Monday, 22 August 2005

Great passing game but...

Arsenal plays arguably one of the most stylish sides in the Premiership, playing direct, fast flowing attacking football with alot of sharp passes and quick movement. Arsenal players pass to the feet more than any other team I've seen but I think that's the core of the problem with their football... they pass too much!

I was watching last night's match between Chelsea and Arsenal (1-0) and I realised that almost all of the balls into the last third are ground balls... where Chelsea, arguably the best team in the world right now, could easily handle because the back four were also very quick on their feet and they have holding players like Makalele and Essien that block and kill off all attacking moves. They just sat back and absorb all that Arsenal were throwing at them... and counter attack really, really well.

Arsenal should have had a more varied style of play with maybe some aerial bombardment mixed in with the passing game. This is partly why Arsenal has not really succeeded in Europe. The players in Europe are more technically/positionally aware and is not just all running, and is willing to absorb all that Arsenal throws at them.

Another thing was after Ljungberg was taken off injured, there was so little attack down the right wing... Arsenal should have exploited the fact that for the last 10 minutes, Del Horno (Chelsea leftback) was injured and Chelsea had used up all their substitutes but they keep pushing on the left where they were ably cut off by Chelsea so easily.

I also noticed that Henry was playing so, so deep. Is that good tactics? How can he run at defenders when he also have to navigate pass the packed midfield?

Btw, the goal was a fluke but that's all Chelsea needs to do... get the 3 points. It doesn't matter if the play is ugly... the ultimate goal for all team is to GET THE 3 POINTS and Chelsea have proven that they are very, very good at that.

Who says I'm not objective in my reporting eh? :)

Pic: Phil Cole/Getty Images

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