Finally an actual solution to the problem that is Arsenal – Part 2

If you were Wenger..

If you were in charge at Arsenal Football Club (Part 2)

Firstly, you’ll need to read Part 1 for this to make sense, if you haven’t already.

So…,

Mikel Arteta is my manager.

Arsène Wenger has said Mikel Arteta could take up a coaching role with Manchester City. Photograph: Getty

Lots of swanky signings!

 

Money returned in sales, some controversial.

 

Club now has a breath of fresh air on the side-line and on the pitch.

The board are happy because our player with the highest re-sell value isn’t Carl Jenkinson anymore!

Here’s hoping there is a new plan on the field to reinvigorate the club…

Warning: This should have happened in 2008. You may weep with joy at some of these suggestions 😉

General plan…

 

Arsenal will remain a team playing on the front foot.

We will now do it with a smarter plan in order to create more clear cut opportunities *whilst protecting the potential counter attack.

*you can weep at that one, it’s been at least 9 years!

 

The details are…

 

  1. Formation, line up and strategy

The low block (West Ham/Huddersfield etc…), we will play 3-2-3-2.

 

Bench… Ospina, Mustafi, AMN, Fekir, Ceballos, Wilshere, Nketiah

 

In years to come, coaches will look back on this era and either wonder why teams used full backs as wingers/didn’t play wingers as full backs/didn’t spend hours on the practice field working on full backs ability to beat a man and cross.

 

My first formation change would be to drop the full backs to the bench or play them in the back 3.

No more trusting the Gael Clichy’s of this world to be a winger.

No more.

*Against the low block you must go wide.

*more happy weeping.

 

So, isn’t it logical that if this is your ‘Plan A’ then you don’t rely on players out of their comfort zone to be your main threat?!?!

We wonder why Hector receives on the wing and passes to the side!

The wingers will receive wide, not inside. Maybe Alexis would have had more success this season if he received the ball 1 on 1 rather than 1 on 5!

 

Second formation change would be to have 2 forwards in the box, not Giroud or Lacazette vs the world. Who ever thought that 1 CF vs a low block of 7 players was going to lead to multiple clear cut chances!

Arsene Wenger does 😳

Giroud has obvious flaws but he is also one of the best one touch finishers around.

I have more faith that Mahrez /Fekir and Zaha can deliver quality rather than the full backs.

Faith in Zaha

Third change…the central midfielders have flexibility. One goes, one MUST stay and protect the counter.

With 3-2-3-2, you keep 3 true defenders back, not 2 and an area akin to ‘no man’s land without the mines!’

One of your CM’s stays in that ‘no man’s land.’

 

  1. Teams that come to play (Liverpool/Chelsea etc) we play 4-3-3

Bench… Ospina, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Wilshere, Fekir, Giroud

 

In the bigger games it’s the midfield that determines dominance.

You need 3 midfielders.

So, in this system I’d play Ozil in the 3 and encourage him to move into the 10 position as the ball moves between the other midfielders. Harder to detect.

Harder to detect in 3

I’d want Meunier to overlap but not Monreal. I’d ask Zaha to be more direct, attack the outside of the full back and cut in.

Arsenal don’t counter well under Wenger. Too many passes and a tendency to kill the attack (and allow opponents to get in shape) with a sideways pass. No more.

Keep 3 at back but take advantage of Mahrez cutting inside and having option to reverse it to RB.

You do this early in the game, drawing a defender to follow Meunier and therefore giving Mahrez more room for magic for majority of game. Both go with Mahrez, reverse it.

I’d encourage wingers to run with the ball early, don’t attract a crowd or wait for rush hour!

The closer CM supports behind but with the tactical eye to stopping counter if winger gets tackled.

 

The other main attacking change will be cheeky!

 

I’ve always thought that a team’s attacking strategy should primarily be based on two points…

  1. a) Figure out what your opponent is most uncomfortable with.
  2. b) Do you have the players in right areas to take advantage of this?

 

My opinion is that crossing in the air is what most 6 ft. 2 CB’s are hoping you do. Even if you’ve got a CF of equal size. They’ve got two.

Most defenders panic when you have a winger run at them at speed, with skill, get in the box and cut them off.

 

Every full backs nightmare. Every crowds dream.

 

They are running backwards, afraid to tackle then you take all their options away when you run directly in their space and slow down.

Penalty city!

If you don’t get a penalty, you attract another defender from in front of the goal.

In the 3-2-3-2 in particular you may now have a 2 on 2 situation in front of goal IF your winger has been direct.

 

Current Arsenal do the opposite to what I’d do.

They make opponents love them.

They slow attacks down, allow them to get two banks in shape, cut inside too early into congestion and play insanely tight combinations/dinks where space is almost zero (we all love the Wilshere vs Norwich gif but shouldn’t be Plan A).

Can’t be Plan A

The above might work if they cut inside and shot, but we all know that when you join Wenger FC you get sat down and lectured about the daily spankings that happen at Colney for players who shoot from outside the box!

The rest of the ideas for NEW Arsenal will have to wait for Part 3.

 

Would love your feedback!

Where’s Wilshere? Your 3-2-3-2 is from the 50’s!

 

My fingers hurt and I know you are getting dizzy reading this 😊

 

@mike_mmcdonald

 

Check out my first post too..

2 Responses to Finally an actual solution to the problem that is Arsenal – Part 2

  1. Michael Piper January 5, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed the tactical analysis. Would be exciting to see a change in our attacking plan, particularly against teams that park the bus against us. Great read.

  2. Aya January 6, 2018 at 12:40 am #

    Sorry but Zaha in the squad totally ruined everything for me. To add to that no Wilshere or Ramsey, it’s just ludicrous.
    The rest of it I would agree with you

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