Showing posts with label tactics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tactics. Show all posts

24 April 2017

About this 3-4-3 of ours, is it the Arsènor's New Clothes?

It was a shift borne of desperation. Having conceded 25 goals across nine fixtures, some kind of shake-up was desperately needed, if only for the sake of shaking things up. After all, it's one thing to conceded five to Bayern. It's quite another to concede three to West Brom. Or again to Crystal Palace. Whatever the case, the shake-up had to happen. The only real question was whether this would happen in the squad or the front-office. With Arsenal's fortunes fading fast, we at least got the former. Whether the latter is still necessary is an open question. For now, let's take a closer look at how well this 3-4-3 worked. After all, we won two in a row for the first time since January. Surely, there's something in it?

18 August 2015

Ramsey reveals where I got it wrong...

After the Crystal Palace result, I, like many other keyboard-warriors gave considerable stick to Aaron Ramsey for his apparent inability or refusal to stay wide-right despite starting as the nominal right-wing in our 4-2-3-1. I even included a photo with snarkly caption mocking him for popping up on the left, further to the left at times, in fact, than either Özil or Alexis. Surely, this reflects Ramsey's new, me-first' attitude, spawned of his glorious 2013-14 campaign when he scored more goals than he'd scored his previous eight professional seasons. Gone, apparently, was the team-first attitude and sacrifice for which he'd become known. In its place, ostensibly had arisen a shoot-first, dodge-questions later gunslinger who would just as soon shoot from forty yards as pass to an open teammate twice as close to goal. According to Aaron, I have it all wrong. Wouldn't be the first time...

02 February 2015

Who are you and what have you done with Arsène?

Seriously. What is going on here? For the fourth straight Prem match, we've failed to dominate possession to the extent we're used to. We've scored the first goal and kept a clean sheet each time on our way to winning three in a row. What's more, we seem to have abandoned an approach that had become just as much a calling card as it was a curse. On this recent run (which also includes FA Cup wins over Hull and Brighton), we've set that card aside and seem to be playing with an entirely new deck. Arsenal, previously and justifiably derided for trying to pass the ball into the net, have been conceding possession to opponents and hitting on quicksilver counterattacks, and to devastating effect, especially in the second half against Villa. It's enough to make one wonder just where it all comes from.

19 January 2015

Man of the Match? Arsène. None other than Arsène.

Amidst all of the Coq-stroking and Cazorla canoodling, it seems we've overlooked someone who deserves just a touch of credit for the result on Sunday. Let's revisit that result for a minute, shall we? After all, it was a clean-sheet win at the Etihad, something that Man City haven't experienced since, well, since October 2010 when they lost Arsenal. For as much as we've lauded the performance of Cazorla and Coquelin, among many others, it's well-worth reminding ourselves of the man who conjured this in the first place: Arsène Wenger. Never known for his tactical nous, he showed his critics that he does in fact know how to select a squad and set up tactics that can deliver results, even in difficult situations.

18 January 2015

Coq's out, lads! Francis Coquelin took this one by the scruff!

We haven't seen such a complete, confident, determined, disciplined performance from Arsenal in some time, and to think that at its center—both literally and figuratively—was a man dubbed one of the Bundesliga's "flops of the season" a year ago during his loan-spell with SC Freiburg beggars belief. None of this is to say
that we can now put away the chequebook and blithely entrust our defensive midfield needs to the man, but it was indeed refreshing to see someone on the pitch who could deliver the bite, the tenacity, the snarl, that we've so often lacked. He may not be Vieira's heir, but he laid to rest a number of questions that lingered after similarly confident performances against lesser sides. I hereby suggest that we continue to doubt him rather than laud him.

10 January 2015

Tale of the Tactical Tape: Bojan vs. Alexis

Sunday brings us one the of the Prem's sharpest contrasts in style, with Arsenal offering flittery, ballerina-esque, elvish dancers who can dance with the ball as if their shoelaces are interlaced with the ball's stitches and seams, and with Stoke lumbering about with Cro-Magnon men hoofing it forward to Golem-like, moai-esque attackers, hoping that the ball will somehow find its way to the back of the net. It worked well enough in early December when Stoke pummeled Arsenal into oblivion, scoring three times in the first 45 minutes, and a shell-shocked Arsenal very nearly crumbled to dust. As both sides prepare for Sunday's clash, then, it's only natural to assume that we'll see a similar clash between Elves and Orcs. It's the script each side has been handed, isn't it? And yet...

18 October 2014

Arsenal are living on borrowed time after that execrable excuse

I'm too tired to be as angry as I supposed I should be. The match against Hull was supposed to provide us an opportunity to start building momentum, to start salting away points and climb the table. Instead, we barely escaped by the skin of our collective teeth thanks to a magical, magnificent effort from one player. We nicked a point. At home. Against Hull. In stoppage-time. The concerns and attendant excuses are growing too numerous too, er, enumarate, and it makes little sense to miss the forest for the trees. Aside from a ten-minute stretch against Aston Villa and a longer stretch against Galatasaray, we're looking feeble and toothless.

29 September 2014

Tactical Analysis: Set-pieces, zonal marking, and counter-attacks

As we prepare for Galatasaray on Wednesday and look to Chelsea on Sunday, a palpable sense of dread hovers in the air. But for a few inches on Saturday, a sharply driven header from Mertesacker would have bathed him and glory and perhaps won us the NLD. It was one bright spot in a match full of headaches, namely, how often we tried to head in. Fifteen corner kicks.Why do we do it? Why, when we bemoan our own vulnerability in conceding from set-pieces on our end, do we insist on trying to score from them at the other end? It's high-time that we set aside this silly set-piece situation and attack with greater purpose—which will allow us to defend in greater depth along the way.