Saturday, September 13, 2014

Typical Arsenal again.

Arsenal somehow 'escaped' the game with a point after a 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The Gunners look to set to register a win before Manchester City equalized through Demichelis and collapsed towards the end of the game as City created at least 3 great chances that fortunately none of them converted to a goal. Thanks to the goalpost which saved Arsenal twice, Arsenal got draw on their own turf. 

The first half was a typical Arsenal performance: dominated the game, nearly scored a goal, then conceded. This goal was partially Flamini's fault who failed to see Aguero running behind him. Before the goal, Arsenal could've taken the lead had Danny Welbeck's shot not denied by the pole. However, after the goal, Arsenal lost dominance and City comfortably controlled the game, leaving Arsenal disjointed. 

On the second half, it was not better until Jack Wilshere's awesome skill dribbled past Clichy and lobbed Joe Hart to equalize. Arsenal overtook the lead when Wilshere's header volleyed home by Alexis Sanchez. However, City's substitute Kolarov sent a marvellous corner to Martin Demichelis, whose free header beat Szczesny.

There are few positives from this game, like Alexis Sanchez' work rate and Wilshere's majestic performance on the second half, but the worries overshadowed the good take-off from this game. 

The most worrying thing is the tactical approach by Arsene Wenger. After playing most of the time with 4-2-3-1, Wenger suddenly changed its formation to 4-1-4-1, forcing Ozil to play down the left. He looks invisible on the flanks and struggled to make impact. This reminds me of Arshavin who was a great no 10 but forced to play wide before disappears to the bench. I believe Ozil is a quality player who can make a great contribution to the team if he is played in the right position. Pushing him wide to the flanks  give him more responsibility to track back and does not give him freedom to roam. This might be the main reason why Ozil is declining for this year

Another bad effects of 4-1-4-1 is the gap between the attack and the midfield. Danny Welbeck looks so isolated upfront and looks bad - except during the first 15 minutes - on his d├ębut. Looks like Wenger utilized 4-1-4-1 to give place for Ramsey and Wilshere in the team, but that does not make sense to sacrifice the team to accommodate them in the lineup.

Second worrying thing is about the injury. Debuchy looked very bad on his injury after twisting his ankle nearing end of the game. Chambers is more than capable to deputize him but now Arsenal only have 5 senior defenders. It's still September and Arsenal looks very short at the back. This could cost some important points here.

For now, it's a bit hard to imagine our team to sit at the top at the end of season with this kind of performance. Wenger's stubborness might cost us the chance. 4-1-4-1 does not work well, and other formation might suit the Gunners better. Still, I'm hoping for improvement next match.

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