Arsenal don’t HAVE to play from the back – but it’s the best way to keep control?

We all saw Arsenal trying to put Unai Emery’s tactics into force last week by trying to retain possession against one of the best teams in Europe last week. The Spaniard has been concentrating on playing out from the back when in possession and playing the pressing game when we lose the ball. We can’t say it was totally successful as Man City are the masters of that tactic but we did see some improvement towards the end.

Emery has now said that the short ball is not a hard and fast rule in every situation, but he wants the team to stick at it and keep improving in every game. He told “Goalkeepers can play like a player, to start short with the centre back or the right or left back. It is not compulsory to start each action that way. Maybe if the opposition is doing high pressing against us, then we need also to find another option and to play the ball long in the second action.

“We are training for each situation. I want in each moment to know what is our best action to do in the match. This is our creative style and idea. We need with security, with confidence, to build in each match and training session. We are in this process.

“We didn’t lose [against Manchester City] because of our personality, our idea, our style. We didn’t lose for that. We lost on other things, we can improve on other things, tactics, improve for our learning on the next match. But also, we are building our style because we think it’s the best way, to have the control on each match, to find the best way to win.

“It’s clear that when you lose, it’s a bad result. When you win, it’s a good result. For me, this is the resilience I am explaining. It makes me resilient, when you win, when you lose, it must be consistent, you must stay regulated, keep thinking positively every day. You need to take the positive things out of the game to build our identity.”

We all saw how Arsenal’s head dropped after a bad result, especially the two games in a row last season when Man City made us look like schoolboys, so it is good that Emery is trying to instill some positivity in the team and getting them to stick to the game plan even if we are losing. He is also saying that even if we don’t get it right tomorrow then with practise and confidence, we will improve every day and every week.

So, Keep your heads up and Keep The Faith!



  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    This is going to take at least 6 months before the team even star getting to the point where the players are becoming comfortable with the new methodology and can start adapting to the opposition.

    There is a lot of damage to repair from where the club was at the end of last season, and it’s not going to be a quick fix, just look at Pep and Klopp, they didn’t rock it from day one and Citeh certainly wasn’t anywhere near the mess that Wenger left.

  2. Emery made Cech play out from the back. He looked uncomfortable and nearly scored an own goal. If Emery sticks to this system I hope Cech adapts soon. Otherwise Cech should be allowed to use his own instincts and experience

    1. Ozil could be Chelsea’s main target, because they have known that Arsenal will try to flow the ball through him

      I don’t think Emery would have the guts to bench him today

      If he plays, I hope he can handle the pressure in the front, instead of keep dropping back or drifting on the wings

  3. There is no such thing as
    control of a football match.
    You could have 75% of the ball
    have 9 shots on target but through a mixture of bad luck and inept shooting
    you could lose 1-2 to a team who only has 2 shots on target.
    City’s defence at times was poor and Chelsea defence v Huddersfield
    was horrendous but neither Arsenal nor Huddersfield were good enough to punish.
    Chelsea’s defence is really weak.
    Just get the ball into the 18 yard box more often
    and in general shoot on sight and win more second balls.
    Beautiful football is fake consolation for teams who lose too much.

  4. Emery was right, building the attack from the back did not cost Arsenal the first goal. But the speed of Sterling did that, as what Joe Cole, Rooney, Drogba, Costa, Jese Rodriguez, Richarlison, Hazard, etc have done to us

    Arsenal often do not have any answer for that type of players nor they have explosive players like that

    If they want to follow Barcelona’s concept, all outfield players have to press hard and retrieve the ball faster. They also need to get more technically gifted playmakers that can protect the ball well, can surprise the opponents and are able to create perfect through balls consistently


  5. At the risk of being accused of being cynical ‘out from the back’ out from the goalie’ so what is new about that. It is only new if you don’t know the play of the goal that gave us the league championship in 1989 at looserpool against looserpool in the 89th minute of the game. From the goalie to the back from the back to the midfield, from the mid filed to the attack. Goal.

    So what is this ‘We’ve never done this before?’

  6. Premiership football has changed so much over the last ten years I fear the time when managers would be given a couple of years or even a year to be successful have gone.
    When you are a club like Arsenal the ONLY priority is to qualify for the Champions League – not only only does it guarantee you a huge windfall but it allows you to attract the best players so you can remain in that position and generate more money.
    This is the biggest and only thing Arsenal have to fight for and every year when we fail to achieve this we get a little bit weaker, fall that little bit further behind.
    The time of Wenger like legacies are long gone.
    So for me I don’t think there is a “bedding in period” for Emery – it will be ruthless. If he doesn’t deliver top four this year he will be gone. Arsenal simply cannot fall further behind the top four.
    So much rides on it…

    1. If Emery is “gone” after one season, who would Arsenal be able to attract as coach/manager? No decent available manager would apply for the job knowing they would get only one season. Guardiola and Klopp would have been sacked under your scenario. Total nonsense!

  7. hire and fire club?

    the Good thing is UE is seeing EPL in practical now, and i believe he will surely adapt.

    a critically sick person dont get healed or recover immediately he is taken to the hospital-WiseSayings

  8. Emery’s philosophy boils down to intense detailed coaching and acute attention to detail. How thrilling! And how tragically absent for the last decade.

  9. Arsenal has to play out from the back because if the goal keeper hoofs the ball up, then what?. The ball will immediately be recycled back to our goal because we have poor headers of the ball and short players in midfield.

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