Sanchez, Wilshere and Ox to the rescue? By Galen
Everyone is blaming the transfer window for Arsenal’s slow start to the season. Yes the window was very disappointing, and what annoys me the most was the fact that we waited for the transfer window to close before announcing Welbeck’s injury. You can’t tell me that the club didn’t know he would be out till December. I can see the script already in January. You will hear Wenger say something like “We have Danny Welbeck back and he is like a new signing”..
Our miserable home form or our slow start has got nothing to do with the transfer window. This trend all started on the 26th of April against Chelsea.
Date Teams Result Possession
26th April 2015. Arsenal vs Chelsea Draw 0 – 0 57% – 43%
11th may 2015 Arsenal vs Swansea Loss 0 – 1 67.9%- 32.1%
20th May 2015 Arsenal vs Sunderland Draw 0 – 0 75.1% – 24.9%
24th may 2015 Arsenal vs West Brom Win 4 – 1 63.7% – 36.3%
9th August 2015 Arsenal vs West Ham loss 0 – 2 61.8% – 38.2%
24th August 2015 Arsenal vs Liverpool Draw 0 – 0 65.7% – 34.3%
There is an African proverb, (I think from Nigeria) which says that: “Since Hunters have learned to shoot without missing, birds have learned to fly without perching.” Teams have have learned to fly without perching at the Emirates Stadium. Has Chelsea shown to every team how to play at the Emirates? Since then every team that has come to the Emirates have had no intention of dominating possession. They have all taken notice of what Mourinho did. What they have tried to do is “Dominate Space”. Its all about making the pitch as narrow as possible and making sure that players like Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey have no space to play those dangerous balls. These teams above have had an average of 34.8% possession at the Emirates while at the same time having only about 4 shots a game. But they have all succeeded in getting good results at the Emirates.
Swansea, for example, came to the Emirates and their players were well drilled. They were always in position and didn’t allow themselves to be dragged out of position. People say we are not passing the ball quick enough but its more about the fact that the opposition is well drilled and the players are always in the right place – and guys like Ozil and Cazorla have their influence on the game limited.
Possession is only important if there is a purpose to that possession. Liverpool had 34% ball possession at the Emirates this last month. Yet they had the best chances in the game. Teams are all coming to the Emirates to dominate space.
I watched the West Brom game again yesterday. Why were we so good against West Brom? West Brom did what the other teams have done at the Emirates. The difference was Wilshere. Arsene says “Sometimes his is a game that provokes maybe more challenges than Gilberto Silva who just sat there deep and played, or Mesut Ozil who plays less dribbling,” said Wenger. “Jack is a born football brain. He’s a creative brain. He has no handbrake. But that tells him to provoke in the final third. That’s where he creates all his chances.
Jack, Sanchez and the Ox have got something that our other midfielder’s don’t have. They have pure skills, a sharp turn and change of pace that can provoke any defence. There are certain games that need more of dribblers and gamblers. There are other games that need more intelligence and organised play, You will need players like Ozil in this games.
We need more gamblers in our home games. We need more dribblers in our home games. We need more players that will want to gamble with the opposition. Jack is back in full training and I think Jack, Ox and Sanchez will be a good solution for our home games,be it from the bench or on the pitch. At the moment Sanchez is the only one in the team that creates danger. We need more of that if we want to start with a bang.
How do you think we can beat these teams and their dominating space philosophy?