Formation didn’t give the side the credit they deserved

Arsene Wenger’s decision to deploy a 4-5-1 formation to counter Chelsea’s midfield underestimated the Gunners’ talent.

Arsene Wenger gave a fair enough assessment of his selection in his pre-match conference but followed it up with further talk of his side’s infinite talent and potential. The Gunners were never outclassed and in turn never out played Chelsea, and while the pitch may have played a part in a scrappy game, had Wenger been more concerned with his side and more with Chelsea’s the outcome might well have been different.

Arsenal started better and in the opening periods showed their class, passing the ball with much calm while the movement down the left gave the team more fluidity. As it was, Gibbs took advantage of the vacant left flank and crossed the ball for Walcott to volley home. Robin Van Persie was also in the box, Diaby was lurking on the edge and Adebayor the man who supplied the pass to Gibbs. It was unfortunate Arsenal could not keep it up and as Hiddink was quick to change things, the Gunners stayed back.

Arsene Wenger’s side looked jaded at times and it showed with Van Persie’s injury but strangely the manager looked to be playing for extra-time rather than look to force the issue. The midfield trio of Ballack, Essien and Lampard never did look to strong for Denilson, Diaby and Fabregas who have got great balance and shielding of the ball. Chelsea were quick to snap at Arsenal’s heels with their high pressure game, denied Fabregas of the ball and with the skipper not getting as much of the ball, isolated Adebayor. “We didn’t have our usual fluency,” said Wenger. “They made it physical and the pitch slowed it down. Cesc tried very hard but overall it was a scrappy game.”

In the end, Chelsea took advantage of Arsenal’s weaker defence and with a little help from Fabianski, is what separated the two teams. The Gunners already beat Chelsea on their home turf with a 4-4-1-1 with Van Persie dropping back and was always Wenger’s formation of choice in previous eras.

Wenger admits his most greatest influences was the “Total Football” Ajax team of the late 60s and early 70s. A team which was built up with the core of players from the academy and played revolutionary football. This team has got all the ingredients to rule European football for years to come but with Arsenal’s unbeaten run in domestic competitions ended, having stretched from early December, Wenger’s faith unfortunately went momentarily missing as well.


5 thoughts on “Formation didn’t give the side the credit they deserved

  1. The lousy coach had already picked the penalty takers since thursday. That was quite clear from Theo’s remarks on the game. It’s a shame he decided to be so negative.The only way i can be consoled from the sickening defeat is for Denilson and Diaby to be dropped for the season and sold afterwards.

  2. 4-2-3-1 the formation played yesterday didn’t work for many reasons. I think the biggest reason it didn’t work yesterday was because the players didn’t know what was wanted of them. I looked at Diaby in the side, and thought that he is going to play on the left. The pre match tactics suggested though he was going to be our second defensive midfielder. In the end Diaby did neither and looked lost…This formation is only to be used when we expect to get battered by an opposition and are only playing for a draw. It looked as if once it was 1-1 that Arsenal were hoping that they would sneak it on penalties…wrong attitude.

  3. wenger is a very bad manager. he threw away the FA cup this year. why resting arshavin and song? arshavin do not play against villareal, and surely he is fresh. but wenger still want to field his junior team, and we lost. wenger should be sack from arsenal.
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

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