Slow Starts

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by American_Gooner, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    Other than maybe the Liverpool game, the team has started slowly in every PL match:

    0-1 v Man City
    2-2 v Chelsea after a dreadful first 20 minutes down 2-0
    0-1 v West Ham
    1-1 v Cardiff after a bad mistake led to their goal on the stroke of HT
    0-0 v Newcastle with 0 shots on target in the 1st half
    0-0 v Everton with 0 shots on target in the 1st half
    0-0 v Watford, 1st shot on target comes at 38'
    1-1 v Fulham, just like against Cardiff a poor giveaway leads to a goal close to HT
    1-1 v Leicester, took 40 minutes to get going offensively
    0-1 v Crystal Palace, again 0 shots on target in the 1st half
    0-1 v Wolves, 0 shots on target in the 1st half

    Why does it take so long for the team to get going? Nearly every week, we see a toothless first half followed by an improvement in the second. During this winning streak they were able to overcome slow starts but the last few results have shown that they don't have an answer when Auba/Laca aren't clicking.

    Interested to see why people think this is.
    Godwin1 likes this.
  2. Ozil'sCloakOfInvisibility

    Ozil'sCloakOfInvisibility Not a Closet Spurs Fan

    My two cents is that it's somehow linked with the fullback situation. Under Emery most of our good buildup happens by creating overloads in the wide areas. In the first half, the opposition defences are switched on and with the press they either cut the pass to the fullbacks out or they track the runs and stay with the runners. In the second half, their fitness levels drop and Bellerin and Monreal/Kolasinac's constant bombing down the flanks start to pay rewards as their runs are not tracked. Think Emery really needs to figure out how to get the best out of Aubameyang, Özil, Iwobi/Mkhi. Cause we're really struggling to create anything through the central areas. People are saying we're overly reliant on Aubameyang and Lacazette, but I think we're more reliant on the full backs to get into advanced areas to put the ball on the plate for the former two.
    krackpot likes this.
  3. Mudi

    Mudi Well-Known Member

    Because we don't have a proper system yet?

    At the moment, we are winning on individual performances or on luck. If we don't have both, then we have games such as against Wolves or Palace.
  4. Rex Banter

    Rex Banter YNWA Trusted

    Think we play better obviously when the game gets stretched. Our team looks really good at picking opposition off when a few more gaps appear.

    I will say though the team looks to have a bit more mental strength in digging out results. Games in the last two years I’d have written us off after going one down. This year we’re never really out of it.
  5. blaze_of_glory

    blaze_of_glory Moderator Moderator

    Well I think the improved second half is down to Emery being very good at making adjustments and also the opposition tiring due to how we play. Even when not playing well we make other teams have to run a lot.

    But why we are so bad at actually getting anything to click properly in the first half is a hard one to nail down. We don't see the team train or prepare before games so can only guess there is some issue getting players focussed to start matches. Which really shouldn't be happening, and was also something we were struggling with under Wenger. Have to look at the players a bit there I think. They all show great fight to claw their way back once going down, but need to get that urgency from the start somehow.
    krackpot, DasBootist, asukru and 3 others like this.
  6. yousif_arsenal

    yousif_arsenal King of Twitter Rumours Moderator

    It's really starting to cost us im not surprised we have to play at least good attacking football for at least 20 at first half that what we usually do under start well for 25 minutes then save energy for remaining the half
  7. Tir Na Nog

    Tir Na Nog In Big Trouble If He Speaks

    We don't have the players to fully implement what Emery wants. It's easier to take advantage of lesser team when it's the second half and they're tiring, then the qualities of Özil, Laca and Auba can really shine but in general we just don't have the players to do what what Emery wants the team to play like and as a result we're just slow.

    In Emery's Sevilla you could see his plan clearly. A very active, aggressive CF. Two wide men who came inside who were very direct and skillful, a number 10 who acted as a number 8 to help control the games. Two full-backs who overlapped and provided end product, helped contribute to the build up. At the moment we have Lacazette who's link up is good but possibly at times doesn't stretch the backlines enough and isn't really aggressive enough with his runs, Auba who's nowhere near the type of wide man Emery wants but his scoring ability means he has to start, Iwobi who's very hit and miss tho does have a lot of potential. Özil who's not really the Banega type number 10/8 but I suppose he's not really a major problem as he still has a lot of good qualities for the role. Then we've got a 33 year old left-back who shouldn't be relied on anymore with a fridge as his understudy.

    In the first half of games Auba on the left, Laca with his tendency to drop deep and Iwobi easy to show on the inside from the right (or Mkhi being very sloppy at times) it's quite straight forward in terms of defending against. In the second half teams tire a bit and it's easier to find spaces to harm opponents and in the end the quality shines through.
  8. freeglennhelder2

    freeglennhelder2 Well-Known Member

    We need a gifted conductor in the centre of the park to allow the orchestra to engage in some crispy, energetic allegro gameplay.

    Do we possess such a player? :lol:
  9. Godwin1

    Godwin1 Very well-known

    I got lambasted after I made a post in the Xhaka thread alluding to his performances if judged on the first half only he'd probably be one of our worst performers. And inevitably directly after that he gave the best performance of his Arsenal career to date.

    Obviously the issue is more far reaching than him, I can only echo what many of the above posts have stated. I think it's probably easier to set up against a stronger team with a game plan designed to counter their strengths than it is to impose our own game plan on lesser opposition when the midfield isn't ticking.
    Gooner416, asukru, Rex Banter and 2 others like this.
  10. Godwin1

    Godwin1 Very well-known

    Özil isn't a classic playmaker in that sense though he does posses the ability to do that and has moved more towards that role in this season and last season.
  11. Aevi

    Aevi Hands down best mod -Trilly (probably) Moderator

    I reckon fitness levels are a part of it. It was clear fitness was a big part of our preseason preparations, and the difference between us and other teams was pretty noticeable early on in the season. The opponent got tired by the 50-60th minute, and our fresher players were then able to utilize that advantage. We've got more games than most teams now though, and as the season progresses, other players are getting back up to speed after their summer breaks.

    Other than that, Emery might just be good at finding ways to improve after seeing how the first half plays out, which is probably easier than predicting things beforehand.
    krackpot, Fallout, celestis and 2 others like this.
  12. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    Here's a break down of first half goals in Wenger's last season by the range of minutes:

    1-10: 7
    11-20: 7
    21-30: 5
    31-40: 7
    41-45: 3

    A decent amount of goals in the first 20, goes against the perception that the team started slow often
    Mrs Bergkamp, krackpot and celestis like this.
  13. L3T5 PL4Y

    L3T5 PL4Y Flair Accuser

    I think its our lack of actual wingers with pace and dribbling ability that's partly to blame. I mean if we had two genuinely good wide players stretching the pitch and breaking lines with dribbling the opposition teams would be pinned back allowing the striker/s to make runs between the cbs or the spaces between the fullbacks and cbs. That would force the opponent to consider whether to protect themselves or to commit forward and put pressure on us. One pacey fullback in Bellerin isn't going to cut it.

    The other thing is a lack of a top CB physically dominant as well as capable with the ball at his feet. Apart from the obvious advantages that would bring we would have a player capable of dictating the game from behind and bypassing the central areas with forward with ease by himself.

    The other issue imo is Xhaka. He has good qualities and good games from time to time but he is just too sluggish and mistake prone putting the team under pressure as he needs extra protection. The team as a whole is forced to sit deeper while his lack of agility actually causes our transition from defence to attack or vice versa to slow down. Even if its seconds or a few steps farther or behind, that is enough to make all the difference.

    Another issue is the use of a specialist no.10 where a more rounded midfield player in a balanced role could be more beneficial to the team in all 4 phases of play.
    Tir Na Nog likes this.
  14. progman07

    progman07 Well-Known Member

    Interesting statistic to be fair, that's 29 goals out of the 74 in total, it will probably be lower this season. Do you also have a stat about how many points we would have won based on 1st half results?
  15. arsmile

    arsmile Well-Known Member

    i feel like- we are getting by on fitness and mindset

    we aren't winning because of a great tactical set up or play

    we are winning because we are fitter than other teams- so they tire in the final 15 and we take advantage

    we are winning because we are not giving up/have a sense of confidence- so we just keep pushing until the opposition lose concentration and make mistakes in the final 15

    the pay off for those things never come up in the first half. They are not bad things- they are good things- but you want to match them with some kind of tactical method for creating chances in the first half to stop us having to rely on it!
  16. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    This is the 'first half table' so far:
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  17. asukru

    asukru Well-Known Member

    I agree with this! Id be interested to see you post what players you think we should get in to make Emery's tactics come alive more.
    Tir Na Nog likes this.
  18. celestis

    celestis Arsenal-Mania Veteran Moderator

    Not sure I believe all this too many things wrong with the squad gaff , we just had our best performance last week . This is a team Sp**s crushed a week ago .
    Honestly think today was down to the players , from kick off there was no urgency , sloppy thoughtless over the top balls and no movement up front at all . Doesn't take much of a drop at this level to get behind the eight ball in games .

    To me the glaring problem in the team is Auba on the right wing , we really need Iwobi on the left if he wasn't sadly injured Welbeck. Mkhi or even Ramsey on the right .
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    krengon and progman07 like this.
  19. Wryer

    Wryer Well-Known Member

    If we cast the results further back, i feel we probably will see a similar pattern starting 2-3 years ago. There's something rotten in the core which Emery is trying to cure. Whether it's complacency or lack of responsibility ownership. At the very least we are not losing games by half-time. But I agree this is a an urgent issue that needs to be fixed before we consider ourselves top 4 challengers.
  20. BobP

    BobP Memri Fan

    Not sure if we watched the same game.

    The game should have ended 4/5-3 in Wolves' favour.

    Agree with this 100%.

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