Arsenal must not throw caution out of the window against Tottenham

There appear to be certain opinions among some Arsenal fans that Unai Emery should send the team out in full attack mode against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, a viewpoint I totally disagree with.

First off, the idea that you can go through a Premier League season with an attitude of we will just score more than them is not a sustainable position, clubs will adapt and just pick Arsenal off on the counter-attack.

Secondly, to think you can do that against a top-six club is just being naive.

Man City and Liverpool have built their game on that form of football but look at their defence, they are able to contain counter-attacks because of the quality they have at the back, Arsenal simply does not have that same quality in defence.

Being attack-minded is just fine, even against a top-six side and especially at home but you have to show some degree of caution otherwise the best teams in the Premier League will rip you to pieces.

Look what Tottenham did against City, they withstood their onslaught and walked away with a draw, sure they were lucky but so were Newcastle against Tottenham when they did the exact same thing and if Pepe would have scored against Liverpool that game could have been so very different.

Going all gung ho does not assure a win but being careless in defence can end in a loss.

Ask yourselves this question, do you have confidence in Arsenal’s defence to withstand counter-attacks from the top teams? I do not, sorry to say.

A more balanced approach with control of the ball and dominant possession is what will beat Spurs not an all-out attack mentality, that is a recipe for disaster.


  1. Really? Even at home we should lay back? We should lay back and limit our attack all in the name of finding balance?
    You do realize other top teams don’t sit back at home all in the name of balance right?

    “A more balanced approach with control of the ball and dominant possession is what will beat Spurs not an all-out attack mentality,”

    I’m sorry, but isn’t ball and dominant possession what got us in this mess?
    I’m sorry I’ve seen us held the ball, kept possession and dominated the pitch yet we lose those games and I know how frustrating that leaves some of us fans.
    We’ve been doing this while dominant possession for the past ten years or so.
    Geez! I wonder how you guys ever watch games

    1. Well there seemed to be many who were quite happy with the result against Liverpool stating how Liverpool haven’t been beaten at home for a long time so it wasn’t a problem if Arsenal didn’t beat.I found that to be a bad mentality because it signalled the acceptance of a loss before the match even started.
      If Liverpool’s record is broken by a smaller club it will clown that argument.I remember in the 10/11 season where every man and his dog was saying that Utd will go unbeaten as they seemed to be sweeping every team.Little did they know Wolves, a smaller club, who were last but one on the table will be the first team to halt them.

      1. Seriously Kev it’s tiring and depressing, some even tried to justify us losing at Anfield with the fact that Barcelona lost at Anfield.
        Such stupid mentality, I don’t know where most fans got it from.
        With a more weaker team than this, We played a certain Ac Milan team in the UCL, went to San Siro and got an impressive win, San Siro a stadium no English team ever won at before, with a team much weaker that what we have now, we won there, we became the first..
        With a weaker team, we went to Alianz Arena in Germany, became the first English team to beat em at home too.
        I don’t really get this whole we shouldn’t bother trying to win this or that game mentality fans of today have.
        We might as well forget trying to win major trophies then since there are teams winning it for the past seasons.
        It’s appalling how before games, we try to see the team as losers and try to justify it with silly reasons

        1. At Anfield the team should have been

          Auba. Laca. Pepe
          Ceballos (Ozil wasn’t in team)
          Torreira. Willock/Guendozi
          Monreal. Luiz/Sokratis. Chambers. AMN.

          We would have given Liverpool a run for their money. Instead, a defeatist/defensive approach buried us.

          1. Actually its always better to go with your best team available, and tell the selected team to enjoy themselves as opposed to showing fear as a coach by putting too much caution. By doing that you loose the game even before starting.

        2. Guys
          There is no excuse what so ever, going in to a game thinking it is lost before we even kick a ball. I was pretty optimistic of us going there and getting something from the game.
          The 3-1 score was a fair reflection and we all felt disappointed on the final whistle but people are starting to forget. This is a young team being put together by a manager who some want rid off already. It’s all about opinons but come one..its 3 games in to a new season. Stop quoting Wenger era..its gone and so has the former boss. he is never coming back so can we move on and back the new boss.
          Let judge the man at the end of the season and see what he has or hasn’t delivered for us…
          Bear in mind there is only 4 places up for grabs and 4 cups to be had..
          Onwards and upwards ladies and gentlemen

      2. The record being broken by a smaller club is irrelevant.

        Teams focus better and give it their best with their best lineup against top 6 teams. On top of that, there were no European games for them to be tired this time.

        If they lose to a smaller team after playing UCL in the midweek, while also not fielding their strongest 11, it will mean precisely nothing.

        Let them play Tottenham, Chelsea, or United while fully rested as against us, and lose at home, then it would mean something.

        Oh, and this: a balanced approach has worked well at home against Spurs in recent years, hasn’t it? I mean we’re talking about this game, aren’t we?

        If you think Emery will change his style so many years after beginning coaching, you better stop watching Arsenal for a while or you’ll just keep whining about the same issues over and over again.

        1. That’s where I once again disagree.Teams which want to win the league give it their all against clubs whether big or small.It is for this reason too that small teams as well as big clubs are thrashed by the other big teams.
          To imply a small club beating Liverpool at home means nothing is wrong because Liverpool no matter the game whether against small or big will not want their record to be broken.For any smaller club to win at Anfield they would have deserved it.Same with City at the Etihad.Those who were content with the loss didn’t look at the bigger picture

      3. kev

        The Liverpool game was lost by Emery more than the team. He made a cowards choice with both team choice and obscure tactics. He showed he has no ‘bottle’.

  2. William Shakespeare was a well known Stratford upon Avon
    football manager who faced the same dilemma in the 1601 season.
    To attack or not to attack that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    and by opposing end them?#
    Just the other day the English cricket captain was
    also faced with the same challenge.
    Joe Root. We are 9 down and need another 73.
    Jack Leach. How shall I play it skip?
    Root. Just go out there and play every shot in the book.
    Leach. Yes Skip.
    Root. Oh and one more thing.
    Leach. What’s that skip?
    Root. Don’t get out 🙂
    Leach fortunately has no shots at all and Stokes won the game 🙂
    So the way I see it Arsenal must play 9 defenders
    who must play dead bat like Leach and let
    2 attackers run amok like Stokes 🙂
    #Apologies to William Shakespeare.

  3. unai emery should recall chambers to the starting xi….. So dat luiz will know that such school boy errors are not acceptable….. Revert back to our 4-3-3 formation. Pepe auba laca. Ceba guendo xhaka. I would prfer toriera in place of xhaka but thats woulnt happen xhaka is emery’s boy…..

  4. A more balanced approach? We are playing at home for gadsake! After that $hitshow at anfield I expect us to go guns blazing against the chickens. Dig in a little deeper and you’ll know the chickens are in a mess right now and I’m hoping the boiz will pressure them from the start and get an early goal to settle the nerves if not the spuds will grow some confidence and think they can nick a draw here. It’s all depends on the team emery is going to field tho, the man keep confusing us with his selections, what’s he going to this time? Put Xhaka at leftback or Ceballos in defense since he has good ball control?? I hope we don’t see any of that from emery this weekend. COYG!

  5. We have to go for it. I thought Holding would be back in but alas no. Would have 3 at the back. Chambers – sokatris- luis.. Then
    Anm – Torreira- ceballos Kolasniac
    Pepe- laca – Auba.
    That team would kick their a$$.

  6. I think the opposite
    We are playing at home so be more adventurous
    We have excellent strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette
    A fast winger in Pepe
    A very good central midfielder in Ceballos

    In between we have Torreira to help the defenders and attack.

    We should try our best to score goals

    I’m not too concerned about Liverpool match. We lost away to a Title contender. If we lose at HOME to Spuds we will be in trouble mentally going forward. Much worse than losing to the possible champion

  7. same as that 06fan, we will not have a balanced approach all the time we keep conceding sloppy goals,going forward we have the players that can give the side balance,it’s when we (mainly Xhaka) lose the ball and have to defend that the balance is lost,defending is not in their nature,the two full or wing backs are in attack mode in every game and the central defence is left too exposed and stretched and any balance swiftly goes out the proverbial window. AMN is not a defender and nacho’s legs are giving up on him. go for the throat play the best team available, balance or not you cannot sit back against top opposition.

  8. Am not expecting to see something different because I know who the coach is…lol
    We will see deterrent players and different tactics….Oh God help us.

  9. We need to attack whenever possible BUT also never leave defenders way upfield and leave ourselves wide open, a la Wenger style! It is not an either or situation but a case of playing sensibly , using our attacking strengths whenever possible and guarding our defensive weaknesses whenever possible too!

  10. I am not sure what the conundrum about what style we play against spurs at home is all about. Select defenders who can defend, attackers who can attack. Back 4 with a defensive mid, torreira, central mid, wilock or guendenzi, attacking mid ceballos and PAL. If we match spurs work rate, which we should at home I see no reason why this team can’t put them to the sword.

      1. Slim
        We lost it because the better team won not because Luiz
        Nacho went walk abouts on many occasions during the game but I dont see many people digging him out
        Xhaka was invisible in the middle
        3 games in and we are condemning the manager and slaughter a lot of our players..

  11. Give emery a season befor Klopp name is brought up. Klopp was no better in the table than us at a similar point. Also all should read the masterpiece by Bill Walsh “the score will take care of itself”. Basically it gives his formula for how he transformed the crap American 49ers into a dynasty having superstars and overpaid players playing against similar teams with same makeup. Point is they all want to win, to score; to bring home trophies. He never mentioned in games or before “we must win” or we most score X amount. Ever. He focused on excellence in everything believing that the score will take care of itself. Maybe managers should adopt it?

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