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Striker-less up front & No Focal Point in our Attack. That’s what we do best….

Morning Gooners.

Over the years under Wenger’s reign as Arsenal boss we’ve had the privilege of witnessing some sublime football from our team. This has been made possible by the fluidity of our attacking unit and there has been two main dominant types of forwards at our club during that period.

We’ve had the lightning quick forwards with great technique to boot in the form of Anelka/Henry. We’ve also had the purely technical type of forward in Rvp/DB10. We’ve also had forwards somewhere in between the two in the mold of Ade/Kanu. The Invincibles had both technique and pace in the attack and coupled with the mobility of Pires/Ljunberg we were able to capture the eye of the neutrals with some breathtaking football.

When the Invincibles were dismantled we had Ade/Rvp as the focal point in the attack. In 07/08 we were a delight to watch since we had pace and technique with Rosicky/Fab/Hleb being willing off the ball runners. However, our wide men did not score enough goals as compared to Pires/Freddy.

When Ade left Rvp became the main man and he was all about technique up front and we lost one of the hallmarks of our attack under Arsene Wenger – pace.

This past summer the aforementioned Manc scum left and we bought Giroud/Podolski.

We all thought that they were replacing ‘the little boy’ that left but it seems Arsene Wenger had another player in mind, Gervinho.

During our Asian tour Gervinho played his fair share of games up front to varying degrees of success. Wenger in this past season had compared him to Henry in terms of movement on the pitch. Hazard said he was the best player he had ever played with and said he makes some ‘interesting runs’.

Combine his movement and his dribbling ability, playing him in the middle makes sense.

On the wing he tends to do too much by trying to beat so many players in limited amount of space. However, in the middle he can use his ‘tunnel vision’ to beat players with a shorter route to goal. The only question marks are regarding his decision-making and finishing.

Last weekend when we played Southampton he was brilliant in that role. He popped up pretty much everywhere in the attacking third to attack pockets of space in defense. In addition to Gervinho, Poldi/Ox/Santi/Gibbs made excellent off the ball runs into the box like a hungry pack of wolves every time we broke forward at pace and Southampton couldn’t cope. We had no focal point in the attack and we played a system that can be best described as strikerless.

The Invincibles played like that.

The Mancs were sensational to watch when they played this system some few years ago, a system which led them to several PL titles, a CL and other cup finals.

Granted it was only Southampton, but the game showed that if there are willing off the ball runners when we attack constantly swapping positions it is very difficult to defend against.

Last weekend our pace and 1 / 2 touch football was sensational at times and we can now begin to see why Wenger seems to fancy playing Gervinho there. Against Montpellier Gervinho scored a goal that showed he is fancying that role too, the way he dribbled past his marker, laid off the ball and burst into the box to score at the end of a cross, was the type of goal we have rarely seen from our front man.

I’m not saying he is already there but it is fascinating to see how he develops in that role. With City/Chelsea games coming up it will be a good test to see if that strikerless system can work effectively against stronger teams.

Where does this leave Giroud?

The strikerless system always places emphasis on the ball constantly moving but in some games you’ll need a plan B. Our possession game so far in that system hasn’t been dominant and we end up being on the back foot at least 50% of the game time.

Having a player like Giroud can help when we need to hold up the ball in the opposition final 3rd allowing the likes of Poldi/Ox/Santi space to operate in and play tiki taka. This has worked pretty well in the games against Liverpool and Montpellier whereby Giroud’s movement and presence acted as a decoy allowing Gervinho/Poldi to score in those games. Giroud can pin opposition CB’s back to give us more space to work with.

We can therefore see that we have 2 different systems that we can use depending on the opposition. The strikerless system may also offer Theo the chance he craves for to play centrally by allowing him just to run and finish.

We are still working on perfecting both systems which will allow us to no longer rely on a single goal scoring threat.

The City/Chelsea games will show us just how well these two systems will work for us.

I hope I did not bore you all with my own theory/view, next up is the midfield if you are interested ;)

Written by K-TR7

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98 comments on “Striker-less up front & No Focal Point in our Attack. That’s what we do best….

  1. Only time wil tel

  2. Very sad…..

    A former Premier League star has been left heartbroken after the sudden death of his young son.

    Seven-year-old Lucas Kiwomya, the son of ex Arsenal, Ipswich and QPR striker Chris, suffered serious breathing problems at the family home in Lawford, Essex.

    An ambulance was called to the family’s home at 7.13pm on Wednesday and paramedics treated Lucas at the scene but he later died at Colchester General hospital.

  3. Morning all…

    Good post Kt, interesting comparisons to the good old days under AW.

    The Southampton game was at times simply wonderful to watch and as you say, players were switching sides and their defence didn’t know what to do.

    There is no reason why we can’t do the same against Citeh tomorrow, their defence was all over the place against Real…

  4. nice post. We are almost there. Like u said, let’s see how we perform against man city, I beleive Chelsea will be a minor case!

  5. Hi TT

    Hi Ea – next two PL games will show us just where we are imho….

  6. Quiet Saturday morning so just going to get a few things done, back shortly…

  7. RIP little man….that is a tragedy.
    Evening all.
    The flu has hit me again…bigger and badder than last week.
    Never have i felt so bloody crook….still,not much to complain about,really.
    I won’t be on later…just need some sleep.
    Have a great day,fellow Gooners.

  8. Hi all.RIP lucas.

  9. Hi Kt, good post, sorry it’s so quiet though, Saturdays often are…

    Hi Scott – that is not good to hear … Must be man flu, hope you get a good sleep and feel a little better later…

  10. Good post !! ….. Totally agree with with your view. I also think you need a fighter in your team, a blood and guts character who’s determination rubs off on his team mates. We had that with PV4 and now I think we have that with the Pod …. 4-1 to the Gooners this weekend …

  11. Hi BE –

    Most wanted Capoue or M’Vila in the summer, Capoue for me personally, he’s a bit of a beast….

    Offski again, back in an hour

  12. I’m just glad that we now have a squad capable of playing more than one system. For too long we have been a one man band type of team, everything had to go through a single player, first it was Henry, then The Spaniard and lastly the little Dutch boy. Now we can play as a team and have a plan B.

  13. Very interesting, KT. :) Next article, please! :) I was happily surprised at how fluid we were v. Southampton. The only thing missing now is a Giroud goal.

    Hello, rico and all. :)

  14. Morning all. That news about Lucas is very, very sad.

  15. hiya guys…great post KT, take a bow son. hey adam sorry i didnt make it back yesterday had to go drown my self in liquor. so how are you big guy? how’s the book coming?

  16. RIP little man…..chris kimonya huh? dont know him.

  17. Thanks goonie/agag.tomorrow’s game will tell us alot regarding the 2 systems.

  18. KT, i hear mankini fixes to start with aguero tomorrow. the BFG ll be vunerable with two dimunitive strikers running rings around him….this is where we need kozzer but hey you dont just go changing a winning defense. maybe the BFG ll surprise us all. am his biggest fan. come on arsenal give me something to celebrate on this dang boring birthday of mine. COYGS!!!!

  19. Good Afternoon my Esteemed Fellow Gunners.

    just on for a little bit today. have a lot of work to do.

    what a pity that little Kiwomya has died. May he rest in piece. It sends shivers down my spine. It makes you want to hug your son/daughter hard to you.

    Good write up KT.Incidentally can we all scrap the ‘it was only against Southampton’ crap? a couple of years ago we would have lost against ‘only southampton’.

  20. you said it devil…the same southampton that almost took manure to the cleaners. some fans just make you wanna rip their heads off.

  21. KT, I think our camp is buzzing; there seems to be a real good energy about the team now. I don’t expect the mad money Mancs to be an easy game; but I see us winning.

    Hello, Adam. :) Guess who nodded off again at the keyboard?? Haha. God, I’m getting old!

    Goonie, I thought you were off liquor?

    Hello, dev… well you can only beat the team in front of you, and we beat a good Southampton side quite handily. I’ll take more of those.

  22. hahahahahaha AGAG is getting old, i am getting old….KEV is old already and WATH is just waiting at the pearly gates! could it get any better thab this. morning lil mama, how are you? how’s manila?

  23. Now if we out SIX past Manure I can say “it was only against Manure”. Now wouldn’t we enjoy rubbing that in????

  24. Goonster its all about constricting the space for kun/tevez.BFG has played in WC/Euros semis/final so he knows how to handle them.at the 2010 he did fine when Germany beat Argentina.he faced kun/tevez/messi but he was unfazed.am sure we’ll keep it tight and compact in defence.

  25. guess you re right then KT……bring on shitty. come arsenal.

  26. Afternoon guys and gals, that’s my Saturday chores complete :)

    Just Fido to walk later now….

  27. good mama bear we need ya….fido can walk herself i guess or cant she?

  28. Hi Devil.S’ampton gave the mancs/city a hard time but we just spanked them.if we do well against city/chavs it will be the real turning point for me.im intrigued to see which system we’ll use.

  29. Manila’s rainy, goonie. Ick. Don’t worry, you still sound all of 18 years old. :lol:

    I would have hoped more of the Mancs would be sidelined, KT. :)

    rico, working hard, I see. Is it too early there for a beer?

  30. like me dad ll always say(bless him) if it aint broken, dont fix it. these guys are learning how to play with each other now and its a growing partnership. leave them together and they ll be devastating to any team. look out guys arsenal is on fire. i have huge belief in this team. there’s a trophy at the end of the season. watch this space.

  31. No goonie, she can’t ;)

    Far too early for me agag ;)

    I reckon we will get at least a point tomorrow…

  32. hahahahah AGAG i wish i am 18! i had some fabulous memory of turning 18. christ cant beleive am too old to do those things all over again………awwwwwwwww men, am getting old!

  33. Goonster – I forgot to wish you a very happy 26th birthday, so happy birthday…. :P

  34. Mo Farrah is on BBC Football Focus

  35. thanks maam…..so far it blows! where is adam when you need him?

  36. One thing is for sure,Mancini is always scared of us.if they play a high line against us we’ll murder them on the counter.we have 2 very different systems now so we can attack from anywhere.I think he’ll play 3-4-1-2 against us as he did in preseason.if we can keep Toure.Y in check we’ll have a good chance.

  37. i hear he wants to be our fitness coach? well sign him up gazidas. we need real gooners in arsenal now. and he ll make a fine fitness coach.

  38. It’s still early where you are isn’t it goonster, the day is young and plenty of time to go partying…

    Kt, agree re Yaya, he is the man who makes them tick. Didn’t he go off early in the same fixture last season, after that we we bossed the game…

  39. well KT that’s easy take him out like we did at the EMS. song did us a huge favor taking him out of that game. it made our job easier. no shot on target huh? wow we really dominated them that day. one of my matches of last season.

  40. He does goonster…

  41. Oops, got that totally wrong then ;)

  42. i have a good feeling about tomorrow rico….the lads have a huge point to prove. we ve been called names like “bottlers, chokers etc….but what the dumb press is not realising is we ve somehow manage to rid ourselves of all the chokers in our team. the current team is bettle hardened. arteta, verm, poldi jack the lad, kozzer and even sir chesny. i see us surpising a few people this year and astouding ourselves. Champions league anybody. a guy can dream no? COYGS!

  43. dumb iphone….meant “battle hardened” sheesh, can anyone get me a new phone as a birthday present!

  44. You and me both goonster, I don’t think we will lose. We have players now who aren’t lazy or sloppy. They all work for each other and want to win.

    Not sure who will be in goal, read the other day that Ches is out for 2/3 weeks but nothing confirmed. Shea featured for he u21’s last night so I doubt he will be part of the squad which makes me think either Ches is fit, or Fabianski has recovered..

  45. Arsenal Under-18s eased to their second 3-0 win in a week after comfortably beating West Ham on Saturday.

    A first-half Jack Jebb strike plus Jon Toral’s second-half brace proved enough to see off the Hammers on a glorious morning at London Colney.

  46. Diaby and Arteta need to be immense in that area of the pitch by not allowing Yaya to gain momentum in one of his surging runs because when he does he is like a steam train and is very hard to stop him.at times during their game against madrid players like Alonso just bounced off him when he made those runs.

  47. Happy birthday, goonie!! How are you celebrating?? :) :) You are old. :D

    They are scared of us, KT. Last year, Rosicky said something to the effect that the Mancs say they are not afraid of us yet changed their formation because of the way we play.

  48. hahhahaah AGAG, am old little mama, almost 30! yikes am so scared of that number. can’t i just remain in my 20’s forever???

  49. But equally he can get caught too far up the pitch Kt, and these days we break with pace – unlike when Song played.

    We have enough to worry them, that’s for sure…

    Goonie, you are 4 years from 30, don’t make yourself old before you get there ;)

  50. There is a little disharmony in their camp too, Hart is in Mankini’s bad books for slating the team after the loss to Madrid, Balotelli is also in the bad books so all is not well….

    And of course, Na$ri is injured….

  51. Anyone watching Everton?

    Mirallas just scored to make it 2-0….

  52. rico, I heard Hart’s interview. It wan’t bad. He was just trying to pacify the fans maybe. Mankini should’ve been the one to shut up. Not that I am not enjoying all that infighting. Haha.

  53. they are scared guys….there’s no better time to play them thab now. let’s rip them a new one. spot on AGAG those mugs tend to change tactics anytime they are up against us,

  54. Our counter is a joy to watch rico.it helps that when players like poldi make off the ball runs and don’t just stop midway through the run.I want Poldi to score one of his screamers from distance that we are yet to see.

  55. I love it agag, the more they fight the better

  56. It is with this current starting eleven Kt…

  57. I’m watching Everton and like I said last week, Everton is very strong. They held last Monday versus Newcastle, but in reallity they won…
    We won 3-0 under-18 versus WH :-)
    Ganso (Santos) is definetelly transfer to S. Paulo (Brazil)

  58. Hi all. Has anyone else seen that “Being Liverpool” series on Fox Sports? It’s pretty interesting stuff. Just to see some of the inner workings of a premier league club is nice.

  59. Afternoon all. Radio 5 on in gym …. Swansea 0-3 Everton…. Reporter just mentioned the match tomorrow …. “Champions Man City are playing a very impressive looking Arsenal side …..”

    Le-grove this morning was a very decent blog and says it all … arsenal news review expect Arsenal not to lose …. Everybody’s excited about this new side ….

    Things are looking good … I cannot see us losing…. City 0-1 Arsenal …

  60. Hi JM & Will

    I watched some of the Everton game, lucky first goal JM

    Not seen it Will..

  61. Hi Syg… I’d take 1-0 right now…. funny enough

  62. yes rico, but before Everton can scored, at least, twice.

  63. Everton. Very impressive.

  64. It’s time for Schalke – Bayern…. Schalke belongs of our group in CL.

  65. Back in a bit….

  66. Hiya Joaquim. Huntelaar, Iffalley, Holtby and Farfan – All tidy players ….

  67. So could Swansea JM ;)


  68. Everton could do a lot of damage this season. Hi Rico.

  69. Hi everyone,

    Excellent post K-TR7. Everton look good but I think they haven’t played anyone who has tried to impose themselves on them yet. Against the manures, the manc had the mentality that Everon where slow starters.

    On the other hand Newcastle didnt have 2 or 3 key players and everton away is always a test.

  70. hi fellow gooners

    may the little boy Lucas rest in peace…too young ….

    good read Ktr7 …le prof always surprises us, we all thought we need to buy a striker last TW,but he just pushed Gervo further forward and now we look like having different and effective options up front….refreshing to say the least..

    now we have that element of surprise in our game approach,making the opposition thinking can only serve in our favour.

    roll on the moneycity…3/1 to de only arsenal..putting 20euros on it
    its gonna be close one but we will come on top come the final whistle……COYGs

  71. Good morning Rico and All.
    Ktr7. Nice formation analysis; we should hope Yaya is not on there lineup.He seems to bully our m-field whenever Ramsey is on. I hope he comes up with stomach bug over the wkend.

  72. Afternoon again, any news?

  73. afternoon Rico & all

    relishing tomorrow….have good feeling about this one

  74. chelsea 0-0 stoke 73th minute

  75. Hi Hak, me too…

    Stoke to get a winner I hope JM :)

  76. chavs 1 up; Cashley Mole

  77. grrrrr….chelsea are 1-0 up…

  78. typical chavs ….

  79. bummer…..it had to be that twat. he just ruined a perfect birthday for me.

  80. Southampton beat Villa 4-1 :)

  81. Jammy bloomin Chavs….

  82. goonsta …never mind …the boys tomorrow will deliver a perfect
    present ..3/1

  83. yet some mugs said”its only southampton” boy i outta…

  84. thanks hazkah….its been long overdue.

  85. The same Southampton that put two passed both Manc sides goonie….

  86. you said it mama bear….some fans are just too stupid. they should go leave under a rock. what’s the final score maam? between the chavs and stoke rugby football team?

  87. 1-0 goonie….

    And you can only beat who stands in front of you and thats what we did last weekend…

  88. Hiya me Goonerdom worshippers.

    KT Superlicious post. Most impressive and improved to me is the directness once we enter the final third. More intuitive motion and linking, instead of trying to avoid a death stare from Captain van Pursestring. Looking forward to the midfield assessment.

    Just popped on to wish you a Happy Birthday Stan. HOORAY. HOORAY. HOORAY.

    I’m in the same rockin boat as Scott. A virus turning my body inside out. Indeed the worst case of man flu. Would knock a elephant off it’s feet.

    Rico praise for you, as well as the community, during the transfer window. Blasting through the 3 million hits. :)

    Cheers DG10

  89. Wooooooooo Hi Dg,

    How are you, we have all missed you and your wonderful humour ..

    Thank you re the summer hits…

  90. Dg, just realised you are poorly too – you take care and dose yourself up well with fluids… Take care…

  91. On that note, I am signing off for the day…

    Goonie, you have a fab party…

    Nighty all, stay safe and catch up tomorrow….

    TTFN… :)

  92. Rico missed you guys/gals tremendously as well. At the moment I’m burning up and out. Wouldn’t be surprised this virus is lab designed to decimate world population. Never experienced anything like it.

  93. DG, where have you been??? ;)

  94. DG. Sounds like the one I had a couple of weeks back. Hi Agag.
    Stan. Many happy returns and I hope you have a great day.

  95. Parker scored for Celta 2-1 against Getafe

  96. Morning all….

    What is it with you boys, can’t even fight off a little cold ;)

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