How the Queen of Disco Could Inspire Arsenal to Play Sexy Attacking Football Again

How would you like our team to play? What sort of football is needed to be able to say ‘we’ve got our Arsenal back’? I am intrigued to hear your views. 

Emery promised us ‘5-4’ winning performances: strong focus on attacking and sexy football. We are still not playing that sort of  hot stuff, at least not on a regular basis. In fact, it is hard to determine what our style of football is and how Emery will make us score multiple goals per game any time soon.

Against Pool we sat back and invited pressure during the first half; whilst against Spuds we opted to attack from the start. The outcomes were the same: we were behind at half time. We never had a chance at Anfield but at least we turned the game v Spuds round at home and we could have won in the end. We played a careful season-opening game v the Barcodes and approached the Burnley game in a similar way as we did with our odious North-London rivals.  We won our games with the smallest of margins and, as per a previous post, we are not scoring five goals per game but a mere 1.5 at the moment.

As I said, I like to hear your views. Whilst watching some YouTube videos recently, it was Donna Summer, the undisputed Queen of Disco, who inspired a vision of how we should play. You have to watch this video to get an idea of what I am on about.

Donna does not have to move frantically all over the dancefloor. She has got a strong, confident core which allows the top to do all the sexiness. The arms and shoulders are what fascinates and she is in total control of the performance. Arsenal also have a fabulous and sexy pair of shoulders and arms at the top: can it get any sexier with Ozil, Pepe, Auba and Laca – OPAL – all wearing the mighty red and white?

Now for a strong core, that is a bit harder. Arsenal have the option to play Chambers or Luiz in the centre of midfield and that would add defensive steel. Many BKers have suggested this recently, and I could live with it. However, if Emery instructed Xhaka and Torreira (Willock and Guendouzi) to sit deeper and focus on protecting the defence most of all, we will have that much needed strong core.

Key is then to work out who other than Ozil will support those midfielders with connecting midfield with attack. We need those shoulders and arms to move freely and with suppleness after all! I reckon Pepe or Nelson have a big role to play in this; and in some games I could also see Guendouzi or Smith-Rowe play on one of the wings, interchanging frequently with Mesut, to add extra creativity. However, Emery’s current approach of combining Xhaka or Guendouzi in midfield is not working imo, as explained in previous posts. It weakens the core and does not sufficiently support the top of the team.

My team to play Donna Summer-esque footie would look like this, based on 4-2-3-1 (first choices on left):

I believe this would give us the best balance and both a better core and better use of our fabulous attackers. It would make us play football the Arsenal way again.

But how would you like our team to play? And what sort of football is needed to be able to say ‘we’ve got our Arsenal back’?

By TotalArsenal.

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28 Responses to How the Queen of Disco Could Inspire Arsenal to Play Sexy Attacking Football Again

  1. pbarany says:

    Hi TA,

    I don’t often say this, but I couldn’t agree more.
    Or maybe if we replace the winger AMN with Martinelli (or maybe ESR?).

    But the great thing is, that Arsenal could gain significant experience in this system if keeping this line-up with the “left” players in PL games and playing the same system in cup ties with the “right” a.k.a. back-up players. This could help the transition into the starting IX and give the team the ‘character’ many are still missing.
    (To be frank the option mentioned above is no longer available after Nketiah has been sent on loan to gain first team experience, as we don’t have a real central striker any more. But we have 3 almost perfect solutions by
    1) “renting” Balogun or John-Jules from the U23 to play up front and keep the right-hand names every other position
    2) keeping Auba or Laca at the front in cup ties as well (to gain confidence, increase their goal tally, etc.)
    3) playing without a real striker, just like Spain won the world cup in 2010, as Willock, Ceballos, Nelson and Martinelli are still frightening without a dedicated hitman

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey pbarany (would you be okay if we address you with Pb for ease of use?),
    Thanks for good comment and all agreed. I would be tempted to play Auba as CF in the cup games but there is also Martinelli who should be able to play there. I guess there is still a hierarchy in cup games too, with Auba more likely to start in EL games and say Martinelli in League and FA cup games…

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    A lot will depend on whether Emery will play all three of PAL together a lot in PL games. If not then whoever ‘loses out’ will need to play in the cup games…

  4. pbarany says:

    Pb is fine 🙂
    And Martinelli in the front position also, assuming he has the killer instinct and being clinical in finishing.
    However playing Auba week in week out is a liability from injury perspective as well as a heavy workload for a player above 30… I would definitely have kept Nketiah for this purpose and promised him 1500 minutes a season, but hopefully he’ll improve more in Leeds and the remaining squad would cover the striker position in 50+ games just fine.
    I don’t like to be proven wrong on a general principle, this might be a sloe exception. 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Pb it is then! 🙂

    Must agree I also did not like Eddie going on loan all season.

    For me, Auba is the supersub in most games. He will score as many goals in 20-30 minutes as in a whole game, I reckon. This would then also free him up to start quite a few of the cup games… is my thinking.

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi TA, Monday morning here and another busy week ahead. Up in the mountains, however, it’s getting chilly in the mornings…so a moment (with my coffee) before I get going in earnest…

    First off, the video link gave me Prince singing Purple Rain… No Donna Summer (what song?), but I don’t mind…

    For me, of course, I liken this new Arsenal to the lines, “Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t think that I can take it (and it took so long to bake it) and I’ll never have that recipe again… Oh no!!” (from the song MacArthur Park, covered by Donna Summer, though I’d probably stump for a version by Waylon Jennings or maybe Glen Campbell for the guitar break…) I guess I missed commenting last week on all your posts, but the one you took from GN5 about the player turnover hit the mark for me. I agree. What’s going on with the transition from Wenger to Emery is (WAY) too extreme, IMO…

    That said, I never expected Emery to jettison his (painful, cowardly) playing ’round the back (in order to lure the opponent into pressing and breaking their lines of defense) and go all out in attack (albeit, still without a #10…) from one game to the next. Like you said, however, neither “worked.” We kept the point (or draw scoreline, nil-nil) at Anfield for longer (40 mins) while we were able to rescue the point vs Spurs (despite gifting them the two early goals). Nonetheless, I will try and tune in to see which way we go at Watford…

    I will say this: I think you’re overly optimistic about using a true #10 in Emery’s system. The manager is done with Ozil and I don’t see Ceballos getting a ton of time either. Too much success for either of them (the former being a lame-duck, gone next season and the latter on loan and maybe gone next season, esp. if his goals and assists–or even minutes played are too high) mean it’s still about the front group getting their goals. (Torreira trotting around, slightly forward of Guendo and Xhaka, seems about as good as it gets…) IF we can get 50+ from the ALP(s) it’s probably plenty for a top 4 finish. Boot the ball up (the mountain?…) and let those three try to bring it down (and into the net)…while the back 8 try to clog routes to our goal.

    But maybe that’s the point… Despite his “5-4” comment (off the cuff and really a complete lie, given what I’ve witnessed) I believe that Emery couldn’t care less about sexy football, letting his players express themselves, developing offensive stars (who WILL demand big contracts, which actually has lowered their value relative to defenders/keepers in the transfer market) etc., etc. His tenure is based on RESULTS (getting us promoted back to CL football), while pruning our salary excesses and showing that he can get his players (at least the ones at the back…) playing as he wants them to play (pass it around a bit before hoofing it…)

    So, keep enjoying (dancing to?…) your disco vids, but expect a more dirge-like approach from the Arsenal as we grind (not bump-and-grind, 😉 …) our way back to CL football… Sorry, but…

    Happy Monday!!

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers 17HT, it is ‘I Feel Love’ by DS. I don’t understand why you didn’t get the video. 😕

    Like you I don’t expect Emery to deliver on it but there really is no excuse for him. And I am still not tired from pointing it out on the blog! 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    It looks like the video is on a loop, so every time somebody watches it it moves to the next song… I put in a new link so hopefully this will not happen anymore..

  9. pbarany says:

    There is a good chance that Emery is indeed done with Ozil, but I honestly hope that it is not the case. He has 2 years on his contract, and he will be really difficult to sell. Not to mention that he is a remarkable player.
    The game against Watford would be a testament of Emery’s approach.
    If we believe that Xhaka and Torreira have injury problems that prevents them from playing, then Özil can only be left out from a Willock-Guendouzi-Ceballos midfield trio. Nevertheless Pepe’s game is also in danger, but even he plays only Nelson and the unlikely Martinelli could play from the bench, assuming Emery doesn’t want to tumble the back 4 with an unnecessary defensive substitution.
    So if Ozil doesn’t start and is not substituted either, then Emery is clearly lying when he says that the door is open for Ozil. and that would be a shame on so many levels.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Pb, agreed. It is obvious that Mesut works best when somebody puts an arm around his shoulder and involves him. That is what he liked about Arsene. As far as I can see that is not Unai’s style. In McGregor terms, Arsene was a Y-type manager and Unai is an X-type manager…

  11. LE GALL says:

    all i ask, is never again get that “iiii’m so booored with the U – NAI – WAY” feeling at the end of a game (RIP, Joe S.)

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Checking back quickly…

    Here’s the vid to which I think you should link… Sums up my feelings about Wenger’s Arsenal…and the attempts at trying to “love” (or even enjoy) the “new” Arsenal… Crazy that Donna Summer was able to turn it into a disco hit… IMO…

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Didn’t know this song, 17ho. Thanks. You are by far my favourite homo sentimentalis 🙂

  14. St. Henry says:

    😀 A cool and fun way to discuss an important topic during the Intn’l break TA! Donna Summer…I would never have made that connection! 👍🤣
    I am very surprised that we have not unveiled OPAL so far. Hopefully, we will see this soon. Would be a shame if we end up not being able to get PAL in good positions because we did not have the right type of creator behind them. In many ways, PAL look so much like the Madrid team that Ozil helped win the league. No one complained about his defensive responsibilities then.

    But, to your point regarding a stiffer spine, I didn’t see too many of Fulham’s matches last year, but based on everything I have read about his impact on the Fulham team, have to wonder if we would be better served with Chambo in the Torreira role for some of the big games. i.e. A Chambo/Xhaka partnership though I am more intrigued by the Chambo/Guendo (or Willock) combination, with Chambo supporting the defense while G/W/X, with Ozil, work to feed PAL.

  15. Pony Eye says:

    TA, …. thanks. The interlull is speeding past.

    This season is going to be a lot easier for Emery.
    He knows the PL better. For example he now knows there is no easy game.
    He knows his players better. He has already given games to all the new ones Luiz, Ceballos, Pepe, Willock, Nelson, Martinelli (6mins). He seems to want to conclude fast. Next week the EL starts and that would help him to give more players game time.

    His good fortune is that there isn’t much to choose between competitors for same position. Many can almost be chosen by the toss of the coin: TA your line-up pairings confirms this.
    Just as importantly most of the players understand Emery better.

    If no body can put a finger on what Emery’s style is, then that becomes his style …. difficult to figure out. Though I think am discerning a definite pattern. Slow build up and a sudden quickening of pace from deep. Important thing is that he is recruiting players to fit his philosophy: Luiz, Tierney, Ceballos and Pepe. I think a vision is being followed though top 4 can never be guaranteed because of the tough field ….. but I’d say am quietly optimistic.

  16. pbarany says:

    TA, I loved the application of the X-Y theory.
    That is not typical on a soccer blog. 🙂

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    St H 🙂

    Good shout for Chambers in the big games. Until now we have seen little territorial dominance from the midfield under Emery. It is often stretched vertically rather than forming a mobile wall in de centre. Chambers would certainly add discipline and presence in midfield and I am all for it, but I just don’t understand what Unai’s philosophy is for the midfield… and we keep looking all over the place in games.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PE 🙂

    You wrote: “Though I think am discerning a definite pattern”. Good to see somebody discerning something! The good thing is we will soon find out as it is ‘show time’ now.

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Pb, we have a merry lot on here with a big love for Arsenal and an ability to bring something different to the blogging table. The real good thing is that we don’t tend to slag off our own players as on some of the darker blogs.

    If Gazidis did actually actively recruit a X-manager as successor to Y-manager Wenger then we are in trouble, and it would partly explain the exits of Ramsey, Koz, Iwobi, Nacho etc.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    LeGall, who is Joe S?

  21. LE GALL says:

    Joe Strummer, The Clash, 1977, “i’m so bored with the usa” – not posting the link because for some reason, when i do (i did for 1982 manuel amoros), my comment is rejected.
    yep, that’s what i listened to, back then, not disco (still do, can’t get enough of the drum intro of london calling), saw them at lewisham odeon in 1980 – best gig i ever saw, the whole place went beserk after the first chord, also saw the great liam brady lead the team to a cup victory agaisnt bolton, the same week – at a time when it cost almost next to nothing to cross the channel at dieppe, and then get a room not far from victoria station, buy concert and stadium tickets, as well as vinyl records in the many “harrypotteresque” london record shops of the time. for not-too-well-off french kids in love with england, that was our own private erasmus programme
    well, that’s some trip down memory lane … music + The Arsenal, that’s how you end up as an English teacher in France
    ps1: there was a mean attack against BK yesterday on “Untold”, i sure don’t condone it – i like tony attwood, mind you, he’s an extraordinary source of information, and a great Arsenal Lover, if ever there was one, but sometimes he just should let other blogs be …
    ps2: hope your dad’s out of hospital, and recovering quickly

  22. Pony Eye says:

    TA,

    A REVISED MAIL IN YIUR BOX.

  23. Pony Eye says:

    “YOUR”

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Well Le Gall, I really enjoyed that memory lane stuff, and thank you for asking about my dad. Yes he is out of hospital and hoping to get some time away from it now.

    What made you a Gooner if I may ask.

    In the early eighties it was Disco for me but soon after that I got into rock and metal. Nowadays, I listen to more or less everything, especially classical music. London Calling is a great song..

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+clash+london+calling+video&view=detail&mid=4801FF6D3C0BFA3D84774801FF6D3C0BFA3D8477&FORM=VIRE

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Pony – Will have a look in a bit! 🙂

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    LeGall, thanks for tip off. I don’t really care what other blogs write about us, though, especially not a blog that advertises gambling tips. Live and let live is all I can say. 😀

  27. LE GALL says:

    well, further down memory lane …
    i’m from rouen, normandy, and on dec 17th, 1969 – i was 10 – my dad (RIP) took me, as he always did, to support our local team against the Arsenal Football Club, in the third round of the inter-cities fairs cup “europa league” nowadays.
    this was the best team the “FCRouen” ever had (and i was a player of club “u11” youth team, actually) – and the Arsenal, who were to win the cup, that season, of course, had quite a hard time knocking them out.
    but many have forgotten the respective levels of english and french football back then (the best england team ever, had just been unfairly knocked out of the mexico world cup – for which we french didn’t even qualify – by the immense gerd mueller); anyway, it was a life-changing game for me, all the more so since i was growing into a rolling stones fan as well: i had eleven (not exactly eleven, but to me charlie george certainly was the sixth stones, not ian stewart or nicky hopkins) stones in front of me, playing the best football i had ever seen (even though the game ended up in a nil-nil draw, the level of that team was plain to see, for everyone wanting to see).
    never stopped supporting the team since then, from far away at first (but i did learn english, not at school, but listening to the arsenal games (and others) on the bbc every saturday afternoon – as well as to “exile on main street” and “sticky fingers”, to tell the truth), and now as a red member (thanks to the internet), able to watch all games (thanks to my various subscriptions: canal +, bein sports, … you name them – also have a few reliable streaming sites in store); and to me the arsène-arsenal years were a match made in heaven – I’m still mourning.
    having found out about such a friendly blog certainly adds up a very nice touch to this “arsenal community” experience; keep up with the good job!!

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers LeGall. I have copied your comment into the next post so it does not get lost straightaway

    New Post New Post 🙂

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