WENGER REVERTS TO HIS OLD MAGIC FORMULA: WILL IT WORK?
( MANCHESTER CITY PREVIEW).
Morale is at all-time low. We have lost six matches already in 2018. We are 27 points adrift of table toppers Manchester City and a good 10 points off top four, albeit with a game in hand. We have just been humbled in the League cup final. And what saddens most, perhaps, is that the team has not been showing enough fight. Morale is low and rightly so, but never will we give up. There is a cup labelled Pride to be won in every match.
In the match against City a few days ago, where we lost by 0-3, we were able to muster only five attempts on goal of which three were from outside the box and only two on target. Playing against the same City we must do much better than that. It is obvious that we need to set up more offensively and show more courage. It’s our only option.
We have one of the top goal scorers in Europe (Auba) whose profile indicates that apart from scoring goals his other contributions don’t particularly stand out. To leave him isolated up field, starved of service is to render him useless. Big shame when our tactics should be geared to getting the best out of him. Another player up front to back Auba might be all that is required against this City side.
That supporting player, of course, should not be Ozil. It should be a player who has the pace and the power to pull defences apart and draw attention away from Auba. There is nobody who fits this bill better than Welbeck. Welbeck would do the yeoman’s job for Auba, freeing him to do what he knows how to do best.
In the League Cup final we had a paper formation of 3:4:2:1 but on the field we were compressed into a 5:4:1 which denied us the right shape for an effective offensive thrust. Consequently, our attacks broke down easily. This time we should tilt the balance of our Carabao Cup Final encounter slightly away from defence to attack, from 5:4:1 to 4:4:2.
In last Sunday’s game, Wenger had hoped to use his wingbacks to stretch play going forward. That never materialized, not when we found ourselves pinned back. If we should go 4:4:2 (doesn’t matter what the paper formation is) stretching the field would have to come from our midfielders. That would mean doing away with inverted wingers who invariably cut inwards, slowing down our speed of transition.
Against City, opposition fullbacks are hardly able to join the attack. A better defensive Chambers becomes more useful at right back than the more offensive minded Bellerin. Kolasinac fills in at left fullback for Monreal who is out with a back injury.
The line-up I would like to see is (I don’t give two hoots about the paper formation):
SUBS; Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Nketiah.
If for nothing else, we’ve got pride to play for. Ask me and I’d tell you, that’s always a precious prize.
By Pony Eye