Tactics Column: Boring, boring Arsenal

The thrill and the surprise of catapulting ourselves into the 2022/23 title race is gone, consigned to history, and replaced by the weight of expectation that we repeat the trick. A new dynamic is new for, well, everyone. It has done something to the Arsenal fanbase — expectations will do that — and opposition sides are now more likely to sit back and hope to hit Arsenal on the break.

Mikel Arteta would have spent the summer thinking what to do differently with his Arsenal side and how to approach the challenges the new season, and his team’s new role as title challengers, would bring.

And it seems he has decided to turn the dial up in terms of controlling games. That means Arsenal keeping the ball better and making sure it spends as little time near their own penalty area as possible.

With accusations that Arsenal got carried away in the emotion of gamles too much last season, and the idea that games can take volatile swings when they become more based on those emotions, it seems Arsenal are looking to take the sting out of things more often this season. Emotion and chaos helps sides throw the playbook out of the window but Arsenal are better than most teams they will play. If emotion and chaos are levelers for sides you’d consider the underdog, Arsenal want the impact of those things minimised as much as possible.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match he said:

“We took the game for longer periods into the areas we wanted, in the way we wanted, we were very solid and we gave very, very, very little away if anything because they didn’t create a single chance.”

The game was played where he wanted (the Everton half) and in the way he wanted (slowly) and all that helped Arsenal keep a lid on things. And that’s been a trend throughout this season to date. Arsenal are keeping opponents away from their half and their penalty area and they are doing so by keeping possession better.

These fixtures to date may not have featured any of the top sides bar…

Source link : https://arseblog.com/2023/09/tactics-column-boring-boring-arsenal/

Author : Lewis Ambrose

Publish date : 2023-09-18 19:32:20

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