The tactical side of football is always developing and changing to some extent and Arsene Wenger has himself earned a well deserved reputation for the way that Arsenal have played the game since he took over as our manager almost 20 years ago. But the possession based football that has been the Arsenal way for many years now could be coming under threat from the new tactics that were widely used at this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, so I wonder whether the prof is starting to think seriously about a rethink.
The Euros seemed to be full of teams that were happy to concede possession and try to hit their opponents on the break. The efficacy of these tactics was starkly highlighted by the fact the winners Portugal won only one game in 90 minutes and their success was founded on their miserly defence which only conceded more than one goal on one occasion and kept four clean sheets in seven matches.
This is not a new tactic and even though it is not exactly thrilling to watch and saw a lot of flak aimed at Jose Mourinho and his big blue bus, it did earn Chelsea the Premier League title two seasons ago. There is a growing feeling that the Gunners are too predictable and too easy to play against if a team is well organised and determined to sit back and deny us space.
The new Chelsea boss and his Italy side did very well employing similar tactics in France and they were arguably the best team in the tournament and I expect more of the same from him in the Premier League and probably from Jose and Man United as well.
I think that Wenger has already started to take this on board and set Arsenal up to be more counter attacking ourselves at times, but will Euro 2016 make the Frenchman even more ready to change the tactics he has relied on for so long?