Joachim Low’s Germany Shows How Arsenal Will Play Eventually

Tournament football can be soooo cruel. After winning every game during the qualifiers and getting through the group stage relatively easily, England were unable to shake off a determined and well organised Iceland and are out of the competition. The players are already back on the bleak Brexit soil and will all want to hide away for six weeks till the PL starts again.

As with so many games during the Euros, the clash between the Icelanders and Ingurlanders reminded me of a typically frustrating Arsenal game. An on paper inferior team comes with a clear plan to defend to the Emirates and we struggle to break them down and lack the defensive discipline when the odd chance falls to the opposition. To see the England defence getting beat by a Stokian fecking throwie, just 34 seconds after kick off from Rooney’s well taken penalty, is just so humiliating for the inventors of the game. The Iceland winner, on the other hand, was a beautifully crafted team goal; one that England so desperately wanted to make but was incapable of  – and yes, ‘Head and Shoulders’ Hart should have done better, but it was a well worked attack nevertheless.

Jack’s introduction did not make much difference but this was not down to him. He was playing very deep and had to share the role of playmaker with Rooney, who also  remained relatively deep. In my opinion, England needed Jack to direct play from deep and Rooney to populate the area around the D, with Kane in the 18 yards box and plenty of movement on the wings. I disagree with the general sentiment that the players did not show enough passion or work rate against the Icelanders; it was not that at all. The truth is a lot more embarrassing for the three lions: there was not enough meaningful movement in the areas were Iceland could be hurt and the technical discipline of the players, bar none, was well below par. First touches were awful, passes were constantly over-hit, long distance shots and free-kicks were way off target, etc. It was just like there was a shifting weight inside the football that made it impossible for the English players to play accurately….. a problem the Icelanders did not seem to suffer from..

Holland were beaten by Iceland in a similar fashion to England, and although the Northern European country’s population is so much smaller than either of the former countries, they clearly are not a rubbish team. They are a good example that a team with a clear plan, strong discipline and team spirit can go a long way; and we will only see more and more of these sorts of teams, both nationally and in the PL, in the foreseeable future.

The Germans have the best answer to these, I reckon. Against the Machiavellian and naturally defence-minded Italians, the German system will be tested to the limit, and I cannot wait to see this game. As we could see during the Germany v Slovakia game, key to crack the PTB teams is: constant movement, added width from the full backs and a number of incisive and technically very capable creative midfielders; and key is also that the ‘wingers’ can play close the the CF and add both a goal and assist threat. Furthermore, you need a strong and multi-disciplined double DM-pivot such as the combo of Khedira and Kroos.




The Germans effectively play the way Arsene wants his Arsenal to play. The difference is that we are still looking for one or two players to make the system really work. Giroud plays in the Gomez role – the Germans started the Euros with Gotze as a ‘false’, very mobile nr.9 but seem to play now more effectively with a holding CF – and around him we need two dynamic ‘wingers’ to benefit from his hard work and presence in the centre to create space, link up play and offer genuine goal threat at the same time. These ‘mid-wingers’ need good close ball control and passing ability among other skills, just like Muller and Draxler have. Alexis Sanchez can play in such a role but he is certainly not uber-suited for it. But he will do for us; it is the other wing where we are still in need of a better alternative to Theo, the Ox and Campbell. And I expect Arsene to either buy or put his trust in Iwobi in the coming season, whilst hoping that Welbeck (our future Muller?) can still make a difference in the second half of the season.

If you want to know what the final Arsene team will look like, have a good look at the German national team. And if you wonder who will replace Arsene eventually, I reckon that Joachim Low will be a strong candidate. A real shame that by the time this is likely to pass, we may well no longer have free movement of EU members! 😉

By TotalArsenal.


53 thoughts on “Joachim Low’s Germany Shows How Arsenal Will Play Eventually

  • Hi TA! Nice to know that you are still writing and helping folks like me pass this period of footballing activity but arsenal inactivity. Nice and intriguing topic. 🙂

    First, I do feel sorry for the Eng players. Everyone and their uncle in piling on them. All the commentators who were going ga-ga a few weeks back now cannot curse these players enough. Wish there were some way to hold these pundits accountable. I for one am going to be very interested in seeing how the “great” Mr. Neville approaches his second round of media punditry. If he cannot eat some real humble pie after the horrendous shows at Valencia and with England, then he should in the same hall of shame as Michael Owen.

    Interesting take on the German team vs arsenal but isn’t that the defacto model at barca and Bayern? If Germany wins the Euro then certainly a model to aspire for. But if they finish in the top four…;-)

    I have a feeling that Theo & Ox might pleasantly surprise all of us this year. I was beginning to wonder (after seeing the Italy game), if Arsene might consider switching to a 3-man defense. But this was more a random effort on my part to see if such a formation might allow more opportunities for all the midfielders we would like to see play at the same time. Also think we are way too short on personnel for that to work. Next year in the PL looks like it will be a doozy…

  • Hi to St Henry 😀

    Yes the German team resembles the Bayern team to a large extent as they play with a great all round holding CF in Lewandowski, just the way Gomez is employed. Yet I feel the national team aim less to suffocate the opponent like Bayern or indeed Barca like to do, and the use of the wing positions is exactly what we need at Arsenal. The inter play and ability to get behind defences by the full backs and wingers is exactly the area in which we need to improve and where this German team is excelling… But the Italians will be a big test as they know how to suffocate the distribution lines on the flanks and through the middle.

  • Germany are a great side without doubt, with such incredible amount of talent coming through that they could replace players like Lahm and Per with ease.But also, I’d say that the challenges of international football are different. The opposition can’t go out and buy better players. They have only a couple of weeks to work on their discipline and coordination etc which means better players are likely to be able to beat the defensive system easier than in the club game.

    Low has been mentioned before as a possible successor to Arsene, but the man needs to stop sniffing his crotch, armpits etc if he’s to be Arsenal manager. Really not cool. (I’m both kidding and not kidding here)

    I see you’re still holding on to the Giroud is first choice by choice theory. I think he would be if he had a little more speed, and better dribbling. He’s very good at what he does, but he does lack a little something, and has a tendency to go missing during a season. Something that Wenger alluded to as well.

    I do agree however, that we should look for an upgrade on Walcott, Ox and Campbell. Campbell would be an effective third choice CF I feel. He seems to finish well and is good with his movement (based on his Costa Rica performances) Walcott will probably need to be sold to make way for a winger. He has made me want this to happen, but I will say in his defense that he was coming back from an ACL injury and I know from personal experience that it isn’t easy to do that.

    I’d also suggest that it is possible that the likes of Wellington and Gnabry can provide us some attacking threat from wide positions too. They seem to have been forgotten, but they both have the skills and can offer us something if they work hard for the team. But they’ll likely be reserves and have to wait for their chance.

    Xhaka will allow us more verticality in our play too, as well as bring the best out of Ramsey, by recreating the Arteta-Ramsey partnership of 2013-14 (the year of the Welsh Jesus) In theory at least. With Elneny, Santi, Jack and Coquelin, I think we have a very strong quality midfield, also offering variety.

    Our attack was stunted last year once Cazorla went down injured. Leaving Mesut and Alexis to act as passer/runner to each other. Adding another passer with Xhaka (and improvements from Coquelin) will help. Adding another runner/passer in the wide roles should help further. I’m ok with Giroud continuing up top in such a scenario, but realistically, we need an upgrade there too. Or at least, a competitor for his spot. Someone who can replace Welbeck for now (but hopefully be a better finisher) and push Giroud for the starting role.

  • Fab comment, Shard, and almost all agreed.

    Re Ollie, I like the way Griezman and Payet play with mobility and thrust around the central hub, quite similar to the way Draxler and Muller play around Gomez. Ollie created the second France goal v the Irish, occupied defenders for the first one and played in Griezman beautifully for the attack that led to the sending off, effectively finishing the game. I reckon Deschamp and Wenger share their appreciation and role interpretation for Ollie. Yes he could be faster so an upgrade is not a bad call.

  • Draxler or Griezmann is suitable for the attacking roles or false 9, but i see a fit Santi and Alexis doing the same, including Rambo.

    With the arrival of Xhaka it frees up Santi to venture further up front and maybe take the place of Alexis, meaning that Alexis is able to be a false 9.

    Pairing Xhaka with Elneny or Le Coq means that we are able to deploy two defensive mids, while not letting up on attacking from the defensive positions.

    This is a good start, and if we add players, it must be on the central forward and central defensive positions.


  • Hello, people! 🙂

    A lot of to catch up it seems. 🙂

    TA, I like this summer cocktail of yours. 🙂 The prospect of Arsenal playing like Germany is exciting.

    In order to do so, however, we need more than a few things to do.

    First of all, we need defenders capable of participation in the attack. Löw’s decision to pair Boateng and Hummels in the central defence at World Cup 2014 was made at the expense of Per Mertesacker. Boateng was the one to unlock the Slovakian defence and Mustafi was the one to score first against Ukraine. Mertesacker, Gabriel and Chambers are not exactly capable of scoring ball-playing goals in the mould of Boateng’s strike against Slovakia (or against Manchester City two seasons ago) while Kos is pretty efficient at set-pieces. The question is: where to find a defender who would be additional playmaker/goalscorer in the mould of Boateng?

    Secondly, wingers. I would love to see Payet helping Özil in the creative department (not to mention he would add a few goals from free-kicks as well) but maybe it’s time for our long-term target (or that’s what we had been told) Julian Draxler to follow Granit Xhaka’s footsteps and make a switch from Bundesliga to Premiership. He has become a top drawer winger at Wolfsburg and looks like he is THE winger we need – someone who can create space against defensive-minded teams like Southampton, next season’s Everton, West Ham and, especially, Conte’s Chelsea with his dribbling. Alexis, Mesut and Draxler behind the striker – sounds like a lot of sexy football! But…

    …we need a top striker. Now, someone might have noticed that Germany have managed to do well with Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose who are not the best strikers in the world or at least not at the same level as Lewandowski, Benzema and Suarez. Still, we need someone who will be both mobile enough to open space for the wingers and No.10 and capable of producing a decent link-up play. Giroud offers the latter, Walcott offers the former. We need a complete player for that role with a decent conversion rate. Maybe Gomez, the 31-year-old striker who topped Turkish score-charts last season, is the best short-term option in terms of price, finishing and adjustment on the style of play?

  • Cheers 84 and Admir ⚽️⚽️

    I think Gab and Koz will give us the CB mobility and Xhaka will also penetrate from deeper. Ollie could be faster but I reckon Wenger will add speed around him and another quality winger is key.

  • T, excellent article and great comments here too.
    I think we are blessed with so many good midfielders, it will be a problem finding enough minutes for them all. I think el neny and le coq will end up being less used if most are healthy,, but still love santi-coquelin combo together.
    In big games id consider xhaka coquelin with ramsey on right wing. I think we would be very hard to break down like that.

  • That was why we couldn’t get the top strikers.

    Why are we so slow in tying up deals? Nolito has gone to Citeh, and I do not think we will sign a star striker.

    You guys might think I am saying things with a sour taste but it has been like that for the past uncountable years.


  • Hi all.. Nice post and command..
    If Ozil can play well in Right winger position than maybe we don’t need to bring other striker.. hahaha.. Cause we had Cazorla, Ramsey and still Walcott, Campbell, Iwobi and Ox for that position also.. hehehe.. Don’t we had a very special team..?? Hahaha..

    But I agree with most of Gunners that we need another CF.. Yes another CF.. not a Winger like rumours said lately.. Mahrez, Goetze, Mkhitaryan, Caresco and others.. Damn I love Ibra so much and now he is MU.. just forget it.. And So now Japanese CF is on radar.. We don’t know yet, maybe he will be great.. But I still hope guys from Eredivisie like Jansen and Milik will come..

    And still I love to see Stones to be gunners or maybe Rami.. why not..?? why don’t we pairing the two French CB in Arsenal as two Germany in Munchen or two Belgium in Spurs.. Chelsea did the same before.. But some rumours about Daney Blind also something special for me.. Come on.. please fill some oranye (ducth) in this team.. hehehehe..

  • Maybe we should wait what Ramsey can bring tonight.. and let Wenger decided what he must do about Rambo.. and Ozil also.. Hehehe..
    And maybe we must play 4-2-4 formation without any CF.. hehehe..
    Can You Imagine our team could be

  • Dan Crowley on loan at Oxford Utd for the season…

    Two more of our players are going to train with Oxford next week.
    Just a trial where they can have a look at the club.

    But this could be the start of a kind of understanding or mutual benefit between both clubs. Not exactly a nursery club but a similar arrangement….

  • Hi TA and cheers for putting up a new post…I’ve been on the go so a little slow to comment. (Please pardon me, if this one ends up a bit on the longer side, hahahaha…) I’ve also been watching what and where I can but missing some of the matches and parts of others. Not all of what I have seen has been great, although seeing the pressure on the various “fancied” teams is always interesting. With Wales & Iceland getting through, it’s definitely a wild one…

    Like you, Germany-Italy is the one I’m looking at as the first “final,” if you know what I mean. Both teams are playing the best of their respective styles and have the most potential to control their matches and not rely quite so much on luck. I agree that Germany appear improved with Gomez as the number 9, but, like France, they may need to switch to a tucked in 2nd striker if they fall a goal behind. I may be biased, but I think Ozil is what makes them the current choice to go all the way, There are just so few players who want to take touches to set up the pass, rather than guys who want their touches to set up their (own) shots. (And now, with Ramsey suspended for Wales, there is one less…what a tragedy that is…) It’s a small difference but also a huge one and, of course, Ozil’s game would be Balon d’Or quality if he occasionally prioritized (and converted) the shots…

    Elimination matches, of course, must be played more conservatively and the great players (i.e., Bale and Ronaldo in their upcoming semifinal) will have to drop deeper to get the ball. This sort of star power or individual element takes more precedence in these tournaments due to lack of talent but also because combination play (1-2s, triangles) to break a line of defense commits two (or or more) players forward whereas an individual effort to dribble and shoot is only one. With defending at such a premium it’s just a less risky ploy… Another reason I prefer the playing for 3 points of the the club game…

    So, how to look at the Int’ls and make inferences towards the Arsenal game?…To me (and I think you hint at it…) Alexis can be that individual guy who wants to take over and get the job done, which is great but can he also play the team game? Too often (IMO) he demands the ball at his feet (in very tight spaces, often leading to a turnover) and then (if his first touch is successful) he takes off towards goal–just like all the other “best” players on these national teams. Ramsey has similar tendencies. At club level–where teams are better drilled and know they only will play 90 mins–there’s just not the same amount of space… Both of them are good enough that they should (italics) be able to change their games to work off guys like Ozil, Giroud and Santi (or Elneny, and Jack) which will only serve to up their fantasy scores (goals and assists). That late season 1-2 Alexis did with Giroud (against Villa, maybe…) should serve as the blue-print. Playing 4-2-3-1 (as we have for several seasons now) and using the FBs for our width is the only way forward, really, in both the club and Int’l game, whenever you have enough talent in the team…

    This is why I cannot understand the constant complaining from our would-be 10s about starting in wide positions. I guess it’s like being a politician, if gov’t is ineffective, you can still work on your next campaign (contract)… We can talk all summer long about formations and players but until everybody gets on the same page as to the real goal–team glory first, not individual–whether you’re the manager, a player or a supporter–it’s all so much hot air. Like our rivals, we probably need some turnover, but, unlike all the others, because we’ve kept our manager, we’re probably strongest standing pat and hoping for a good start and increasing buy-in from all parties. Based on past experience, while this would be THE most satisfying path, I think the atmosphere around Arsenal is FAR too poisoned to have it ever come to fruition.

    As such, I’d sell Alexis and maybe Rambo and Ollie (and definitely Theo, Gibbs, Ox and Campbell) and do everything possible to buy a bunch of promising replacements. We could definitely finish top 6 if we did so, Steve Bould managing the 2nd half of the season… With expectations downsized we could then bring in a new manager with some pedigree (Low seems as good as anybody) and begin a new era…

    I’m kidding, of course…If those were my real ideas I’d have my own Arsenal blog, just like all the others… 😀 😦

    In fact, I believe Arsenal are very close… We need a new body (big and strong, probably, but fast and skillful would also be nice…) in for Welbeck so we can play the traditional #9 if Giroud is unavailable (or choking all his chances) or we’re going for broke at the end of a match. Another option is somebody happy to start out wide (or play there in a subs role) to push Theo/Ox/Iwobi/Campbell or the #10s who might start there. (For me, based on what I’ve seen, Draxler and Mahrez could be that player…) We probably also need another versatile defender, but that’s one for another day…

    For me, Arsenal are at a real cross-road and results in the first dozen or so matches will be absolutely critical. Players will or will not be bought (and Gooners will complain either way…) but it means nothing if they cannot play as a team, spread the pitch and allow each other space to work–and get those results from the first match. I think we’re good enough (with the current roster) to compete for league honors (American spelling) without adding (ANYBODY) to the squad but also bad enough that if we play selfishly (even with big signings) we could downward spiral very, very quickly. It would take a major trophy or two (League or CL) for Wenger (and thus his players) to be more than just a couple of bad results away from complete (press and blog-driven) Gooner revolt… And, (like with the Brexit…) punters only seem stupider and more ill-tempered as time goes by so I don’t see them able to recognize the new parity in the league, how every match is a challenge, draws are OK, and margins are very, very tight and sometimes you cannot get all the good bounces…which should, in fact, make our matches more boring and more like these international games–and a guy like Xhaka, already in, so no longer very exciting–all the more important.

    So, high hopes,but (I’m sorry to say…very) low expectations…

  • Thanks TA, sorry I lost control of my word count… Anybody watching the match?…With my wife nodding off due to its chess-like nature (15 minutes in…), I could use some company… Advantage Italy (maybe?) with Germany forced to use a sub…

  • Good tactical battle, Seventeenho, but not much goal mouth action. Italians play like the Chavs and the Germans look like a cautious Arsenal against them. Ozil cannot get in the game as yet, and I reckon Low will tell his players to give him the ball more.

  • Italy had the best chance with the timed run by the Sunderland bench-sitter (Giacherini) that Neuer turned towards the top of the box…Gomez looked like a poor(er) man’s Giroud on the headed chance. Both teams almost looked like they were just playing rope-a-dope in order to get to the final 75 (potential) minutes… Michael Ballack and Roberto Martinez doing the studio half-time…Ballack ready to ditch Gomez for Goetze or Draxler… I dunno, a bit more wide play and crossing to Gomez & Mueller surely opens things for Ozil to make runs across the top of the box and find a pass….

  • I reckon Draxler could come on but to work off Gomez. The latter is not so good at hold up play as Ollie though, so could see him being taking off as well.

  • Will you look at that…Ozil on the scoring end…. Game should be more fun (to watch) now…

  • Wow…Better than the goal…what a pass but Gomez needed to hit it first time…Gigi keeps Italy in it…

  • 1-1 Bad handball by one defender, good pen by the other…

  • Geezus…Quite a shootout and Ozil’s (and Mueller’s and Schweinie’s) blushes are spared… Gigi, in the end was just a little porous while guessing right over and over and over…

  • If Italy won we would be cursing and swearing at the tactics that they are deploying.

    Wasteful by Germany, but still they won the pens.

    Ozil is the person of the moment against Italy, and I wonder what we will do without our best players of the moment, Rambo, Ozil and Alexis.

    We must tie all of them to new contracts, and make sure we adapt nicely to the changing tactics in the EPL teams.


  • TA, are you going to do a write-up regarding your new Japanese Young Striker?

    France won over Iceland convincingly yesterday, and it is good to see Ollie score 2 goals.
    He is not as bad as what people see of him. Maybe let Santi, Alexis or Rambo play in a similar role to Griezmann and we will see the same as what we see of France.

    I have said for so many years that we have the right players, just that the important players get injured when we need them most.


  • 84,

    You know as much about him as I do. He is from Japan and Arsene says he is ‘One for the Future’, so we will not see much of him after the season start.

  • Agreed. I hope he is not the next Inamoto or Park Chu Young.

    At least Inamoto has got a few starts.

    He is certainly one for the future, and I hope he will be for the near future, instead of the far future.


  • COYG.. Asano isn’t that Bad.. his speed and power show from what I saw on youtube.. hehehe.. And I put Asano as another youngster.. So we still only bought one.. hehehe.. Nkwali and Asano are like other youngster that Wenger bring every years.. So at least another star will still on his way.. but I hope two.. hehehe..

    But I remembered Wenger said that Giroud will be his first choice CF next season.. I read that as a confirmation that he won’t bring a first class CF to replaced him.. Wenger just need someone who can subs him when he was tired or injured.. at least for first season before he can bring another lethal CF if needed in Winter.. so maybe Asano will be our second recruitment.. and he will get more time to play.. moreover if Walcott fail to shine (again)..

    My wish still on a great CB to come.. My first choice is Stones.. and second for Rami.. And if Jansen also arrived.. it will be more than great..

  • Hi all..
    Guys.. our players are all special ones.. Giroud is the MOTM with two goals yesterday..
    Ramsey is the MOTM against Belgium..
    Who is the MOTM in Germany vs Italy..?? Is it Ozil..??
    So Giroud, Ramsey (twice), Ozil and Xhaka (twice) are all the MOTM in Europe Cup.. Sanchez got the best player at Copa America..
    With Cech and Ospina as our Keeper.. And Koscielny as our CB.. they said the best CB in Europe..
    Do you think we had an ordinary team..??
    Even now that Ibra and Mkhitaryan and also Mourinho are in that MU side.. Conte in Chelsea And Pep in City.. We still can compete with them.. for sure.. even without any other players to come..
    Hehehe.. Is it sound too much..?? Hahaha..

  • Ko Henry,

    Selamat Lebaran to you and your family and everyone in Indonesia.

    Definitely our team is not ordinary. We have a good all-rounded team and our players’ depth is not there yet, but we can still get a few more promising young players in.


  • With Rambo out of the Euros, we have Ozil, Kos and Ollie facing each other tonight.

    Should we see a last man standing or 2 men reaching the final?


  • JK.. thanks..
    I don’t celebrate the Lebaran.. hehehe.. but enjoy the quiet and empty Jakarta.. hahaha..

    I love Ozil.. but I don’t love Germany.. hahaha.. I bet Koscielny will keep Ozil silent.. hehehe..

  • Seems that Arsenal are set to turn down the opportunity of having a team compete in the EFL Trophy…

    Short sighted imo…

    To me it’s a missed opportunity, a chance for our youngsters to gain the kind of experience in senior football, that the FAYC and Academy League cannot replicate…

  • I feel sad that Issac Hayden is moving to NewU.. he could have been the person that we could have turned to for our defensive backup.

    However, it is good to see him continuing his career at NewU.


  • 84, despite all the reports concerning Hayden, I’ve yet to read it confirmed anywhere if his transfer to Newcastle is permanent or a loan deal.
    Hopefully it’s the latter…

    All I’ve read is that he’s passed his medical..,

  • Yup Allezkev,

    There were unconfirmed reports that he have passed a medical for permanent transfer.

    If it is loan it will be better for us too, as we are low on defenders.


  • Totally agree 84, I just hope that we rue that decision over the next few years…

    I’m worried that Toral is going the same way…

  • Yes JK n Allez.. I feel sorry for Hayden too.. but we always argued about it every preseason.. about buying star or giving youngster a chance..
    Not an easy thing to decide.. especially when fans asking to compete more with the money that we had.. all they need is bring more Stars.. not youngsters..

    For DM we already had Coqueilin, Cazorla, Elneny, Xhaka and also Wilshere.. even Ox and Ramsey sometime also played in that role.. Even Beilik won’t get any room in this midfielders team this season..

    Last season the same thing happened to Ozzy.. See how cool he become with Besiktas and Turkish..
    And some of us still want Sissoko, Kante and others DM to come.. hehehe..

    I think Wenger in this past 3 season had more flexible but yet still a bit stubborn.. He bought Star every years but still some youngsters are in his top priority..
    And every season we will still see some of them shine.. Ox, Bellerin, Iwobi and maybe Chambers are the very best example.. So I hope it will happen again this season.. JRA already name as our first team, hope he will get his time..

    After watching French team playing.. I think we must return to our victory formation 4-4-2.. Sanchez is capable enough to be Griezman.. He play the same role for Chile..
    And guest what.. We had more than enough great four midfielders who can play as AM and DM..
    If we had two solid CB.. We can play 4 AM.. hahaha.. So all we need is adding one lethal CB..

  • Mmmmm …. It appears you have started a new series of posts without me????

    All of the above is now history, so I shall not add a comment on the post’s title … err except to say,
    What happened to the ‘No Politics’ rule, with you mentioning ‘brexit’ in the opening paragraph??
    Ha! Ha!
    However, I will try and find the next, particularly if it concerns a new signing?

  • henrychan, your idea of playing a 4-4-2 using Giroud and Sanchez is interesting. Having two strikers up front worked well (mostly) for France and for Italy, not to mention Leicester last season. I remember fondly how effective we used to be with our striking partnerships too, like Alan Smith with Ian Wright, or Thierry Henry with DB10. It would mean a return to a more direct, less possession-based game, which also might be a good thing.

    And agreed, it might also change our transfer priorities towards signing another elite-level defender or two rather than throwing all of our cash into a big-name striker.

  • Hi Davy..
    Yes I don’t like our tiki taka look alike games.. We can do better than Barca.. hahaha..

    Who will you choose.. Higuain for 70M or Icardi for 35M..??
    After Subotic fly to Boro.. which CB will you expect to land in Emirates..??

  • Hi DavyDavy & Henrychan. Having checked in regularly for a ‘New Post’ to come, today I thought I would just check on any additional posters … and there you are.
    As you have alluded to in your comment DD, deciding formations without knowing who we might sign, is a bit ‘cart before the horse’ ?
    However, if you follow that logic, who we do sign … and I am still hopeful we will … then it might indicate a direction as to how the team might line up?
    I agree also that throwing most of our transfer budget at one player could be a mistake, especially if it leaves half the change of formation unfulfilled. Far better to spread it more wisely.
    I want to plant to thoughts in your mind regards to how this might be achieved.

    Going back to last season. I seem to recall saying only to myself that Ross Barkley(Everton) started the season injured, and only got back just around the January window, it would have been a good time to buy him..(had we needed yet another AM????) … because he would be ‘value’ if he came good. Which he duly did.

    Remember when West Ham bought Payet and nobody blinked an eye?

    Back to us, in the here and now. I can think of two players who might fit that scenario, that is spreading the load, by getting one proven player, backed up by a couple ‘potentials’.
    However, I think the Higuain option is so unlike AW it will not even be contemplated. It is easy to ‘agree terms with a player’, totally another to pay top whack and then some for a 29 year old?
    On the other hand, WHA are linked with ‘Hamez’ Rodrigues? If he turn out the way Payet did, and tripled his value in one season, then eggs thrown in that direction could be worth a thought?
    The cheapie back up I have in mind is Calum Wilson.
    He sort of proved himself capable of scoring at PL level, before his injury, and he has all the pace of Vardy? Paired with a pacey striker/No10 he could be a really shrewd buy. Not only that, he thrives on knock downs from a big guy, so could be part of a Plan A/B with Giroud should other incomer be a pacey winger, like JD, who you may remember I am a big fan?

    Henry, I hope you are well? As far as Arsenal’s tika-taki style of football goes, I think it was largely due to fail because of the failure to get all the pieces together at the same time. We never got the striker we needed to complete the potential of Ozil and Alexis. Instead we relied on Walcott to fulfill part of that, as well as the DM problems we had due to injury. Failing to convert even half the chances that Ozil created, ie the ones over and above the ‘assists, are what killed our chances of the league title last time. So when we kept possession without an end product it made us look timid AND slow. Yet despite that, Ozil still created those chances that went begging?

    This coming season is going to bring a lot of disappointment to at least 5 big spending managers who fail to win the title, and that could include AW if we do not get it right this time?
    However, I will be satisfied if we are at least compete in every game, and we look as capable of winning as any other challenging team. We are not going to win all our games, but providing the team gels, and injuries don’t throw us off track as they have don in previous seasons, we might stand a pretty good chance … but we do need the right signings!

  • Hi Gerry and henrychan, I agree that this might be the year we finally say goodbye to tiki-taka football at the Arsenal. As you say Gerry we never had all the pieces in place for it to work. To be honest the only real exponent of the game we had was Cesc Fabregas, and looking back we really we should have reshaped our tactics the day that he left.

    Our midfield core now is Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, and Alexis. That is wonderful a combination of solidity, energy and passing skills. How do we best add to this? I think the only thing missing in this list is width, so rather than spending all of our funds on, say, Higuain we might be better pushing Alexis forward and bringing in a genuine wide player. Yep, JD certainly fits the bill, as would Leroy Sané. Having genuine wide players is a good option to have in trying to unlock packed defences, and I suspect that we will come across a lot of packed defences this season.

    More importantly, I think the club also needs a robust elite level centre-back to succeed the BFG, and this time I know exactly who I want to see at the Arsenal, and that’s Jonathan Tah from Bayer Leverkusen. He’s only young, but looks immensely promising and he is already massively powerful in the same way that Sol Campbell was. I’d be a happy camper if JT turns up at the Emirates this summer!

    Good shout on Calum Wilson. He certainly looked good early last season, but I might hold back on that one to see how well he recovers from his awful knee injury. Definitely one to keep an eye on though. Perhaps Gabigol might be the best option after all up front, so he’s one I’ll be looking out for at the Olympics if he gets game time.

  • Thanks DD, much agreed on all points.
    Regarding Wilson, I go back to the link I made before. Buy now, take the risk, and if it pays off we have a bargain.
    Interesting that the Bolton guy has resurfaced? May be to get the funds for two 50m plus players further up the field?

  • Hi Gerry..
    Agreed with you about Higuain.. That’s a very un-wenger style.. hehehe.. 80 (other said 90) million is the amount we payed for Ozil plus Sanchez..
    Better to bring Ibra for free although we must pay him twice Ozil’s salary.. hehehe..

    I love total football.. all attack yet all defense.. I loved Dutch 88 with Rinus Michel as their Coach and Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard and Koeman as their most key players.. I like Erwin Koeman, van Brukelen and Van Tigelen too.. and guest what.. they play 4-4-2 formation..
    I still believe Rinus Michels is the Godfather of total football not Johan Cruff.. He is the tiki taka Godfather.. hehehe..

    And Wenger also got his most success era with 4-4-2 formation..
    In Euro 2016 most team play 4-4-2 also.. Portugal play 4-4-2.. France play 4-4-1-1..
    So why not we go back to our victory formatian with 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1..
    We decide the formation first then fill the right man in the right place..

    First we need two very solid CB.. Like Koeman and Rijkaard did.. Or like Campbell and Toure did..
    We got one already.. Koscielny..
    All we need is to find his partner..

    And then Wenger must decide who will be the Second striker.. I recommend Sanchez.. And for our first striker let’s hope for the best.. for me Ibra is the man.. hehehe.. but huuh.. just forget it..

    So my first team.. with our current team :
    Bellerin – Gabriel – Koscielny – Monreal
    Ozil – Xhaka – Elneny – Ramsey

  • Interesting Henrychan.
    The second striker role for Alexis is also what TH14 has suggested. Two great minds ….. eh?

    I have a bit of a thing about Thierry at the moment. He says he wants to manage Arsenal one day, but he is not prepared to dedicate himself towards that role …. and it does take dedication.
    Instead, he wants to cling to punditry, where any decisions he suggests he does not have to live with the consequences. Managing a club is all about that. Perhaps it is a weakness in his character that when he has a chance to stand up and be counted, he ducks out. Much as he did, in my opinion, when he passed the buck to the referee (‘ is the referee’s job to make the decisions’ with his infamous handball incident against the Irish?

    We, however, can play the game at being manager, as we are not in the running for the top job.
    So the only thing I would say about Alexis in that No10 role, is why would a very experienced manager not have tried that?
    Perhaps the answer lies in the selections elsewhere? You too, Henrychan, have tried to fit in Ramsey into the midfield? Yet I need not look any further than the TA’s thoughts in this post as to where his best position lies, and I sort of agree with him.
    Where I drift away from that is Ramsey’s ability to maintain a threat every time he plays?
    Does a line up with that pair seriously look strong enough, no matter who is behind them?
    The answer to that, and your line up H, is who supplies the width to give either Ramsey or Alexis the space to operate in the middle. Ideally, they both need the space to run on to a knock down/pass to have a minimum of touches, then shoot. Give them any more to do and they will fail because they will be outnumbered.
    So if you are playing either variation of 4-4-2, or 4-4-1-1, then you need that midfield 4 to provide that width?
    Yes, we have wingbacks, but that is no help if the midfield helps clog the central area?

    As to the chicken or egg coming first in the transfer market I think you have to be a bit more flexible. It is fine to have an ‘ideal’ formation, but if the TW only leaves you with 3rd or 4th choice options, will that be good enough to deliver the formation? Or should you tweak the formation to suit the players that you can get in the market?

    For example; the latest name swilling around is Ginter. Now he can play right back as well as in the middle. I could see us playing 3 CB’s should a game and squad available demand it, thus pushing the ‘Hell’s Bells” forward as a our RW (a position where he would excel, imo).
    That is an example, up front it could be different.

  • Gerry.. Ramsey and Ozil play width in their nation team.. and they did well.. Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla are our best and most creative Midfield.. they can play in all position..
    With 4-4-2 formation we need a very solid 4 midfielders.. And Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Ramsey and Cazorla were very strong and proven.. (sorry to put Wilshere out of the list.. hahaha). All can defense and attack.. Ozil trained well enough to defense.. hehehe.. and the most important thing all can cross the ball very well also..

    Do we just get a CB..?? 20 yo Rob Holding.. what a name.. holding.. I like that name.. He was the best player from Bolton Wanderer.. Just like Asano and Xhaka.. all the best players from their ex-club.. That’s what I loved about Wenger.. hehehe.. So We have 3 youngsters coming this season.. 23, 21, 20.. Back to the old day.. But I still believe it’s not the end of our TW.. hehehe.. Just wait and see..

  • Hernrychan, I think we have a different view on a wide player, and ones providing width?

    When I say we need players to provide width in a 442 formation, I think wingers … with pace!
    Not players who may start wide, and then come inside. With Ramsey and Ozil they either take, or are given a free role. The likes of Alexis and the OX both can stay wide, but turn inside at the first opportunity.
    Wingers put in crosses …. regularly. This means they have to be marked. Hence making space for the middle guys.
    Free role players tend to go out wide because that is where the space is. This is why I say Bellerin is a good option as a right winger. Pace and a little trickery, and a good right foot. Get A.N.Other on the left and you can play around with combinations in the middle to your hearts content.
    That is my thinking.

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