Arsenal must stop doing this one thing or suffer the consequence (Opinion)

This is the one thing that I thought Mikel Arteta would come in and change at Arsenal, and he has not. Can he not see that playing out from the back is costing us, and putting us under added pressure that we just don’t need. We cannot handle it!

When will the team realise that we are not Barcelona or Bayern Munich! The difference between us and those two teams is that they manage to play out from the back without losing the ball, but we just cannot play out from the back especially not with Leno in goal!

I wish Arteta would change this and tell the boys to stop doing this! With a player of Aubameyang’s quality up front, why wouldn’t you just boot the ball long and hope for the best? I know that is not the Arsenal way, but given how that has not boded well for us in recent years, maybe it is time for change and to switch some things up!

It is clear that the more we play out from the back, the more we get pressed and lose possession. We are already shaky at the back at times, both in defence and with Leno in goal and Arsenal being Arsenal, instead of trying to take that pressure away from themselves, just play into their opponents’ hands.

I thought Arteta coming in would change that one aspect, but he seems to encourage it and for what reason I do not know!
I hate it when they try and play out from the back, especially against pressing opposition like Liverpool, it won’t ever work and the quicker they see that the better it will be!

If they keep going like they do though it won’t be long before the issue becomes more apparent! Gooners?


Tags Bernd Leno Playing out from the back


  1. We have scored some pretty goals from playing from the back under arteta. It will definitely continue and the goal lacazette scored against liverpool started from the back. Hitting the ball forward always won’t allow you control the ball… however, there are times you just hit it long.

  2. Another article done for the sake of it. Playing from the back is here to stay and we trust MA to make it a success. Feel free to keep “hating” it. One game and it’s all doom and gloom! Text book definition of a fickle fan. Football’s evolving, no more route one football I’m sure we’re gonna make it work. pep struggled in his first season, did he abandon his philosophy? No. I trust the manager 100% knowing fully that it’s gonna be tough and painful at times.

    1. I totally agree with your points

      I’m not at all anti Leno but would like him to show a greater degree of confidence when passing from the back. Let’s hope that his confidence improves and he isn’t destroyed by negativity. Regarding your reference to Pep, he got rid of Hart pretty sharpish and his career more or less disappeared down the toilet after that and none of us want that to happen to Leno

  3. You’re right, it’s been a total disaster!

    All it’s done is get us 5 wins in 10 against top teams, made us competitive in every one of those games. It’s one us two trophies, and got us into Europe. It’s won us 3 out of our opening four games this season. All this in under 12 months, and barely any of the team is even Arteta’s.

  4. “We are already shaky at the back at times, both in defence and with Leno in goal”

    I never realize we’ve always been shaky when it comes to the keeper in goal.
    Well, go support West From if you’re tired of watching us play from the back.
    You weren’t complaining when we were scoring goals with it.
    You forgot against Liverpool it’d definitely be different because of their high press

  5. I think there is a point here. Yes, the modern game is swinging towards playing out from the back but we also need to have defenders that are very very comfortable doing this. Against Liverpool, a hard pressing team (and others like that) will cause us problems. If Aterta wants to keep this format its OK, but he must have the players to do this comfortably. Yes, I don’t like the long balls out either, but once in a while, it may have to be applied. Let us keep hoping for the best, learn lessons now and grow stronger.

  6. I suggeat that one look back at how UE’s team played out from the back, compared to MA’s for starters.

    Then look at the players UE had available at any one time, compared to the ones MA now has… a fully fit Tierney and Holding, Gabriel and Salibas.

    I would also say that we do occasionally use the direct route, but I see that as MA letting his players use some common sense and not being frightened to express themselves in any given situation – its how MA wants to play the game and, to date, he has been vindicated.

  7. Ok i’ve said this a few times over the past month or so.
    Holding cannot play out from the back, he flaps and panics like a marine in a maths test, he’s an old school type CB and thats as far as his quality goes, hes not a ball player at all.
    Both CC and Mustafi are better at this, but they’re injured and may be sold, we don’t know yet.
    I think Ma got team selection wrong on Monday.
    KT isnt the fastest full back and then he plays CB its shows even more when he came up against Salah.
    Gabriel should have started, we needed that kind of pace at the back, KT is a great player but he does have some limitations, last season he got causght out a few times being wrong side of players and then couldnt make up the ground as they were faster than he was.
    As for longs balls, thst there to beat the press from teh opponent nothing more and it helps to have a few different ways in which to have an impact.
    Under AW we had no plan b and that was for 22 years.
    All in all, we’re moving in the right direction, Edu and co are doing a great job in rectifying mistakes made over the past 5 or so years and i have utmost faith in the club to do what is required to get us back to challenging for teh EPL

  8. Aubameyang doesn’t like going up for long balls he hardly ever wins them. He wants that ball at his feet. But yeh. I’m not too confident with this playing out from the bk. Maybe with less competitive teams abut against the likes of pool? Me thinks mix it up more.

  9. It was working last season with Emi in goal. Leno needs to improve and get better at it. To totally abandon it is the wrong decision tho. Most top teams do NOT boot the ball up the pitch and hope for the best. That is how you consistently turn the ball over. Arsenal should stick with this philosophy but if you know you’re about to lose the ball in or around the box just get rid so you dont give away an easy chance. Holding was also capable of playing out the back last season. I dont think this one game makes him incapable of doing it. Not to mention we specifically bought Saliba and Gabriel because it was one of their strengths.

  10. Leno played against fulham and we scored wth one of those play out from de back
    playn from de back has come to stay

  11. One question: When was the last time we conceded a goal from a mistake playing out from the back ? As good as ‘Pool’s pressure play was, non of their goals came from causing a mistake from our defenders by their pressing. Yes we looked shaky at times, but so does ‘pool when they are pressed, in fact all the teams with that style make the odd mistakes, but it is a risks to rewards game that is now being adopted by most teams, not only in England but across Europe. I distinctly remember when Pep first came in at City, he was intent on implementing the high press and playing out from the back that served him so well at Barca and Bayern, He brought in Claudio Bravo to replace Joe Hart (who was a very good shotstopper, and England’s #1 at the time), and when Bravo was found to be not up to scratch, promptly snapped up Ederson and systematically brought in players capable of executing the style that he wanted., I see Arteta going down that same path, and if Leno don’t shape up, he will find himself a casualty of the change Arteta is intent on implementing.

  12.  Shenel, I quite agree with your view that playing out from the back is costing us, and putting us under unnecessary pressure. As we have seen overtime, particularly with Leno in goal, who insists on its use even if the situation is not right, had cost us some goals in the past, particularly under Unai, whom it was, that introduced that unsuitable strategy to Arsenal. It’s therefore not correct, as some people insinuated in their write ups, that, that suicidal & brainless so called modern style of building from the back was Arsenal’s style of play. No. That’s never been Arsensl’s style before the coming of Unai. Recall, Peter Chek was very very uncomfortable with it, especially when it came to using his legs in passing the ball to his defense. Agreed that Arsene Wenger’s teams did build from the back, right through the midfield, but definitely, it was not anything close to this brainless suicidal fashion. I stand to be corrected though. We should also all recall that it became quite apparent that we did not have the defensive players that could comfortably execute such a system when it was introduced by Unai. It instantly became unsuitable because Arsenal lacked the kind of defensive players that were suitable for it’s adoption. You need to have very solid defensive players, who are not only physically & mentally strong but possess the skills & above all else, self esteem & solid confidence in themselves. So it was a disaster under Unai as the players from Chek to other defenders were usually very uncomfortable, with the ball, gittery & lacked the mental ability to move the ball out of their 18′ with precision. Bad story to tell. What has been the situation under Arteta? Did anything change in the use of this strategy under him? I can’t see much. Initially, it appeared Arteta wanted to drop it’s use when he took over as we didn’t see it’s rigid application, before now. It wasn’t so much enforced on the players particularly when Martinez was deputizing. There was less pressure on the defence, since he made sure he varied it’s application to suit the occasion on hand. We were always very comfortable. Whatever that changed since Leno took back his seat should be best known to him & Arteta for ferociously going back to Unai era in the use of that unsuitable strategy. If truth must be told, we still don’t have the kind of back for that system. The LiverP match & other matches since Leno took over did not enthuse any confidence, due to his insistence on applying the strategy even when it was glaring that LiverP players pinned them deep into their defence line without any space for the Arsenal players to comfortably push out the ball with precision. Simply put, Leno should have used his common sense in such tight occasions to play out the ball into or behind the midfield for our strike force to connect. My take in all this, therefore is that while not calling Arteta to outrightly jettison the so called modern system of building from the back, I will admonish that it is not rigidly or religiously applied by Leno as he did in that LiverP match. It was quite brainless of him. Martinez was smart enough to know when to apply the breaks.

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