Thomas Partey

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Was about to post the same thing. Whenever we had possession, Xhaka dropped to LCB, Ceballos went to RM to cover Bellerin, and Partey was on his own in the middle. Clearly the game plan to bypass the middle at attack through the wings.

Didn't really work though, you need some kind of prescence in the centre to occupy their CMs, otherwise their spare men will go to where the danger is anyway.
Im watching Sp**s right now (33rd min). I dont know how the game is going to end but you can see some of their players dropping into the middle area / hole and occupying space there, so then they get a free man out wide because they are dragging Burnley players into the middle. Thats how it should be in my opinion.

Your play shouldn't always be going through your fullbacks as the main form of attack, it becomes too predictable. Your fullbacks may be good players but they aren't exactly wingers or creative mids, they shouldnt be the focal point of your attack.
 

Wryer

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Found it weird he wasn’t passed to.
Cebalos on that right side position was weird too.
Was just a weird game in general tbf. Much like City.

It looks more like our defenders were grinded and told to pass outwards to the flanks where we have more space. The team has basically been consumed by their lack of confidence in their own ability to play through tighter/risky spaces in central midfield. They have forgotten how to play through midfield, which was what Partey is asking for - for him to receive and break.

Very short phase of play that is saying quite a lot of things about the state of mind, confidence and tactics.
 

Makavelii

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Yeah we need an Aouar type who can receive the ball in tight areas and make things happen.
We don’t have a number 10 and it shows.
For now I’d be happy if we tried Willian or Saka there. Mikel just seems so conservative though.

I also think the current players are capable of doing this more. It’s obviously just not what we’re doing on the training pitch.
 

blaze_of_glory

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Yeah we need to get him on the ball if he's going to have the impact we all want, and we need to stop being afraid to play through the middle. Mikel needs to figure it out. Partey-Xhaka/Ceballos with Saka ahead of them should be at least tried imo.
 

Red London

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Yeah we need to get him on the ball if he's going to have the impact we all want, and we need to stop being afraid to play through the middle. Mikel needs to figure it out. Partey-Xhaka/Ceballos with Saka ahead of them should be at least tried imo.
We can do a 3 man midfield with Saka or even a 2 man midfield with Saka/Willian in front of them, there's options.

These non dynamic midfield 3 wont work, especially if they are so far away from each other.
 

blaze_of_glory

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We can do a 3 man midfield with Saka or even a 2 man midfield with Saka/Willian in front of them, there's options.

These non dynamic midfield 3 wont work, especially if they are so far away from each other.
Yeah I was very excited to see that three tried, but if it's going to work they can't be as far apart as they were. Maybe those three just won't work together at all, I dunno.
 

truth_hurts

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VERY telling! I remember when Ceballos first joined and he wanted the ball under pressure. An away day at Anfield last year and a couple of other tough games seem to have taken it out of his game a little.

Partey wants the ball under pressure as he knows its the way to draw opposition players out of position. This playing it along our backing and from left to right is so easy to defend against.
 

RandomHero84

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I'd like to see us try something like this in due time.

Auba
Martinelli Saka Willian/pepe
Xhaka Thomas
Tierney Gabriel whoever bellerin
Leno

I don't believe we can't carry the ball out of midfield. We just aren't attempting it. It's exactly one of Parteys key strengths, but we are opting not to do it. That team should be capable of FAR better attacking transitions than we are seeing.
 

Batman

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Because when you've had xhaka in midfield everyone is scared to pass the ball forward to th midfielders

With xhaka hopefully dropped we'll see some improvements and defenders feeling more confident to pass it directly in to midfield rather than constantly going wide.
I don't see Xhaka being dropped. He's like Arteta's son. Even if common sense suggests that he's not necessary with Partey anchoring the midfield and doing literally everything Xhaka does better, we'll still see him out there.
 

Jae

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We need actual players capable of playing the ball forward in midfield and not sideways or backwards.
 

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