Why I personally HATED watching the Everton vs Asrenal match.
The invincibles – 4-4-2: playing fast attacking expansive football a lot of the times on the break, I can remember one of our most potentially attacking points in any game was during an opposition corner.
League winners last season – 4-4-2: Manchester City
2nd in the league last season – 4-4-2 Diamond, The team that got the most plaudits for playing the most attacking, fast, expansive football: Liverpool
Everton yesterday – 4-4-2 Diamond: they didn’t mess about in a congested midfield playing it gradually up the field as a team and loosing attacking momentum, they already had attackers in place to pass to up the field and so played quick attacking football especially on the break.
THE 4-4-2 DIAMOND IS THE FORMATION I AM CONSTANTLY HOPING WENGER WILL WAKE UP AND TRY, IT IS WHAT OUR TEAM IS MADE FOR!!
Just a quick overview of what the 4-4-2 diamond actually is as I constantly refer to it as a 4-3-3 but it differs a little, in our case it would look like this (fill in your own player preferences as applicable):
Liverpool equivalent last season (white):
A description of how Liverpool use it:
And how well they used it against us btw:
Just one of many times Everton used it against us yesterday (I think they nearly went on to score from this but were denied by a last ditch tackle form Chambers)
The left and right midfielders have moved up obviously to support the attack but I hope you can still see the diamond working and producing an excellent attacking move from even a mediocre team:
Now conversely for us Wenger has managed incredibly to make players like Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, OX, Ramsey all look crap by finding perhaps the worst possible way to play them – all out of position and close together in a congested mess, hats off to you there Wenger that takes some doing.
So when we weren’t playing within ourselves all cooped up in a little passing bubble in a non threatening midfield area, when we did manage to break into space what did WE have to force the attack with: (I think three examples will be enough lol)
No striking threat within a mile, neither supportive from behind or expansive up ahead and we were left four on one – make something out of that please Sanchez pmsl!
Same situation again but this time six on one
This time Sanchez drops deep and passes it to Ramsey creating an almost flat five across the park and yep you guessed it we get an even greater seven on one situation in this area this time. I don’t know Wenger I think if you play six midfielders in a formation that is all about midfield I think what you’re going to end up with is a lot of midfielders in midfield pmsl – am I loosing the plot or is that just logic??
Once again let’s do some analysis on the options Everton were granted by their formation, I will use the same example because I’m pretty pissed off watching this match over and over to screen print tbh.
So from before, here Everton have a four on five attack with the extra midfielder still out wide for support further ahead than any of our covering midfielders. Some may say that in the diamond system with Sanchez as the pivot (as I have it outlined in my arsenal example) he would never win that header but what if it was Giroud feeding Walcott and Campbell? The options are there and it allows for each player to play more of their own game instead of being cramped together with four or five other players all playing the same game as them.
I just felt I had to write this as I found myself more and more falling into the “he was crap” and “he was crap” mentality of blaming players whilst watching a game where all the lads were doing their best actually but were stuck running uphill in a system that just does not support the attacking nature of the team and the fans.
I am sure all this will be turned on its head against Besiktas this week when it all falls into place and Wenger’s wonderful plan unfolds but at the moment our team to me at least looks stagnant, predictable and somehow slow even though we have some of the quickest players we’ve ever had on the pitch – again another argument for an unnecessarily dense and squeezed midfield.
And just in case you needed some more convincing here we are ARSENAL with all our attacking prowess and free flowing football we constantly declare we have, playing a team that definitely did not turn up to sit eleven men behind the ball and so provided the space we all repeatedly get annoyed that lesser teams suffocate with parking the bus strategies and how did we end up scoring??
A one in a million cross that passes six defenders and somehow reaches Ramsey:
And an old fashioned take your chances, in the locker of any team in the league – ball into the box:
Written by: Steve.