need diaby and bendtner for sundays game for their height hopefully clichy is fit by then. COME ON ARSENAL!

Modders said...

You lot were sh!t. This is the beginning of the end. The wheels have come off. Losers.

Anonymous said...

time for the miserable street thugs to come out waiving their pricks with hoarse barks, snick back in your dark burrow curved back hyena

Anonymous said...

Seems the attack was too one dimensional...a number of slashers without a physical presence. The link-up was lacking and it was tough for us to push through midfield. Diaby and Bendtner are frustating at times but this is the type of game I believe they would have had a positive contribution if they had been available. Song was best by far perhaps b/c of his physical play. We have the creative players but need to balance with a physical presence to win games against the big boys and when on the road. Given our size I believe the chances to score on the corners was nil.

Ryan said...

Traore had a nightmare.. just think of his cross pitch punt to Sagna, almost caught out by Bent which went out the park.. suicide pass! His lunge on Fraser Canpbell at the end of the so late - sorry but the boy was off form!

Anonymous said...

rayan so its going to be traore as diaby was abscent. he was better than all the attackers put together as he didnt cost us the game considering it was his first game where as attacker failed to score.
all the moaner's favourite team played and we lost thank god bendtner, denilson and especially diaby didnt play the haters and moaning band wagon would be calling for their head by now atleast we win when they play.quality teams rise to the occasion we just got caught by a team who stood firm for the whole game.

Anonymous said...

some of our bloggers and fans have simply forgotten "the signs" from the past few seasons......such short memory !

Losing to man utd nor man city wasNT a sign - because there was something right in both games.......

but last night is just a mirror resemblance of classic arsenal in the league-06-09-

even wenger admitted - "a slow feeling" which is a worry -


Were we the only team who had players out on international break - to use it as an excuse ??????

Even man city went over to anfield & plucked a dont tell me we are not as good as man city !

Anonymous said...

The game shows the the gunners defence aint good enough. It has been like that for the four five seasons.Almunia is one rung below when compared the other big four goalies.
When Sunderland crossed into the box and the ball ran loose I could some gunner defenders ball watching.I know it's easier said than done but they could have quickly kicked the ball away or crowd round Bent. This is common failing and until that is rectified AW better forget about the title.

Unknown said...

its obvious you just dont know what you are talking about.
listen to you self... "eduardo isnt a striker" just listen to your self

Unknown said...

wrong selection should have
and sub..nasri,rosis.ramsey

Anonymous said...


Get used to these crap performances!! We hardly created a decent chance all game! We don't have anyone to fill van persies place.....its as simple as that. Eduardo's form is not good and is unable to hold the ball up in the same way van persie can, so the current system just breaks down! I said when he got injured it would be the end of our title challenge and anything other than a win next week against chelsea and my worst fears will be realised!! (a bit sooner than i had anticipated I must admit)

Anonymous said...


Get used to these crap performances!! We hardly created a decent chance all game! We don't have anyone to fill van persies place.....its as simple as that. Eduardo's form is not good and is unable to hold the ball up in the same way van persie can, so the current system just breaks down! I said when he got injured it would be the end of our title challenge and anything other than a win next week against chelsea and my worst fears will be realised!! (a bit sooner than i had anticipated I must admit)

Unknown said...

Enough whining! back to the drawing board for wenger. Wenger is an excellent coach but always seems to have selection problems when not playing with his fav 11. for the game against chelsea, considering they have huge defenders and we dont have any physical presence in attack, wenger should go with 2-3 skilfull and fast box players so we could win a penalty considering the rash bullies chelsea have in defense. a solid midfield should do the trick..I'd still suggest a 4-4-2 variation for now until RVP thoughts.

Unknown said...

my team for chelsea would be




----------Eduardo -------Vela

Senderos: for height
walcott/wilshere for pace, leaving chelsea to commit fouls(Essien, terry)
Eduardo/arshavin/vela for skill

Anonymous said...

I used to have respect for this blog, but your statements are just ridiculous and untrue.
S uyou think Traore had a good game? hehe. Watch the game again buddy.

Unknown said...

i got to comment on something someone else said first, wilshere for pace? sorry hes got simular pace to cesc.
who in the arsenal team is a winger? Arshavin, rosicky, nasri and wilshere all play best behind the striker.
theo is a striker. eboue is a deffender.we dont play a system with wingers, we play wide midfeilders like beckham is, wingers run with the ball, we dont have a player like that. Arshavin does sometimes but he runs through the centre.

after a week of me praising Song this season, i have to say he had a poor game, because he had no space or time on the ball.

i still think out team is best with Rosicky init, he seems to get cesc to perform better.

nasri can really be inaffectual in games, last season he had a 50/50 season.

i think our confidence was a little low because we knew rvp was the player on form and we didnt have anyone who could get on the ball, and pick a pass on the edge of the box or make a good run then have a powerful shot

MY team for the chelsea game.

Sagna Gallas vermalen Eboue

song diaby

Arshavin Rosicky

il explain it, eboue for experience.
song and diaby for protection
cesc as the play maker
arshavin to cut in and cause problems, maybe get him to swap flanks with rosicky so he can attack Boswinga. Eduardo because he is a neat striker in the 6 yard box like Ruud Van Nistorooy was in his prime

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