Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

‘One nil to the Arsenal’ form George Graham to Arsene Wenger?

By 1970's Gooner

It was of course very refreshing and encouraging to see the way Arsenal deployed themselves against Chelsea. Enthusiasm, running, commitment but above all being as good off the ball as on it.

In previous encounters with the bigger teams Arsene would line up with the same old gang ho tactics. We will play our game whatever, was his motto. That's why we usually got thumped 5s and 6s. The only other occasion he changed his tactics to good effect was for the away 2 0 win at Man City a few years back.

The other reason for this performance at Chelsea was that dozy Ozil was not on the team sheet. He presence and style of play does not make for the type of tactics employed at Chelsea.

He holds onto the ball and slides passes through. His contribution can only be maximised in an Arsenal that dominates the play and needs to break down a defence.

But when we face the strong teams, who put pressure and do not leave you any space, he becomes largely ineffective. He also does not contribute when the team is off the ball and has to win it back. 

The big question is : Will Wenger now continue with this formation AND personnel ?

This team has shown that it can do the business when off the ball. It can hold positions, mark tightly at the back and across the field and be as dirty as required to stop the opponent from playing their game.

But it also has an extra attribute. It can do it in style. It has players who can be elegant on the ball. It can play a tight game but can also create chances, good chances to win these games. They could have scored against Chelsea on several occasions (the most obvious one was Laca's wild miss..)

In the George Graham era ( I am a 1970's Gooner after all) we would go to Highbury and we knew the players would be up for it, fighting for every ball when they were out of possession. And we would more often than not get a goal at the other end.

But this team can do this job stylishly, with skill and elegance.

'One nil to the Arsenal' can be our way back to the future.