Saturday, September 23, 2023
HomeFOOTBALL NEWSTechniques Column: Boring, boring Arsenal

Techniques Column: Boring, boring Arsenal

The fun and the shock of catapulting ourselves into the 2022/23 title race is gone, consigned to historical past, and changed by the load of expectation that we repeat the trick. A brand new dynamic is new for, properly, everybody. It has completed one thing to the Arsenal fanbase — expectations will do this — and opposition sides are actually extra prone to sit again and hope to hit Arsenal on the break.

Mikel Arteta would have spent the summer time pondering what to do otherwise along with his Arsenal facet and learn how to strategy the challenges the brand new season, and his crew’s new position as title challengers, would convey.

And it appears he has determined to show the dial up when it comes to controlling video games. Which means Arsenal retaining the ball higher and ensuring it spends as little time close to their very own penalty space as  attainable.

With accusations that Arsenal bought carried away within the emotion of gamles an excessive amount of final season, and the concept that video games can take unstable swings once they develop into extra based mostly on these feelings, it appears Arsenal need to take the sting out of issues extra typically this season. Emotion and chaos helps sides throw the playbook out of the window however Arsenal are higher than most groups they’ll play. If emotion and chaos are levelers for sides you’d think about the underdog, Arsenal need the impression of these issues minimised as a lot as attainable.

Chatting with Sky Sports activities after the match he stated:

“We took the sport for longer intervals into the areas we wished, in the way in which we wished, we have been very stable and we gave very, very, little or no away if something as a result of they didn’t create a single likelihood.”

The sport was performed the place he wished (the Everton half) and in the way in which he wished (slowly) and all that helped Arsenal maintain a lid on issues. And that’s been a pattern all through this season thus far. Arsenal are retaining opponents away from their half and their penalty space and they’re doing so by retaining possession higher.

These fixtures thus far could not have featured any of the highest sides bar Manchester United (and even that was a house sport) however the 2022/23 version of those matches produced stats, on common, just about precisely in keeping with the remainder of the marketing campaign.

This time round, regardless of being penned again for a prolonged interval enjoying with 10 males at Crystal Palace, there was a transparent nudge in the direction of Arsenal controlling each possession and territory extra. That was additionally clear at house in opposition to Manchester United: as a substitute of risking greater stress and being caught out with a excessive line (like in opposition to Erik ten Hag’s facet in pre-season) Arsenal allowed United to play the ball round on the again, specializing in stopping them from progressing possession.

All in all, in the long term this strategy ought to scale back the probabilities of random outcomes. Video games is perhaps extra boring for longer intervals — there’s an emphasis on Arsenal not taking dangers however grinding opponents down and breaking their spirit as a substitute — as Arteta seems to restrict the probabilities of his crew being sucker-punched and the trade-off is Arsenal not blowing groups away as typically.

It’s as much as the supervisor to striker the appropriate steadiness and he has repeatedly emphasised the necessity to kill video games off not too long ago. Nonetheless, management is the drum he has been beating for a very long time. You solely have to return to March 2022 — when it felt like Arteta’s Arsenal had lastly begun to click on and play the way in which he wished — to listen to the supervisor berating his facet for a scarcity of management.

“We have been permitting areas in opposition to the crew who, if we stored permitting that, we have been going to undergo. I knew that. We needed to put that proper and we did it for sure intervals. Then within the final 25 minutes, we misplaced it once more. We have now to indicate that maturity, understanding and capability to manage the sport how we wished to.

“At 3-1, after, we needed to make 300,000 passes within the opposition half and once they have the appropriate second to come back at us, then we will assault them. We didn’t do this. The sport was open and also you had the sensation that the sport was open proper till the top.”

Video games which might be open proper till the top is the factor he’s nonetheless making an attempt to forestall and it appears like that message, the demand for 300,000 passes as a way of controlling issues, is beginning to sink in.



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