The 2021/22 Season

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Post by Jay29 Mon Aug 30, 2021 3:35 pm

The whole "Arsenal way" is horeshit anyway.

Arsenal won nothing major playing high possession, walk the ball into the goal football. All of their major honours came from fast transitions.

Yeah, they put together long passing moves too, because the technical level of the side was excellent. But their main routes to goal were midfield turnover > give ball to Pires or Bergkamp > set Henry away > Henry does his thing.

Whereas the last five years has been start from the back > defenders pass among themselves 20 times > ball gets to midfield > goes nowhere. Striker makes a run into space and is ignored.

I'm not a fan of the club trying to push this bland style of football as "Arsenal DNA".

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Post by RealGunner Mon Aug 30, 2021 3:48 pm

Definitely agree with Jay.

The 'Arsenal way' was popularised after the 07/08 season where we had plethora of technically gifted players all capable of excellent passes, intelligent movement and creating space. That was probably when Arsenal gave up their traditional transitional style which we had been playing since 98 under Arsene. he used to buy particular type of players for that reason. Wiltord, Kanu, Anelka, Henry, Pires, Ljunberg were all fantastic at transition and Wenger always made sure there was a solid double pivot where neither were playmakers as it wasn't important.

In hindsight it feels like it was Arsene's personal pet project when he wanted to entertain with 'pass and move' football because he didn't really stick with it till the end. Our FA Cup wins only happened because of more gritty performances and not because we out-played our tougher oppositions. Towards the end Arsene was so confused with what he wanted to do that he started making weird signings which probably started the demise.

Club brought Emery in who was the opposite of 'Arsenal way' and then followed with pep's disciple who believes in robotic pre-defined football for which we lack both players and personnel. I would actually like Arteta if he had a solid philosophy of what he wanted to do and achieve. playing out from the GK has worked maybe 2-3 times in 2 years.

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Post by RealGunner Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:01 pm

The 2021/22 Season - Page 8 Team10

?
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Post by mani88 Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:49 am

We all will holding our head in hands when we will see Arteta benching White and AMN to play Tomiyasu at CB and Cedric at RB. drunken
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Post by El Gunner Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:22 am

@RealGunner wrote:The 2021/22 Season - Page 8 Team10

?

yea going back to that formation might be Arteta's last chance at a saving grace, but most likely he won't.

I like it though... lots of competition for places as well... Saka could do a job at LWB, Lokonga looks promising to settle in next to Partey... Odegaard could play one of the inverted forward positions too even if he isn't a natural width player, the wingback on his side will just need to do more offensively when he plays there.
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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:08 pm

Game today. Classic 15:00 BST kick-off. Relegation six-pointer vs Norwich.

The team:

Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel; Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Odegaard, Tierney; Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang

Subs: Leno, Mari, Chambers, Tavares, Cedric, Partey, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette

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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:21 pm

what in the world is that team

is that Odegaard-Lokonga pivot?
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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:31 pm

I've got it as a back three but it could be a back four. Tomiyasu RB, AMN in midfield with Sambi.

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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:37 pm

Actually you might be right. Might be a 4-3-3


--------Lokonga--------
---AMN--------Odegaard-
Saka-----Auba------Pepe

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Post by El Gunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:17 pm

Ramsdale with the start... so does that mean Leno is in the mud??
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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:28 pm

AUBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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Post by El Gunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:57 pm

feels about right for our first PL goal of the season to come like that... VAR coulda easily ruled it out too
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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:56 pm

more worried how Pepe didn't score via follow up...

Anyways, 3 points are 3 points. Needed it for confidence. Hopefully better results going forward.

I was not really impressed with Lokonga-AMN pivot. A better team would have exploited it. AMN has no positioning sense at all but that might be because he has no experience in midfield. Lokonga is a really good passer but he has no defensive presence.

We were really good when Partey came on.

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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:13 pm

Sounds obvious, but team selection is going to be crucial this season. White and Gabriel have to start every game when they're available because their confidence and decisiveness on the ball is streets ahead of any other defender in the squad. Not a single problem playing out today with those two and Ramsdale. I had tears in my eyes when White took the ball up the pitch and played a lob through pass to Tomiyasu.

Speaking of Tomiyasu, he had a good debut. Can see what he's going to be about. His strength in the air and two-footedness will be a big help, plus he looks like he can motor when he has to.

No problems with Arsenal's intensity today. They were successful at forcing Krul into long kicks and winning the ball off their backline, especially in the 2nd half. Odegaard and Pepe especially pressed like mad. Problems still persist in possession though and I think it was down to the number of players playing behind the ball vs players willing to hit the byline.

1st half whenever Pepe had the ball near the touchline he'd wait for movement but his closest options, Odegaard and Tomiyasu, always remained behind the ball. Dribbling wasn't an option for Pepe because he was outnumbered so he needed an underlapping run to progress the ball or take a defender away. The ball was forced back infield where Odegaard had to take two/three touches to orient himself and see two banks of yellow shirts in front of him. There was no way through the middle so the only way to go forward was down the left through Tierney.

You see this problem a lot with Arsenal because the 10 is the playmaker, when really he needs to be a supporting forward in this sort of set-up. The playmaking responsibility should fall to someone in the pivot, likely Sambi. A few years ago this used to be Cazorla who could then allow Ozil to drift to either flank and look for killer balls or crosses, but at the moment the double pivot seems mostly there for protection and ball recycling.

This also comes down to a fundamental different in styles between Odegaard and Smith Rowe. Odegaard hangs behind the ball because he constantly wants it to dictate play, while Smith Rowe wants to be ahead of the ball so he get behind defences and dribble at players. Odegaard is dangerous when he has runners but those runners can't come from behind as the double pivot need to stay where they are. I'd like to see Sambi step forward and take charge of the ball more when he settles in.

2nd half was better when Smith Rowe came on and we moved to a 4-1-4-1 shape, with Partey as the single pivot, Smith Rowe playing closer to Pepe and Odegaard having freedom to dictate play. Pepe had more success running at players when he had Smith Rowe supporting him plus Arsenal had an extra attacker trying to break Norwich's defensive line. Only downside is it needs the full-backs to be quick because they're playing inverted and Partey has to be on top of his game to break-up play (he's the only one in the squad who can realistically play this role too). In general though I like this shape a lot more than the 4-2-3-1 because we can get another attacker into the team.

It's horses for courses though. Obviously we can't rock up at a tough away ground with Odegaard and Smith Rowe as 8s.

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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:07 pm

Team to play Burnley:

Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Partey, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang

On paper, this is our strongest line-up. Let's see how it fares against Burnley's physicality and deep block.

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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:38 pm

I hope it's a 4-3-3 of Partey-Odegaard-ESR midfield

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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:33 pm

What a freekick by Odegaard
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Post by Thimmy Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:34 pm

Beauty of a freekick. Is Leno out in the cold now, or does he rotate with Ramsdale?
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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:49 pm

@Thimmy wrote:Beauty of a freekick. Is Leno out in the cold now, or does he rotate with Ramsdale?


Looks like he is out atm.
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Post by El Gunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:54 pm

man if Emile can get his final pass/ball going it's gunna be beautiful. Only really he can make those nice turn of pace driving runs to that effect currently in our team, if he can grow into that 8 position it would be perfect.
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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:04 pm

Need more from Saka and Pepe. ESR has grown into the half but his final ball has also been poor.

Defenders have been tentative on the ball against Burnley's mid-press. Burnley are blocking the ball into Partey well, and Barnes and Woods are disciplined forwards who press well so it's not easy, but their needs to be a solution.

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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:07 pm

That 2nd half was uncomfortable, to say the least.

The quality on the counter simply wasn't there. Too many under-hit passes in promising positions, ruining at least three counters which could have finished the game. Pepe was ponderous in possession, Smith Rowe never got the weight of his passing right and Saka was simply slower than Burnley's defenders. Felt bad for Auba who did pretty well with what he got.

Burnley applied a lot of pressure in the 2nd half which we actually did well to see out. After that, the team went into preservation mode, took even fewer risks and looked to keep the ball instead. Don't blame them tbh. They need the points.

I'd love for us to go to Burnley and play them off the pitch, but it's not gonna happen right now. It's a tough ground to play in the first place because Burnley make the game scrappy and you have to contend with a lot of crosses and long balls. If Burnley start picking up 2nd balls they can apply a surprising amount of pressure, as we just found out.

Fortunately, Ramsdale, Gabriel and Tomiyasu had top games. I'm already convinced by Ramsdale as our new no.1 because I couldn't imagine Leno claiming crosses the way he did, during tough moments in the game. The logic behind Tomiyasu's signing was clear as day with his strength in the air. And Gabriel thrives in these sorts of games where he has a traditional forward to grapple with.

I was disappointed by White, who made poor errors on the ball and didn't play with the same aggression as the rest of his defence.

Credit to Arteta for swapping ESR for Sambi when Burnley were applying pressure. The weakness of the Partey-Odegaard-ESR trio is that they aren't great in the 2nd phase and aren't going to fight for loose passes. The presence of a second holding player was necessary and Odegaard's reliable technique made him a safe option to keep on.

Ugly win, but I think the team really needed that. After being criticised for being weak against Brentford they had to prove they could scrap and pick up a win at a difficult ground. The young guys didn't wilt under pressure.

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Post by El Gunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:12 pm

so many poor passing choices, poor passes and poor touches... we need to sort it out, could have scored minimum 3 today just like last week.
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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:16 pm

Love Ramsdale tbh.

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Post by Jay29 Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:29 pm

Have to remember this is a young team who will make poor choices when games become difficult. We lost control of the game in the 2nd half because of players not making the right decisions for the game state. Stuff like Tavares charging up the pitch with the ball and deciding to shoot from 25 yards in stoppage time instead of playing the easy pass, or Lokonga attempting a lofted ball to the flank for Tierney when he's marked by two players. Not picking on them specifically but it's a problem that comes with inexperienced players and will probably cost us points at times this season.

I'm encouraged, though. The structure of the team looks compact and there's technical quality in midfield and defence to properly play out of pressure and control games. Just watch Ramsdale play those simple forward passes into the midfielder for example. Doesn't look like much but it cuts out two of Burnley's players and finds a player in space. Leno would have hoofed the ball at the first sign of trouble. Now it's working on the team's decision making and somehow getting more consistency out of the attackers. Pepe has to step it up now and stop having one good game in five because he's a senior player in that frontline.

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Post by RealGunner Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:36 pm

Yea honestly a lot of today's match reminded me of Arsene days when we struggled to break deep block. It wasn't a bad display by any means and winning away to Burnley is never an easy task. We were winless there for the last 3 times iirc.

I liked Odegaard's role today. I don't see why he can't be transformed into a 'Kroos'. He took some interesting positions today and often deeper than Partey. He is an intelligent player. If Arteta can coach him into being more disciplined then we just need ESR to be more consistent with his displays as a 10.

bit worried about Saka. I don't think he has recovered mentally or physically after the Euros. It might be worth starting Martinelli at LW for a bit.

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