This might sound negative but Arsenal’s attacking play is little short of bad. The lack of creativity, pace, movement, swift passing is as clear as day. I don’t just mean against Man City, but in general. It’s been that way since long before Arsene Wenger left and I mean a prolonged period of time when an Arsenal team played entertaining football.
Even as Arsene Wenger struggled through his final years, attacking football was his way, Unai Emery dished up the odd game where we looked great but under both of them, the defensive shape was often all over the place.
The best days for Arsene Wenger came thanks to having a strong back five. Whether that be Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn or Lauren, Campbell, Toure and Cole – he had a strong backline in front of an equally strong goalkeeper. Upon that he built and built well but always stuck with a 4-4-2 formation.
The Invincible season.
Then came the 4-3-3 formation, designed to do what I’ve no idea but with three in midfield, the forward line had to start pulling their weight. Imagine that eh, you’re a striker, expected to score goals, AND defend! And that’s exactly where we are as a club with Mesut Ozil I think. A great player in his own right but he doesn’t suit the modern day way of playing football but there’s absolutely no doubting that Arsenal need a player with his creative abilities. I’m not for one minute suggesting Mikel Arteta is wrong to leave him out, or Unai Emery before him but at a time when Arsenal are really struggling to creative something from nothing, it’s inevitable his name will crop up.
Whilst I’m fully aware that Tony Adams hasn’t exactly excelled in coaching, he was part of one of the very best defensive back lines Arsenal have have during the Premier League’s existence and talking to Premier League Productions, he’s said:
I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season. It wins you cup games, it doesn’t win you league titles. I think he’s got problems with Hector (Bellerin), I think his defending today, (Saturday) wasn’t very good at all.
But I’d like him to go to a back four. They’ve got Gabriel now, get him a partnership. They’ve been unlucky at the start with (Rob) Holding going down but get them into a back four.
They look like they’ve a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.
I suppose the biggest question now is, with Thomas Partey in the squad, the first ‘proper’ holding midfielder we’ve had at the club since Gilberto, will Mikel Arteta consider changing his formation?
Would playing a 4-4-2 suit the squad better in your opinion, would our creativity improve with a different system, or is it a simple as the players Mikel Arteta has at his disposal, simply have to do more?
I don’t know the answer, if I did I wouldn’t be sitting in my kitchen right now drinking a cup of tea but it’s something to discuss. Let’s be honest, our attacking play is toothless right now and unless Mikel Arteta finds a solution, I think we’re going to struggle on for a while yet.
See you in the comments guys.