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A Lack of Variety Kills Arsenal's Title Challenge

The defeat to Manchester City suffered the same attacking fate that seems to be the norm when teams play Arsenal; park the defense in front of the box with two banks of four and The Gunners will fail to score. It is common knowledge that if you let Arsenal play you will get beaten therefore the tactic applied by ‘weaker’ clubs. When Arsenal play bigger sides the game is usually more open which allows us to play our normal game and hence why the Champions League provides us a better chance winning.

Arsenal are not expected to roll over every team but recent failures against teams such as Sunderland and Hull were emphatically put away by Chelsea (5-0 and 4-0) and Man United (4-3 v Hull). These two sides never have to change their style whoever they play even if these clubs defend for the whole game. However when the Gunners play them there is talk of us needing to change our style to break them down.

As an aspiring coach I would say I come from the same school of coaching as Arsene Wenger but the current side lacks the dynamism and inventiveness of the Invincibles and even the team last year who came so close to winning the title.

Arsenal have some of the most technically gifted players in the Premiership and against City they showed just that; passing the ball around hoping to find a gap in the defence. However there was no penetration; no other way round getting through the defence and by putting men in front of the box City knew what they had to do to stop Arsenal from scoring. As a result more energy and players was used (full backs) and when City got the ball could counter attack as those players had committed themselves forward. The wingers are not natural wingers but their unwillingness to attack the full back was a problem as crosses could not be delivered. The Man City players knew this and so did the Arsenal strikers. It is evident that the strikers have a lack of confidence when the ball reaches wide areas that they don’t gamble in the box.

And what about shooting from outside the box. Some people say Frank shoots too often, but he says he does it to force a defender to come and block him. If they don’t, he has a crack and if they do, then he can slip in a forward in the vacant space. The defenders’ mind, for a split second will be that a shot is going to be co their way, drawing them out and creating space.

So much is expected of Cesc Fabregas and now that Hleb has left the secondary creative is needed. Hleb’s superior dribbling ability could take defenders out and create space for others. You can almost say he was the type of player who assisted the assister.

If you look at the clubs Arsenal have dropped points off this season the matches all followed the same formula and in truth the Gunners should have maximum points. Fulham, Hull, Aston Villa, Man City. Stoke and Tottenham you can maybe argue played differently from the others. Sometimes we made our way round the defensive tactics such as against Everton or West Ham but overall it has cost us.

Arsenal have some great players still to come back from injury; Adebayor, Sagna, Eduardo, Rosicky and Walcott who can change the fortunes of the club and add more variety. The Gunners were so close to winning the title last season and only a couple more changes in personnel were required to take the Gunners’ to the next step. Maybe next season then.

For more opinion pieces and Arsenal news visit The Arsenal Column.

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supergunner07
11 years ago

Totally agree Cris, we are not using that wing position enough either side of the penalty box enough, also the full back must gamble to go past the wingers hence make more space to cross and finally too many individualism, the full back and their wingers must play together by playing 1-2s round opposition’s full back to get crosses in as well. Ist thing in the morning, 1st touch drills for GH, good luck to him but Robinho’s goal is something he would have been taught many times, when there is no pressure on the person making the pass, you… Read more »

Neil
Neil
11 years ago

lol

ya there’s always next year! … where have i heard this before!

The Brain
11 years ago

I still refuse to give up but it’s dissapointing.

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[…] of Nicklas Bendtner’s boots.I also produced an article highlighting a lack of variety here on Goonertalk so head over if you want to read […]

fin
fin
11 years ago

the most technicaly skillfull but also most cowardly ,spineless, big headed bunch of fairies ever to don the arsenal shirt. hang ur heads in shame and get the fuk out of arsenal u big time charly greedy mercinaries

utk
utk
11 years ago

Thats because unlike last year where Flamini Diarra and Gilberto were ready to fight physically for a ball Denilson and Cesc get muscled off the ball very easily.. If u have seen the goals we have conceded barring yesterday most of them have been because the player hasnt been pressured from central mid field while running at the defence. I can name atleast 7 goals like that which we have conceded straight through the middle.. We are calling out for a player who can mantain his positioning and allow the rest to play ahead of him doesnt have to be… Read more »

jon
jon
11 years ago

you lot are atrocious. I fancy the arse ladies would get a point against you

brdgunner
brdgunner
11 years ago

Its nice to read an anlysise of the game rather than Aersne is a wanker or some other Sun sponsered unrealated rant. To many “football pundits” give more of an opinion on what they think of people rather than the football being played. The papers are the worst for it. Cheers mate. COME ON THE GUNNERS

Ash
Ash
11 years ago

We lack the quality to play the passing game we want so we have to vary our play more & fight to win games but can this bunch of fight?. I dont see any fight in the team that played last saturday Last season we were so close but we look so far behind the top 3 this season that I was supporting Utd against Villa!. The team has really stagnated and its all down to Wenger. As Hansen says when we dont play well we just lose. Last season we beat City with crosses and headed goals by Adebayor.… Read more »

Indyfan
Indyfan
11 years ago

As a long life diehard Tottenham fan let me give you a few kind words (such as you will never give us). It’s a long season, you have a lot of talent (too bad it’s mostly foreign, but that’s your problem)and you still have a chance of keeping your fourth place in the PL. Key to your success is Adebayor – he damn nearly left your club this year, and if he gets sold off you’re in big trouble.So give him whatever he wants or you are heading downwards in the league. Not that I would mind that, of course:)… Read more »

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