Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by The_Roadrunner, Jan 19, 2015.
Fair enough, seems likely enough, but any actual stats?
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"Referring to the 2005 FA Cup, Auclair writes: 'Arsenal won, but that victory tasted sour to their manager, who promised he would never compromise his principles again.'
And boy did Arsène keep his promise. He had realised that his depleted line-up in the 2005 final had no chance of beating Manchester United playing their own game, and therefore would have to employ stifling, reactive tactics and hope to emerge victorious. Which they did."
IIRC AW said something along the lines that he'd rather not win again than do so playing negative football.
Further to this according to what he said about the game prior to the FA Cup Final last season the idea that he compromised his principles as described, is one of the biggest and enduring myths of his tenure at AFC. AW said that there were no instructions to sit deep, but that they were unable to do anything else because of the intensity of ManU's pressing game. For mind it sounds very much like what we have seen this season in the NLD & v C Palace.
I suspect that performance in 2005 effectively signalled the beginning of the end of both The Invincibles and their style of play, and the CL Final loss the following season was the last hurrah.
AW's response to being dominated was to look to play possession style and to look to improve the overall technical quality of the team to better retain possession. He also changed to a 3 man midfield to provide numbers in lieu of any genuine physical capability as the possession passing collective era began.
^ If he knew that he'd not win another trophy again for another 9 years, I wonder if he'd have said something like that at the time. In 2005 we'd been serial trophy winners for 5 years.
Moanrinho deployed a 3 man midfield on his way to winning the 2004 CL & the 2005 League title. I think it was more a case of moving with the times when Wenger changed to the 3 man midfield-it also allowed him to be a more possession based team. He didn't move to a 3 man midfield until 2008 though (I think)
Jan 2009 IIRC.
I'm not saying that he made the changes immediately or all at once, but IMO that FA Cup performance signalled the end of The Invincibles as both a squad and style.
PV was sold in the summer and Fabregas became a starting player in midfield and the transition to a slower more precise possession style began. Direct players like Ljungberg struggled to have an impact & AW started recruiting more mobile defenders.
In 07/08 we looked to play out from the back down the flanks using the CMs to create passing triangles with the FBs and Wingers in the 442. In the 08/09 season we started paying 442 with our CMs being Fabregas - Denilson/Diaby/Song & we lacked the strength & experience to impose our style, so AW
changed to a 3 man midfield to provide strength in numbers rather than an individual defensive role - and the midfield has been crap since season 08/09.
The leopard hasn't changed his spots.
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Giroud's second-half opener came following a swift counter-attack after Arsenal had soaked up plenty of pressure.
Wenger, though, expects to see his team always stay on the front foot.
"I wanted the team to continue to attack, because we are not a team that can sit off and wait for the teams who commit and get them only on the break
We need to master possession and we did that well," Wenger told Arsenal Player.
This is an excellent analysis of the FA Cup match:
<a class="postlink" href="http://spielverlagerung.com/2015/03/10/manchester-united-1-2-arsenal/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://spielverlagerung.com/2015/03/10/ ... 2-arsenal/</a>
Mostly I think it highlights that 4231 is probably still our best formation to maximize our players potential.
It also seems like our pressing is getting better and more organized at least against United which is admittedly a disorganized side.
There has been some talk recently in the match threads and Coq's thread about him needing to develop some more DLP qualities or that someone like Verrati would be ideal for us.
I completely disagree with that sentiment and feel that Coquelin fits perfectly with what we have. I don't think we need a DLP type in our current formations.
Here is a great article on the Liverpool match that illustrates how our pressing scheme completely wrecked Rodger's 3-4-3
To me Coquelin's physical and instinctual qualities as a ball winner are essential here to why we wrecked Liverpool and why he was player of the match against Burnley. Those qualities are far more essential to providing the platform for our attacking players to perform well than even someone like Verrati.
Moving forward I think we need someone to backup Coquelin who is in the same mould. Kongdogbia seems like an even better fit than Schneiderlin at the moment.
I think we need to move forward with the ball winning midfielder midfield foundation instead of looking for a DLP type like Arteta.
It's a shout, but they need to be much more than passengers in possession. There'll be quicker transitions, but less security in possession.
In one sense that's true. Coquelin doesn't have the passing range or vision of a Pirlo or Verrati perhaps but thats less important imo.
I don't think it necessarily means less security in possession especially if we take the rest of the team into account. His passing accuracy is over 80% which should be fine for his position and he even does make some decent mid range diagonals occasionally.
Also I think Coq fits with the defensive line we have found this season. Bellerin drifts upfield a lot and can combine with Coq along with Caz/Ramsey and that provides a strong trio to retain possession. Monreal has been really good at staying back as a full back when Bellerin attacks which solidifies our defense as well instead of when we bombed both fullbacks up like wingbacks at times.
I think we need a mix of traits to have the most security in possession and like Henry points out having Le Cop on the pitch adds an element we don't have with Arteta or a less physically imposing DLP type like Verrati.
Coq has a decent passing range. He's not as consistent a passer, but he has good technique. He can play a pass for sure. Just sometimes his eagerness to release the ball leads to the occasional turnover.
Well, maybe less security isn't the right way to look at it, but our build-up play will overall be less effective depending on how we plan to set-up. If we're looking to dominate possession and attack as a team, then it's not ideal. If we're looking to squeeze the game and initiate faster, more co-ordinated attacks then Coq is certainly enough.
Coquelin defends laterally, which is why our full-backs look more secure than they have before. It's easy to argue that Coquelin is clearly a significant boost to our set-up defensively. 7amkickoff recently did a "By The Numbers" for Arseblog News, which shows that Coquelin (along with other returning players) have contributed to conceding less than half the amount of big chances as we did without Coquelin. The other side of that is that we are also producing less shots on goal. Our efficiency in front of goal has improved, which has masked the fact that we are statistically taking less shots.
Agree, we have a much tougher element with him there, harder to beat. But it does have an effect on our offensive performance. Not saying we have to have a DLP playing all the time, but it's useful to have someone who is both tactically aware offensively and defensively and aids our offensive strategy as much as defensive one.
Busquets is a perfect example. He's a good ball-winner, but he also adds so much to Barcelona's game going forward. Whether you like him as a player or not, he serves that function for Barca. Now, players like that don't fall out of the sky. So, we are left with a player who has not only performed admirably, but currently is pound for pound the best ball-winner in the league, possibly in Europe. But if he adds more to his game in the areas outlined, he'll be a more complete player and he will be more useful in possession - unless we are looking to use his style of play to our advantage and player quicker on the transition.
If so, then we need to have someone other than Cazorla playing next to him from time to time.
The problem with people wanting someone like Verrati or Pirlo who can play the quarterback role from deep is that you have to another midfielder to cover for their weaknesses. Juventus for example play without a No. 10 as do PSG.
An orthodox No. 10 is built into our style of play, it allows us to have someone between opposition lines and quicken play and score on the counter. Giroud in particular would struggle in a formation without one.
Players like Busquets, Alonso and Pogba who can combine many different midfield roles account for probably less than 1% of professional footballers. You can't just go out and buy any old player and ask him to do what they do. Is Schneiderlin that player? I don't think so.
This team is built around a world class No. 10 in Özil and adding a DLP wouldn't improve us, if anything it may well make us worse by effecting team balance. If Pogba is available I hope we'd buy him, otherwise get someone like Kondogbia. Maybe even Saul Niguez who will be able to do it all in a few years.
It all depends on what we, as a team, want to be going forward. Özil taking more responsibility on the ball is good, it means we have someone who can dictate the tempo of a game. Failing that, we need someone else who does if Özil has a bad day. Having such a player (DLP) in the squad would be useful. Even if they don't start every game. Most people seem to just want us to sign another ball-winner in case Coquelin gets injured - which is understandable I suppose!
It's possible that the club also want to grow their own Busquets/Alonso etc - someone who wins the ball and is diligent when either he or the team has the ball. All this does not mean Coquelin isn't important, but it's simply a means of seeing how the team progresses going into next season.
A DLP is useful I agree, but it's a position that is very hard to fill. Ones like Cabaye are ok options but they won't take the team forward and if played rather than Coq or Aaron would mean major changes to the team's style.
If anything I'd look at a DLP with a huge ceiling like Saul Niguez or an under-appreciated one in Illaramendi. They have the tools to be a multi-faceted midfielder which suits us better. Of course if Pogba's available, you have to buy him.
Pogba is awesome, but why is mentioned in a DLP/DM debate?
Would be great to get him, but chances are very slim. Besides we could spend thst huge amount of money more wisely, as Pogba isn't better than Rambo.
Probably because he has the ability to be dominant as a B2B DLP and even a DM.
We don't "need" a DLP in case Özil has an off game. That changes our whole style of play and if we had a technical, physically weak midget like Verrati as DLP then we would still need to cover that physicality and steel elsewhere in midfield anyway - and Ramsey, Cazorla and Wilshere can't do that.
While Verrati might sometimes be PSG's deepest midfield they still use two physical midfielders in Matuidi and Motta to cover that area. Coquelin is basically our only real physical midfielder with grit and steel. We need that more than a DLP considering the only other real physical players we have outside defense are Giroud and Welbeck and Giroud isn't as physical immense as he probably should be as a target man.
As I said, it would only depend on what we want going forward. If we want to be a side that builds up play slowly or quickly. Coquelin is probably better suited to the latter and we can compensate for his (slight) lack of tactical awareness in possession play. I actually think it would be better to stick to what we have with Coq as the holder, but I don't know if I'd sign another straight up ball-winner. It leaves us limited as to the option we use to play alongside Coq or play ahead of him occasionally.
Also, regardless of transition, we are currently creating less shots than usual, which indicates there's a very minor problem with our build up. We need someone alongside Coquelin IMO who is able to get the ball quickly to the final 3rd also. Cazorla hasn't really been doing that as much recently, probably because he's played quite a lot recently. Wilshere is probably the one who transitions quicker simply by carrying the ball, but I think he needs to stay out of the final third for now.
I'd sign Kondogbia personally, have always liked him. Big fan of Schneiderlin aswell though.
I was more a fan of a Schneiderlin signing until recently. Now I am coming around more to the idea of Kongdogbia or Illara. I think both, for different reasons, could be good additions as both could play if Coquelin is injured/needing rest, both could play with Le Cop if Ramsey is injured or for tactical reasons and neither would expect to be the main starter like a Schneiderlin, Bender or Cabaye would.
Also I could care less if we are creating less shots as usual if we are also more clinical as we have been.
It depends on the kind of shots we're producing and where those shots are occurring. More shots = more chances to score. If we're not having a particularly efficient day then we'll need to rely on that volume. That ability to easily create chances in the final 3rd and in particular the prime areas.
We have been more clinical recently so it hasn't mattered, let's hope it continues that way! Kondogbia or Illarramendi are two somewhat left-field options, and slightly different to each other. Kondogbia not quite as good a passer as Illarra but he has the size, power and dribbling ability to carry the ball and dominate a midfield when switched on. Bit like Diaby but slightly more defensive. He plays more B2B now, but he was pretty much a DM at Sevilla.
Illarra is as good a ball-winner, but more of a passer. He's definitely more Busquets than Alonso though, a defensive player but has the acumen to aid the team's attack simply by his positioning and intelligence. You get less power and height with Illarra but don't lose any of the defensive game.
Which one aids faster transitions to the final 3rd? Will have to analyze more of their play again.
The problem with the sheer volume of shots argument is that it ignores the type of shots that are taken. I would rather take 3 clear chances inside the box than 10 speculative 40m prayer bombs. I think we have found a good balance at the moment and that balance should be maintained as its more effective than any other balance we have found in a decade abouts.
I agree Illara and Kongdogbia have different qualities and are a bit different types of players. Using Wilson's terms I'd say Kongdogbia is more a destroyer/surger hybrid type who can play a physical b2b game while Illara is more a regista/ball winner type blend. I think both though could work with Coq or replacing him albeit in different ways.
I'd personally prefer Kongdogbia as he is more of a physical powerhouse and that is something I think we have sorely lack for years more than anything else. We need that physicality. A Verrati/Pirlo type DLP is definitely not going to make us better than we are.
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