No more 1-0 to the Arsenal?

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by vin de guerre, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. vin de guerre

    vin de guerre New Member

    How Gunners suffer from deep defence

    Ron Atkinson
    Monday December 22, 2003
    The Guardian

    Arsenal seem to have adopted a policy when 1-0 up of 'What we have we hold.' The trouble is they are defending so deep they invite a lot of pressure in their penalty box, and Bolton aren't the first team to benefit.
    Henrik Pedersen's equaliser highlighted the danger to Arsenal of continually retreating into their own area, but they should already have learned the lesson. It was similar against Leicester after they went down to 10 men, and let in a late goal there.

    The old Arsenal back line made a point of holding the edge of the box. This team must take that on board if they are to carry on trying to put the emphasis on retaining an advantage.

    That way opposition strikers have to worry about being caught offside, anything too high runs through to the keeper, and clearing headers land further from goal than the 18 yards or so which gave Pedersen his strike.

    Two of that famous Arsenal back five are still at the club in Martin Keown and Steve Bould, maybe they could put on some sessions. George Graham used to do that four or five times a week.

    Bolton played really well and deserved a point, but at 1-0 Arsenal handed them the initiative too easily.

    They replaced Dennis Bergkamp with Ray Parlour, leaving Thierry Henry alone up front. They'd have been better bringing on Nwankwo Kanu, who holds the ball up and relieves pressure.

    But they also dropped so deep that they conceded a lot of corners and allowed Bolton long throws from dangerous areas. The equaliser illustrated the problem.

    As soon as Emerson Thome hit the free-kick, Sol Campbell and Pascal Cygan were retreating. They invited Bolton into the box, and when Cygan could only get a weak header under pressure, Pedersen finished brilliantly.

    They should have held the edge of the box. Youri Djorkaeff and Kevin Davies would have been wary of running into the area in case they were offside. If Thome's free-kick had been long Jens Lehmann could have claimed it, and even a weak header by Cygan would have been harder to score from, because the ball would have landed further out.
  2. vin de guerre

    vin de guerre New Member

    This is worth a read and a bit of a think about. Where is the problem?
    Is it as people like Henry_14 would have you think in the personel ie Gilberto and Cygan. Or do we have a gaping hole in Wengerball to be sorted out? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
  3. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    I think he's dead right. When we go 1 goal up in a tight match we sit back and defend. I think we should look at Man Utd on how to defend leads properly. They just go about their normal business and don't invite the teams to attack. He made a very good point about how our defenders should hold their line further up the pitch. IMO this is the weakness about Wenger and the team.
  4. beaney

    beaney New Member Trusted

    yep, i agree. we always seem to do this. we let ourselves down by inviting the pressure then buckling!!

    it would be o.k. if we could hold onto a lead but we simply cant! we should keep playing our normal game until the final whistle, it works that way, it doesnt the other
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Ron wtf are you doing your EX Man U ;D
  6. Jinn

    Jinn New Member Elite

    We need to just hold possession in their half and wait for an opening. It's no good sitting back and waiting to counterattack.

    Sometimes it works, like against Blackburn, but sometimes the pressure gets to us and we concede.
  7. Mbaki Mutahaba

    Mbaki Mutahaba New Member Trusted

    The difference here is naturally we can't just keep possession for long periods of time without making that dart forward to curve an opening, which then exposses our defense. Manure holds the ball without threatening the other opposition for loong periods of time. We have the players with skills to do that but we just don't do it enough. Remember the last game we played against Manure away? Thats how to do it. Just keep the ball away from them. We didn't create **** but neither did they cos we never gave them the ball. Spaniard teams excell in this arena. Basically even if you are not creating chances as long as you keep the ball away from the opposition we can still hold on to our lead and relieve the pressure.

    But if we do that against bolton, leicester..then we accuse Wenger of giving too much respect to those teams. I feel for our team. Thats the problem having too much talent. Everyone believes we have players who can adjust to any tactic(and rightly so cos our players have shown that) so once one tactic fails we claim(like right now) we should be using the other tactic. Those who are critisizing us now were praising us early on when we were grinding out results without playing too well.

    All in all we are doing O.K. There will always be games like last Saturday. Its O.K to be disappointed,mad..but lets not look too much on where to blame..cos thenn you will always find a someone to blame..whether it be Gilberto, Cygan, Wenger...
  8. JazzG

    JazzG New Member Elite

    I stopped reading right there ;)

    When we go 1-0 up we need to go and get the 2nd. Teams are usually rattled when we get one so thats the time to kill em off, we need to play football. This is not the old Arsenal where we have a team full of defensive players, this is an attack minded team.

    We need to hold onto the ball and just play football! No need to let them onto us, if they do attack then we need to hold our line, keep pressing them back, when they lose the ball then suddenly counter attack. It worked for us well in the past. Once we are 2 or 3 ahead then we can sit back and take them apart with only counter attacks.

    Also might be time to bring some fighters back into the team, players like Keown and Parlour who are always up for it.

    Another thing we shouldn't forget is that a foul could of been given for Davies backing into Cygan to stop him headering the ball and they scored a wonder goal. It is not like our defence fell apart as some are making it out....
  9. Adam

    Adam New Member Elite

    Yes, in the double season we were very good away from home at getting a quick second goal. This year not so. We used to be at our most dangerous when 1-0 up due to our counter attack.

    We tend to rely on our defence too much nowadays when we take a 1-0 initiative. And as Ron says - we defend too deep when we have to.

    Ever see Keown waving his arms pushing up the defence? Yes, he does that alot. Cygan and Campbell haven't perfected the art as yet. More importantly - i hope Kolo and Sol do.

    The reason we play deep is also when Cygan is in the team. He can't rely on recovery pace like Kolo would so this pins us even further back.

    And when we aren't pressurising high up into the other side of the pitch; we aren't playing Wengerball.
  10. Alexone234

    Alexone234 New Member

    We defended so high up he pitch against Inter but we could rely on the fact that Inter would attack. We can't rely on other sides attacking so readily, which means we defend a little deeper so we have a bit more space to draw the opposition out. THe problem is that we don't change this once we have lost the ball.

    It was these kind of results last season that lost us the Prem, the difference being that last season we hit form and lost it, this season we have done enough not to lose games, and win many without every being in top gear. Pires, Freddy, Vieira are all trying to come into form, and when they do we will be purring once more.
  11. vin de guerre

    vin de guerre New Member


    It's a shame you could not push yourself to read on! You may understand that Big Ron was saying that at present we are laying off and letting teams get back the initiative rather than going for a second and pressing up to avoid a dodgy no mans land around the penalty area.
  12. Mark

    Mark New Member Elite

    we need to score a second, defending one goal leads is too much of a risk. i really hope we learn from this, i thought we'd learn from the leicester game but apparently not.
  13. wiltord11

    wiltord11 New Member

    thing that annoys me is that Arsène wenger was annoyed last season that we were 1 - 0 in like 11 games and drew most of them and we starting to do the same again
  14. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    It's not as bad as it might seem. This season in the league we've won 6 games by one goal. And up until the Leicester game every game that we scored first in we won. The only two games that we've failed to hold leads were against Leicester and Bolton, which of course are the games we remember the most.
  15. Jinn

    Jinn New Member Elite

    It's important that we have two ways to defend a 1-0 lead. This season's experiences in the Champions League has given us belief in our own defence - that we can hold out and shut up shop for opposing attackers. This approach has enabled us to grind out results.

    The second approach that we hardly ever see anymore is that counter-attacking style. The one where we burst forward from defending a corner and four passes later, Henry is passing it into the goal.

    We need to be able to decide which approach to use and perhaps even combine the two so that we don't throw away our leads. One of these days, a 1-0 to us could turn into a 1-2. Now that would be a disaster.
  16. satan_beckham

    satan_beckham New Member

    what the article says is true but by playing cygan with no pace,if he goes to far up,a pacey striker would caught him and go on to score too...And i must say man u did very well in this aspect,they never stop to give the pressure unlike us,thats why they can beat teams 4-0,5-0 unlike us where we keep winning 2-1...or 1-0.And have anyone notice,every game for the first starting 20 mins we will always play very badly,keep defending,then after that we come off that,that is also a problem...

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