Mari, Youngsters, Formation Change: How Can Arsenal Score More Goals?

How to solve the final third problems?

joe w and marti new

In the recent days we talked about how Arteta and how the youngsters are helping.
Also TA’s post about those players wearing the shirt with pride and glory.

The issue is that while we have players and Arteta coming in with rejuvenated energy, we could not break the defenses that parked the bus. Or having 2 tight rows of 4 and 5. With the forwards having issues of their own (Laca is out of form, Auba could not seem to score more than 1 goal in the Premier League per game, Pepe is still coming to grips with defenders like walls), the team dynamics have been lacking in the forward positions.

Let’s see how we could play better:
1. Counter attack
We could play a sit back and relax team like the mid table teams do, and counter. Emery’s game is to soak up the pressure and pass from the back. However, it did not work and we really look like a mid table team.
2. Keep pressing
Wenger’s and Guardiola’s tactics are moving forward and finding spaces from the off. Our players were used to walking and passing back, as normal top teams do to build play, but I feel that we are mostly doing build up play. And little to no incisive forward play
3. Change the forwards
Auba, Laca and Pepe as forwards with Ozil in the hole is the best plan on paper.
Reality is not what it seems. Laca shoots at keepers/defenders, Pepe loses the ball too much and fails to dazzle their defenders, Auba is the only non-Youngster scoring all our goals along with Martinelli, and it meant a lot to the senior strikers.
4. Less youngsters?
This is a open debate. Some will say that youngsters are the way forward. Others will say that having more senior players will make the team even-headed. Yes the youngsters have lots of energy, but the seniors have positioning awareness and great mentality to lead the team. I will leave it for debate.
5. Mari, the major question mark
We have yet to see Mari, and Luiz and some other players have said that he is a wonderful player and a team character. I hope to have a good impression of him.
6. Formation change?
We play with a 4-2-1-2-1 formation. The top teams play with that formation or a 4-3-3 formation depending on defending or attack. We might change how we overload teams, but I do not think that a formation change is necessary or even required.

What do you guys reckon we should do moving forward?


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34 thoughts on “Mari, Youngsters, Formation Change: How Can Arsenal Score More Goals?

  • Thanks TA. And sorry to PE for stealing your views. I would encourage all to see both posts and comment as PE’s is brilliant.

  • 84, … you questions should be the only thing happening. My last but one post tried to tackle it. Of course what’s important is how the coach handles it. I really hope he tweaks something structurally.

    How do we score more goals? That has a simple answer; create more chances. So the fundamental question is how do we create more chances?

    We create almost all our chances from the left flank and that is because our structure permits overload from that side only. That makes us predictable and easy to nullify. The coach needs to tweak something in formation and personnel to get us more versatile in our offense.

    If MA thinks he hasn’t the right players to get the team creating from the center (Ozil needs more company there) then what I see is a back 3 that would allow us to create from both flanks (Kola or Saka and Bels on the right).

    Arteta’s major headache is finding the formation to suit the fact that we don’t have proper left full back and to a lesser degree a right full back But in his attempt to adapt he has not gone all the way to turning both full backs into wing backs.

    Pushing up our left back to the winger’s position ties up Xhaka too deep and too left sided thereby leaving Torreira as about the only pivot so neither him nor Xhaka is able to roam vertically. Torreira virtually alone then constrains our right back from joining attacks.

    To me, we have to sacrifice one of Auba, Laca, and Pepe either to bring in another central defender which would turn both full backs into wingbacks or bring in another central attacking MFder to partner with Ozil. Absolutely no point having 3 goal scorers up there starved of services.

    The apathy at BK (and by extension everywhere else) I suspect is a consequence of this chain of draws.

  • I hope they mature like wine.
    There are teams where they play with 3 deadly forward, like Messi-Griezmann-Suarez, Mané-Firmino-Salah or even Sane-Aguero-Sterling. Some of them play a classic #10 to provide swarm of assist (de Bruyne), but neither Barcelona nor Liverpool have a key pass machine like Eriksen, Maddison or van de Beek. But they create the chances for themselves or their striking partners. Mahrez, Son, Mané, Messi and co all have 6+ assists already. At Arsenal Pepe and Laca has 2 PL assist, Auba 1, Martinelli 0.
    I agree with PE, that if they insist to stay on the receiving end of the assists then having 3 hardcore strikers are a luxury, but if they start to take part of the chance creation and assist providing then we can keep 3 on the field.

  • Hi guys, BK is a great blog and well run by TA.

    Personally I’m undergoing a lot of (hopefully) life saving cancer treatments and I’ve had to restrict my contributions. I’m a part of a clinical study that is using a new type of radiation therapy along with a new drug. So in short I’ve been consumed with medical appointments and I’m a tad preoccupied with my own issues and football (especially when there is a winter break) has taken a back seat.

    TA if you decide to keep the blog going then I will be happy to continue along with you.

    By the way the last few posts have been excellent.

  • Good comments guys.

    GN5, good to hear from you and stay strong. Your contributions to BK have been fabulous but now it is time to think about nr1 for a while. Get well soon buddy.

  • I am not too keen on a high-quality CF who we soon become too dependent on: it seldom leads to team success. Van Persie was top scorer but we won nothing; last season Auba was (joined) top scorer but we won nothing. When the much despised Chamakh was our CF (when RvP was injured), Arsenal scored a whopping 2.3 goals per game. So I reckon we need to become less dependent on Auba and start using him as a supersub; he will score as many as he did before, but as a team we will start scoring more goals.

  • Pb ….. I agree it’ll be great if the trio of Auba, Laca and Pepe participate fully in the creation of chances. Of course the creation of chances involves a lot more than the final pass. The big question is whether they have the skill set for it. If they are not too good at it then at least one of them need to give way to somebody who can.

    I think Artets likes Nelson. He could use him to rearrange things.

  • GN5, all the best.
    Looking forward to have you back.

    PE, I can imagine (assuming the contract negotiations succeed) that next year Auba, Lacazette and Pepe would attack – maybe with the support of Ozil – in some of the games, and Nelson, Martinelli and Nketiah (with the support of ESR or Willock) the others. I know that it wouldn’t be completely fair, if OPAL play the high profile PL games, as it is probably easier to score against the Bulgarian cup winner or Wigan Athletic in the League Cup, but it could be nevertheless interesting.

  • All the best GN5. Priorities need to be given to your health more than anything else. Apparently my mum had a topsy turvy 3 months to date. And more to come. Firstly she was bleeding from her bottom, and further tests turned out that the cause of it is just piles possibly, but they found a cyst in the colon. Was this coincidental no one can ascertain, but there was no bleeding from that cyst, and it was later found to be cancerous. The next few months will be tiring for her as she needs to undergo chemotherapy.

  • Pb, PE, thanks for your comments.

    I agree with the idea that cutting down to 2 forward the players can make the team better, but who does Arteta want to cut? Pepe? Laca? Or even Ozil? We had resolved the midfield issue, and now it is the chance creation that had plagued us from the start of the season.

    TA, it is possible for Auba to stay on the pitch, and tweak the positioning a bit.

    I would move Pepe from the right of the forward 3 and move him to behind the strikers, and alongside him is Ozil. It is like Xhaka and Tor. Xhaka allowing Tor to move forward causing a overload and protecting the defense at the same time.

    Meaning our formation at the start is as follows:
    Defensive formation is 4:5:1.

    The forwards will act as wingers, allowing Pepe and Ozil to move beyond them and score.

  • So sorry to hear that, 84. A distressing time for you and your family and I will pray for her full recovery. Give your mum as much love and support as possible as family is the only thing that really matters. Big hug.

  • That’s not great news njk, my thoughts are with you and your family, especially with your mother. Cancer is an insipid illness but it can be treated and can be beaten – so keep your chin up and more importantly be there to keep your mother strong. Take good care……………..

  • Sorry to hear about your predicament GN5, hopefully football can be a bit of a distraction for you, such as it is in this difficult time, therefore I hope that the boys can afford you a well earned lift this weekend, fingers crossed for you and yours…

    84, so sorry to hear about your Mum, please send her my best wishes amigo…

    Whatever we may or may not think about our present squad, the systems they play in, the lack of goals etc, it’s all about making do with what he has for Mikel. This isn’t his squad, these aren’t his players, but in a very short space of time our defence has lost a lot of its Marx Brothers comedy appearance, with just a few thoughtful tweaks and some easy to understand coaching/man management. The rest I’m sure will fall into place as Arteta continues to work on changing our approach to games and our performances.

    I don’t know how much input Arteta had in the decision to loan Soares and Mari, I didn’t expect either, but next summer is going to be fascinating with several players running down contracts, serious negotiations needed to tie down Guendouzi, Martinelli, Saka and the other young guns plus whoever we’re going to bring in as Mikel changes the squad so it can reflect his vision.

    The players leaving could be eye opening…

  • Ben Sheaf scored for Doncaster Rovers, currently 1-1…

    Lincoln winning 2-1 but no John Jules in the squad.

    Huddersfield 0-0 at Derby, Smith Rowe on bench…

    James Olayinka still not in Northampton squad – injured still?

  • Doncaster Rovers took the lead against Gillingham with a Ben Sheaf shot, then Doncaster had a player sent off on 38 mins.

    Gillingham equalised via an own goal on 44 mins.
    Gillingham lead 2-1 via another own goal by the same player on 67mins.

    Sometimes it just isn’t your day…

  • Huddersfield losing 1-0 at Derby, is it set up for a Smith Rowe rescue act?
    Unfortunately he’s still on the subs bench.

  • Huddersfield equalise…… 1-1

    But not Emile, ex Gunner Chris Willock on for Huddersfield…

  • GN5, stay strong, my friend. Really sorry to hear about the challenges you’re going through. All the very best, through it all.
    njk, please extend my get well wishes to your Mum; here’s hoping hers will be one of the success stories of cancer beaters. Cheers, mate.

  • Thanks for the updates on our loanees, Kev. Didn’t even realize Chris Willock was back in the UK; looked even more promising than his brother, Joe, at some point. Tricky, quick feet and tenacious on the ball.

  • Doncaster lose at Gillingham, Sheaf booked at the end, not a day for him to remember…

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