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Page 1 of 14073
Ozil winning a trophy, the F.A Cup... his very fist season at Arsenal. Imagine that....

COYG
Pepe is this you ??

https://vine.co/v/M1gIpzta1B5
Pepe's sister
Although the majority of the article is about Özil, there is a little quote from the boss about Diaby at the bottom :)

"He hasn't played for a year, but physically he is ready to play, completely. It is now just decision-making, getting used to challenges again. Everybody counted him out, but he is fit and ready."

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/9279657/premier-league-per-mertesacker-backs-mesut-ozil-to-flourish-at-arsenal

Me likey!!
We should let him play a couple more games for the U21's imo let him build his confidence back up.
Imagine if he took the summer to continue strengthening and rehabing and came out like a beast! Basically it would be like this, before and after pictures:

http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lp2imyOaoP1qcayp8o1_500.png
Hope he get's a chance soon...but i hope it doesn't lead to him going to the world cup
Its was never in doubt, well maybe for a while.

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2892/transfer-zone/2014/04/23/4770530/sagna-close-to-reaching-agreement-on-new-arsenal-deal
Goal.com? really?
Well, if you believe every word of it. haha
Your not the only one doubting..after rvp went to go join that europa club..no gooner can fully trust this squad
Barcelona free to sign players as FIFA puts transfer ban on hold


http://as.com/diarioas/2014/04/23/english/1398255248_448636.html
surprise surprise
To be fair, what they were doing wasn't as bad as what clubs like Chelsea, City, Monaco and PSG do. If they aren't banned, I guess Barca shouldn't be.
Is it not to do with a different breach of rules, though?

City/Chelsea/Monaco/PSG splash cash around like it is going out of fashion which, while ridiculously unstable, is not illegal.

Barcelona were investigated for transgressions involving the recruitment of underage players, right?
+2
Good to see Diaby coming back, one of my favorite Arsenal players.
+2
Can't make up my mind who should be our next captain and vice

my mind says mertesacker for captain but my heart says sagna..Mertesacker will be here longer and will bring the stability we need both long term and short term..plus his a BFG...sagna deserves it more than another player in our squad(if he signs da ting) So let's put it to a vote...between these two rosicky arteta and anyother candidate you guy's feel deserve it
Mertesacker
+2
bfg
+1
I don't see Sagna as captain material. Loyalty is not the same as leadership.


Mertesacker all the way!
BFG captain and sagna vice captain
And what happens if we buy another defender who happens to be like Koscielny? Might have Merts getting frozen out like Vermaelen.
bfg captain
flamini vice captain

both have hearts and intimidating

one a giant, one a rabid hyena
No only Koscielny would be at risk Sam. The two are a balancing act, one plays as a man marking, intercepting speedy defender(Kos) and Merts plays as the anchor, the last man tackles, the clearing headers and crucially, the player passing it out from the back. Currently we have no backup for Mertesacker and that's what we should look at doing.
Gotta mertesacker for me...just looking at how many games he played this season and how few errors he's made he's definitely a candidate for our player of the season
I think Sagna could lead by example on the pitch, because he never stops fighting and that can rub off on the squad. And I have a feeling he's well respected in the dressing room
Didn't put the other candidates..ended up getting stoned all day...good to see you guy's also feel merts should be our next capi
This is like the fisrt time this season we haven't lead the injury table...By this time next week walcott should be the last player injured..
After much consideration, FIFA apologizes to Barcelona for the transfer ban and will investigate later on.

Telegraph Football ‏@TeleFootball
Barcelona transfer ban suspended pending outcome of appeal

FIFA will allow Barcelona to sign players this summer. Their suspension has been lifted for now

http://bit.ly/1rlB2WB
Vlad What's the point we have Ozil now... We should go for a world class DM who can play as a deep lying play maker..preferably a quick one who can handle providing extra cover...Only offensive signing that can make a difference is that fox in the box or a real winger
Are we getting Cesc back? :-)
you guys think we will still play 4-2-3-1 next year?
I have an incline AW wants to switch back to 442. Just a hunch, I could be wrong.
I have the same feeling thats why i wanted to get an opinion. There are a few teams which are gaining success playing 4-4-2 this year.
We're playing 4-1-4-1
Cuz we don't have traditional wingers. our fulbacks are our width
Yes. Reason being we don't have world class talent in every position and therefore the players require greater support from the players around them, both in attack and defense. Any person who studies football tactics will tell you it's more risky to play with 2 forwards than with 1, you sacrifice defensive cover in order to increase the chance of goals. If you have a look at this season, getting that winning goal hasn't been the problem, we've taken our chances well when we've had our team fit. It's the mentality away from home and maintaining a calmness in big matches that's undone us, playing with 2 up front just means in those matches we'll concede more often. If you want a great example of this, look at how we carved Hull City apart as the gaps started to appear in their midfield playing a 4-4-2.

We've had no problem grinding out wins by keeping clean sheets this season, only once the injuries started did this become an issue, so why would we change formation? So we can win 4-2 instead of 2-0? Where's the sense in that?

For the record we're playing 4-3-2-1 without possession, then changing to a 4-3-3 with wingbacks in attack.
Actually Zilch, do you think we'd do better with counter attacks as opposed to possession based football? I'm not saying we give up our style of play, but I just want to do a comparison.

We have Walcott, Ramsey, Ox, Gnabry, Sanogo, and nezt season, Campbell. They're all very fast players. The art of counter attacks relies heavily on speed, which is something these lads have. Ozil and Cazorla are no slouches either, so how do you think counter attacks will work out for us?
Well yes and no, it's a hard one to explain lol :D

Basically, this season Arsenal's strategy has been to let the opposition have the ball in the middle of the park early on, to set the tempo and also to not allow gaps in our half due to players getting out of position by pressing aggressively. They have however clamped down on allowing any possession in our own third. Arsenal defend in 2 banks of 4, which is easy to spot in every match this season. One of those players, usually RW, also moves forwards when the ball is with the opposition's back 4, creating a 3 man triangle team press, which also rotates to allow for players to not run constantly. This season that triangle has comprised of Giroud, Ozil and Walcott, then later on Rosicky or Ramsey, in order to be most effective.

Without this press, we can't keep our b2b mid forwards, as it would allow too much of a gap in behind for the CDM to cover and therefore would be too risky(remember all the long ball goals because Song wouldn't stay back?), so in order to play a purely counter-attacking game style we would have to play with a world class DM, an absolute destroyer whom we are confident can absolutely dominate as a shield for the back 4 and allow our other mid to stay forwards in the pocket of space between the lines. If you watch our goals, most of the counter-attacking goals are scored because of this man in the pocket. More often than not, Giroud or Ozil wins the ball back with a challenge that causes a stray pass and this extra option(usually Ramsey or Cazorla) is the one who puts the whole move into motion with his first pass. If you recall Chelsea of last season they tried to play like this but were very disjointed due to having basically no link up man in the midfield, it was simply "defense passes to offense" "defense then hangs back". Without that crucial link up man, there is no effective counter-attack. You often see a really promising loss of possession ruined by the very first pass not being sharp enough, this is the area I'm talking about.

What you see Arsenal do instead is play a possession based game where we keep our players closer together, hence the very high line that we always play in defense. If we didn't do this, we wouldn't be able to play such a smooth flowing passing game, since it relies so greatly on players being only about 10 yards apart to allow for proper triangle rotation, eliminating man marking and creating those off the ball runs which we do better than any other team in the league. Because we play like this, what you essentially have is a high line, pressing game which can be exploited by quick players but more often than not, it will be down to poor communication between players or a really lousy pass. So in effect, any counter-attacking goals we score will start fairly high up the pitch and pace is less important than simply making sure the passes are inch perfect.

Hope that makes sense lol. Whenever you think about tactics, never forget that no matter how skillful a player is: 1v2 means he'll probably still lose out 90% of the time, hence the issue with only 1 mid using that tactic.
+2
Hmm... took me a while to understand this (only got what you meant drawing it out) lol. But thanks for the explanation. And yeah, I agree in these circumstances, counters would certainly fail.

But here's where I think, counters will work. When we're defending deep. Say an opponent penetrates our defensive third, with 9 of our players defending (or when defending a corner) So then, when we do win the ball back, we just need someone to hit the ball long and have one of our runners pick it up. Walcott would be the favourite here. All he then has to do is to beat the defender with speed and play a low cross in the penalty are (2010 German WC style) and have another quick player finish it off. Rather than trying to play the ball to the midfield and hold possession, or pass it to midfield before launching an attack.

Thing is, with the quick players at our disposal and the slow opposition defenders, we just might be able to leave them behind. Let's have a look at our rivals' defenders. Kompany, Demechiles, Lescott, Vidic, Ferdinand, Skertel, Toure, Agger, Terry and Cahill are all pretty slow as compared to our runners. I'm pretty sure, we have the legs over them.

So then, theoretically, would this work out?
@Gregmaverick ... What you described is exactly the way
City, Liverpool and Chelsea played against us in those 3 bitter memory games.
what you described is classic counter attack. However in my opinion counter always doesnt equate to defending deep and long balls.. Here is the list that i think would make a effective counter attacking team

1) Pressing hard in the middle and the final third of the opposition
2) Transition from defence to attack in no time with atleast 2-3 pacy players working in unison
3) Fox in the box pacy number 9 ( benzema )
4) through ball vision ( rosicky / cesc)
5) playing against a possession based team

^Good point mate, well it does seem like we fit the bill based on your checklist. Do you think this'll work for us, given the conflict between styles as pointed out by Zilch?
we dont have pacy players other than walcott and ox and only one of them plays at a given time. cazorla and poldi are not fast.(If you watch our last game, for our second goal, you will see how ramsey is much faster than poldi ). Also we have a number no 9 who relies on movement off the ball and teammates around to make 1 -2 passes to beat defence. With our current set up, no 9 needs to more often show his back to the goal rather than face the goal. So i think, with our set up its not a good idea to base our game on counter. This is just my opinion.
I don't believe in the "best formation" ideology to start with. But yes, you can have the "suitable formation" for your team. But that doesn't mean you will win though. I believe players quality is more important than having the best or most suitable formations. I say this because you can have two teams paying against each other in exact same "best formation" but Real Madrid will always beat Hull City any day. So then if Real Madrid plays against Real Madrid in different formations, RM-park-the-bus might beat RM-gunho, RM-tiki-taka might beat RM-park-the-bus, RM-gunho might beat RM-tiki-taka. But then again, you never know. But I am sure you can't have all 10 players as strikers or all midfielders or all defenders. So you've got to have balance. You will need defensive ability, tradition ability and attacking ability. Which ability we need more or which one less, depends on the opposition's level of attack, transition and defense. Ideally you are to be able to nullify all their attacks, dominate all their transition ability and break down all their defense. To do that, you have to look back at your team and gauge how much of those abilities we have and come out with a suitabe formation. But then again, if you have all lousy payers, it will never work. So I say, no matter which formation you play, you need top top players to win.
*see Zilch's long post* he has won the internet again.
Cheers SKool :)

LGW, what you're describing is a poor man's counter-attack, let me explain. If all it takes to score a goal is to boot it long and have a runner down the wing, plus a striker in the middle...Then that opposition has basically fkd up. Any half decent, well organised defense will very rarely be caught out by such school boy tactics. When other teams did it to us it was due to tactical errors and poor defensive shape. Classic counter-attacking with multiple players running as options to confuse the defense, is an artform and requires much more than simply 3 players up front to pull it off.

@Arsenal7777777: That's stating the obvious mate, it's like saying Ronaldo will score more goals than me if I gave him a competition. Not every team can afford to buy top quality players(our own club included) and so playing with the ideal formation becomes the best way that it is possible to play. Each formation has strengths and weaknesses, 4-3-3 for example is the best formation for keeping possession and the worst to be caught in possession in your own half. The team plays the formation which suits their current players best, rather than playing a different formation and stating that they lost cos they lacked the quality needed to play a formation that was otherwise unsuitable.
Hmm.... that does make sense. I suppose counters just won't work for us. Maybe I've been watching too many Mourinho Madrid games. That's practically what they do all the time, to ridiculous efficency. I suppose the Ronaldo factor plays a part in it. Maybe it's just not the right tactic for us.
^ Spot on. It worked at Madrid because of the ridiculous player quality. It's been less successful at Chelsea even though the players there are very good. If you want to watch some REAL counter-attacking football tactics, watch Dortmund, their pressing game combined with explosive players like Reus, Lewandowski, Mikhitaryan etc is just awesome.


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Premier League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
80
52
44
96
5
5
25
35
1
75
41
26
67
6
6
23
35
2
74
56
35
91
6
5
23
34
3
70
21
41
62
7
7
21
35
4
69
23
34
57
6
9
20
35
5
63
2
49
51
10
6
19
35
6
57
16
40
56
11
6
17
34
7
49
5
45
50
12
10
13
35
8
46
-15
54
39
17
4
14
35
9
44
-10
49
39
13
11
11
35
10
43
-13
41
28
18
4
13
35
11
37
-10
48
38
18
7
10
35
12
36
-4
51
47
17
9
9
35
13
36
-9
43
34
18
6
10
34
14
35
-14
49
35
17
8
9
34
15
33
-13
54
41
13
15
6
34
16
32
-28
56
28
19
8
8
35
17
30
-34
65
31
19
9
7
35
18
30
-42
77
35
23
3
9
35
19
29
-24
57
33
19
8
7
34
20
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UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
12
5
6
11
2
0
4
6
1
12
3
5
8
2
0
4
6
2
12
1
9
10
2
0
4
6
3
0
-9
14
5
6
0
0
6
4

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