Henry vs RedKnapp – How to defend against Theo – ” The Fellaini Effect” By GS
Its funny how people can watch a football game and have a completely different view of how the game should be played and what football teams should be doing. But that is the beauty of football as we all have our views and opinions. I am one of the few Arsenal fans who have had the guts to say Ozil was poor when he was poor. But when Ozil is playing in the way in which he is playing, I also have to put my hand in the air and say “you are fabulous son”.
Many fans went home saying Walcott didn’t do enough yesterday. But they probably didn’t watch the game very well. Walcott is having what I call the “Fellaini effect”. What is the Fellaini effect? Its a situation where a football team defends completely differently to to how they normally do just to nullify the threat of one player. I remember last season all teams didn’t know how to defend against Manchester United. Mourinho went as far as playing Zouma in midfield just to nullify the Fellaini threat by man marking him all day.
What does this have do with Walcott? My point is that teams no longer know how to defend against Arsenal. Yesterday saw the clash of idea’s between Henry and Redknapp. Henry said the Watford center-backs should have compressed the pitch and got close on to Walcott. Redknapp completely disagrees and says with Walcott’s speed, teams have drop about three yards deeper. For Redknapp it is not rocket science. If you play high against Arsenal and press as if you were pressing Giroud, then one pass from Cazorla means Walcott is gone. Stoke City and Leicester were good examples.
Now comes Mesut Ozil. Most teams have decided to follow Redknapp’s advice by dropping three yards behind Walcott. What happens is that the “Ozil zone” becomes bigger. By the ‘Ozil zone’ I mean the space and the gap between the opposition midfield and the defence. Ozil is just in dreamland. He can’t believe the space he is having. Against Manchester United the defenders got scared and dropped back due to Walcott exposing David Blind. Ozil had so much space it was total chaos. The Walcott threat just makes opposing teams panic. They have to defend completely differently.
Ramsey and Sanchez are the two of the most hard working players in the team. Ramsey has made the most sprints of any player in the league. That is 560 sprints before yesterday’s game. This is a footballer with the lungs of an athlete. He has also covered the second most distance in the league, just behind James Milner of Liverpool. With Sanchez’ power and enthusiasm on the left hand side, it means Ozil is fully protected by the team and he can do what he does best.
Ozil is given total freedom to float all over the opposition half and make the key attacking decisions. With the ‘Ozil zone’ getting bigger and bigger with every game, expect more chaos in the opposition half. United and Watford have experience it already.
How do you defend against Walcott? Do you press and compact the pitch like Henry was proposing and let yourself get exposed by Theo’s pace? Do you drop the defensive line a little deeper and give a bigger gap between the midfield and defence, “Ozil Zone”, and Let Ozil and Cazorla take you apart with their quick and slick passing?
Happy Sunday everyone. Before I forget , shout out to Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin. What an upgrade from Andre Santos!
By Galen Sona.