Arsenal should just use Man United game to practise tactics for Thursday


Arsenal visit old foes at Old Trafford, Manchester United on Sunday, and then play their crunch Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg at the Wanda Metropolitano on Thursday. The game at Old Trafford is of little significance to Arsenal as we are out of the top four ‘trophy’ battle which would see us play in the Champions League next season. But in Madrid we have the chance for a backdoor entry into the Champions League.

But no one will forget to tell you how in that match-up we have about ten to fifteen percentage chances after blowing up our opportunities at the Emirates when we literarily had Atletico Madrid up against the wall. Now Madrid have three major advantages we must get past in order to play in the final on the 16th of May at the Groupama Stadium, Decines-Charpieu, Lyon, France.

First, this season, Atletico Madrid have made a fortress of Wanda Metropolitano. They have played 26 games, won 18 times, drew 6 times and lost twice. They have scored 45 times and conceded just 8 times.

Second, they scored an away goal and drew the match away. That’s very important in the Europe.
Third, they will have Diego Costa in the lineup next time out and he is a player who is familiar with Arsenal from his days in the EPL with Chelsea.

It would therefore be important if we treated the match-up with Manchester United tomorrow as an opportunity for a ‘friendly’ to prepare for Atletico Madrid. First, like Atletico, Manchester United are 2nd in the league and virtually secured their place in the Champions League and are chasing nothing in the EPL as Manchester City have already won the EPL.

Secondly with a capacity of 74,000, and with fans who love to hate on Arsenal, there can never be a better place to get the feel of what we would face on Thursday, than Old Trafford. But the most important thing is what Arsene Wenger must do to seal the holes in the defense and get more boot for goal in with forwards. We simply must get to convert whatever chances we would get against the one of the meanest defenses in Europe in front of their fans. Out of 28 shot at goal, we only got to shoot at the target 8 times while they had 6 shots with 5 on target.

Unfortunately, from long term evidence Wenger rarely adjusts his tactics to meet the opportunity and occasion. The moment Atletico were reduced to ten men and we needed 5 goals to nil to be sure we would be in the final, he would have reorganized to have the extra man supporting Lacazette upfront.

If he would have pushed Welbeck to create a two-man forward, pushed Bellerin and Monreal to the wingback roles, withdrew Wilshere and brought in Kolasinac or Holding to create Kolasinac, Konsielny and Mustafi 3-man defense. The three-man defense would have allowed more men in the back and Griezmann would have found more bodies to stop him than just the under pressure Koscielny and Mustafi. With a three man at the back setup, the defending players do not need to venture too far into the centre of the game and can make those inspired efforts going out but mostly stay ‘home’ and defend.

Despite, now facing 11 coming Thursday, Wenger must have the tactics to defend solidly and score goals. For me that can be achieved by using the 3.5.2. it should be tested Against Manchester United. If Adopted, I would pick the following players.

———Kolasinac-Koscielny-Holding ——-



  1. stubill says:

    Shkodran Mustafi, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Jack Wilshere and Mezut Ozil haven’t travelled to Manchester according to reports.

    I think you need to re think your team!

    1. stubill says:

      That sounded facetious, it wasn’t meant to, just saying which players weren’t available.

    2. Nikkogunners says:

      I think the article admits Arsene Wenger does is tactic deaf/blind like you could say, tone-deaf person…

    3. Ernie says:

      That tell it all Arsenal problems have been squad depth for long time and i am glad wenger is leaving and hope new manager will address that we are big club! we shouldnt be ask ourselves those questions now who going to play or not, every position needs two good players

  2. gotanidea says:

    Touche and agree with 3-5-2

    The formation might bring the best out of Ozil, because he sucks in Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 formation

    1. Nikkogunners says:

      Unfortunately, Wenger only changes tactics once every 5 years…he is not due to change soon. Especially not facing Atletico Madrid. Do you wonder if we used our extra Man last Thursday – to add more attack at the front? 28 shots on goal and we just got 8 on target! If we got just another 8 more we could have scored 3 and killed this match…

      1. gotanidea says:

        True, I wish Arsenal used another forward in the fron, after Atletico got the red card

        They shot a lot but they did not plan the attack well before shooting

        The attacks were so predictable, as if we did not have any playmaker in the field

  3. Gwin says:

    Mikky is back.

    1. Nikkogunners says:

      In that formation – where does he best suit…if it was me I would bring him for Bellerin – Mkhitaryan can run rounds from that position and perhaps the thing he will not do a lot of defending. We can ask Monreal to cover both sides of defence from the wingback position and Mhkitaryan to do the attack bits of both wings…So Monreal turns up at the wing that there is pressure and helps ease it out and Mkhitaryan turns up at the wing where there is an opportunity to attack and does just that, provide crosses, cut in and run the ball to pull the defenders…

      1. Nikkogunners says:

        If it was Wenger, he wants to play conventional football…So he can’t play one winger as Wing Back and the other as Wing forward…Imagine the confusion at Atletico when we field Monreal at one Wing and Mkhitaryan on the other wing…

        1. Phil says:

          I can imagine the confusion it would cause in Madrid because it’s just scrambled my brains trying to work out what you were trying to say.So that’s it then.Wenger out and Nikkogunners in.

  4. ThirdManJW says:

    Wenger and tactics? Haha

    1. Dee@Ease says:

      I had the same sort of laugh when I read that. Wenger doesn’t know anything about tactics and planning for your opponent.

  5. Sue says:

    I didn’t see Ramsey, Wilshere, Koscielny, Mustafi or Lacazette in the pictures at the station…. didn’t see Ozil either but he’s in the squad apparently. I know this is a ‘nothing’ game, but I’m really not looking forward to it! Really don’t want another thrashing, just worries me that Iwobi & Willock were in that picture ☹

  6. Godswill says:

    What I don’t want is a drubbing though the match is inconsequential.

  7. John0711 says:

    Allegri has ruled himself out of the job
    Enrique is not in Arsenal’s plans as he doesn’t fit their recruitment strategy ( meaning we won’t spend any money)
    Sky sports

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