The interesting point is how close Arsenal players played to each other, especially supporting Bendtner and Nasri, Fabregas and Diaby looking to provide options. This was of course recommended that Arsenal should adopt when attacking, especially on the counter.
The Gunners mainly attacked on the counter therefore not an example of where on the pitch the players played overall, just attacking wise. A criticism would be of Walcott playing wider and not come in to support the attack a bit more. He made runs to try and get behind the defense but to link up as a triangle he didn’t instead opting to provide the width most times. Also Fabregas’ positioning also backs up that he is playing higher up the pitch this season. Of course it was a five man midfield but maybe he should drop back and dictate a bit more (like Xavi) and like last season instead of looking to penetrate most of the time. This will also help Denilson to cover for the defense but allow him to progress further if needed.
The Gallas and Silvestre partnership is not yet ready but they are working on a more balanced defensive partnership. Silvestre attacks the ball while Gallas looks to be the one looking to cover with his pace and read the game, making tackles instead of headers.
Arsenal made 161 passes in United’s half and the Red Devil’s made 200 in Arsenal’s. Much has been made of the attacking play and the claimed lack of tactical awareness of both teams however that may be inaccurate. What it was, is that the teams looked to take advantage of the counter and transitions in play. Give the ball away and the teams looked to punish or take advantage of any gaps and then brake in numbers. It is the new tactical trend that has been apparent in recent years and hence the number of goals scored and the attacking play and in some cases such as Liverpool v Chelsea, a lack of it through caution.
Four Four Two have released the list of the 100 best players in the world but how do you compare a keeper to a striker? That is the biggest criticism of such a list not counting that it is also a collection (or one) opinion. A better system would be to rank one on their performances and contribution in the year or categorise in positon. I won’t argue too much with four four two’s but Lampard should be in the top 10, Gael Clichy and Sagna are beaten by Bosingwa and Evra, Simao is in the list and former Gunners Pires (understandable) and Diarra (hmmm) are in instead of Hleb and Flamini.
Four Four Two 100 best players in the world 2008
1-10: Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres, Iker Casillas, Kaka, David Villa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Aguero, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard.
11-20: Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Frank Lampard, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Emmanuel Adebayor, Didier Drogba, Frank Ribery, Michael Ballack, Guianlugi Buffon, Sergio Ramos.
21-30: Wesley Sneijder, Michael Essien, Daniel Alves, Wayne Rooney, Ricardo Carvalho, Maicon, Andres Iniesta, Andrei Arshavin, Deco, Marcos Senna
31-40: Luis Fabiano, John Terry, Daniele De Rossi, Nemanja Vidic, Javier Mascherano, Samuel Eto’o, Dimitar Berbatov, David Silva, Nihat Kahveci, Patrice Evra
41-50: Anatoily Tymoshchuk, Robinho, Esteban Cambiasso, Ashley Cole, Alessandro Del Piero, Seydou Keita, Jose Bosingwa, Carlos Tevez, Joe Cole, Yuri Zhirkov
51-60: Arjen Robben, Artur Boruc, Petr Cech, Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Raul, Thierry Henry, Christian Chivu, Alessandro Nesta, Rafael van der Vaart
61-70: Pepe, Luca Modric, Karim Benzema, Roque Santa Cruz, Mahamadou Diarra, Philipp Lahm, Andrea Pirlo
Diego Forlan, Santi Cazorta, Ronaldinho
71-80: Darijo Srna, Fabio Cannavaro, Juninho Pernambucano, Mauro Camoranesi, David Trezeguet, Miroslav Klose, Gael Clichy, Fredi Kanoute, Antonio Di Natale, Javier Zanetti
81-90: Robert Pires, Christian Poulsen, Diego, Mancini, Giorgo Chiellini, Gonzalo Higuain, Gianluca Zambrotta, Bacary Sagna, Danny, John Obi Mikel
91-100: Goran Pandev, Igor Akinfeev, Simao Sabrosa, Amauri, Paul Scholes, Lassana Diarra, Diego Capel, Antonio Cassano, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar