> > [...Arsenal comments...]
> > Well, bollocks to you, I say. Well, what else can I do? I know for a
> > I won't be saying much else this season. Would you in my position?
> I expected Arsenal to win this years Champions League
IIRC you expected Wenger to win the World Cup with Scotland if he had a
> but the more I see
> them I'm starting to doubt Wenger. Here is why.
> Last season, still maintaining the older squad players bought before
> arrival, Wenger was able to make effective use of all of them and to
> three or four different formations and styles depending on the
> (and even within one match at times). This, to me, made him the best
> manager that I have ever seen.
The reason why Arsenal adopted so many different formations is more to do
with the fact the number of players on the pitch kept on changing so
Generally, Arsenal played 4-4-2 from the start, changing to 4-3-1-2 if
attacking or 3-5-2 to keep things solid. Changing starting formations was
not very frequent. But the flexibility of the formation was the key, with
both Petit and Vieira dropping back if needed, or Adams and Keown
forward, Parlour all over the pitch, Overmars moving from the left to the
centre. It looked like several different ones but it was based on one
> I am sure he is still capable of this tactical mastery but now I am not
> convinced with his judgement. He seems to be settling down and
> single tactical plan to use week in/week out.
Arsenal are still flexible enough, it's just that with the midfield so
deeply weakened it disrupted the whole side v. Kiev. Against Newcastle,
or Southampton, or Man U, or Lens, the same old system worked well.
> If anything, he is limiting his options by reducing the flexibility of
> squad with regard to attacking possibilities
Wenger mainly concentrated on fullbacks over the summer, buying Grondin
and Vivas, looking to the future. Attacking-wise, he has bought
Ljungberg, who looks both good and versatile, but he is still a bench
player, as well as ineligible for European group matches.
Elsewhere, there are Mendez and Boa Morte as attacking flank players,
neither of whom have shone on their brief first team appearances, despite
steady performances in the reserves.
> and I have yet to see Arsenal
> use the long ball into space to any sort of effect despite efficiently
> using this tactic, among others last season.
There was one good chipped ball from Winterburn to Overmars in the whole
Kiev match, an excellent tactic to exploit the latter's pace, used a lot
last season. But Arsenal's lofted-passer-in-chief is Petit, and Bergkamp
didn't take on that role against Kiev like he should have.
> Added to this the reluctance to buy a target man to add yet more
> flexibility on Direct play
Indeed. Wreh as the spare striker is not a wonderful option. We have the
money, buy someone!
> and he is severely limiting the way Arsenal,
> last season, changed and chopped to ensure their long winning streak
> such a great spectacle to watch.
Arsenal have slightly less depth and experience in midfield with the
retirement of Platt, who would have played much better than Garde would
have yesterday. Wright's sale is the only other real robbery of depth,
and his absence is a real blow.
> I may be wrong but, were I a gooner, I would be concerned that Wenger
> human after all and like other managers tends towards a set style of
> despite being capable of so much more.
I'm more worried that we haven't the staff to cope with the system when a
few key personnel go missing. We have one spare centre midfielder in
Hughes, and he can't be relied on to close down and tackle like Vieira or
"The problem with democracy is that every silly bastard gets a vote"
- Arnold J. Rimmer
Chris Applegate - Remove x from mail address when replying
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