Arsenal were not unlucky against Man United, they had the wrong tactics to win

Arsenal were unlucky at Old Trafford? by Dan Smith

Whether it’s the debate over VAR ruling out our first goal, or the perception that we dominated at Old Trafford and were unlucky to lose, Mikel Arteta’s performance at the weekend has gone under the radar.

Our manager wanted to stress on Sunday that our performance was good enough for three points, and if anything, his players should leave Manchester with even more self-belief, given the levels they showed. Yet did the Spaniard protest a little too much?

Yet again our mentality was our weak point, a lack of leaders able to point out how high we are pressing, a naivety in how we seemed to go all-out attack.

All those words though could be equally labelled at our dug out.

You see Man United controlled this fixture more than you might think at first glance.

Erik Ten Hag noticed how far our defence were positioned up the pitch and how every time they won the ball, how their pace meant they were clean through on goal.

It’s then up to our coach to find a solution to those tactics.

If the opposition realise they are a threat every time we lose possession, why would they change?

If that’s their best route to scoring, why change systems?

Some Gooners have said they would be embarrassed if we set up like that at home.

They wouldn’t.

If you knew that every time your opponents lost the ball, one pass would send your attackers running away from a high line, wouldn’t you, do it?

This notion that Ten Hag would demand a possession-based approach just to be seen more ambitious is nonsense.

He saw flaws in his rivals’ tactics, and it was up to Arteta to change it.

That’s what our boss gets paid a lot of money for, to set up with a system and adapt as the game develops.

Tactically he was out-thought.

If he knows he got it wrong and his post-match comments are deflection, then that’s okay.

The worry is if he truly believes nothing was wrong…

Dan Smith

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  1. In my opinion, the main factor of Arsenal’s defeat was their mentalities. Arsenal have lost more games at Old Trafford as compared to other teams and Arteta also experienced it as a player

    Ten Hag was clever to use the counter-attacking tactic, but it could’ve gone either way. Mourinho and Rodgers also always parked the bus against us, but they didn’t have Old Trafford’s atmosphere and Man United supporters to intimidate us

    1. Gai, considering the way we played on the day it doesn’t seem like they lacked winning mentality but Arteta got his tactics wrong, even the substitution was a panicked one from the coach. Man.U won their last 4 matches with counter attacking football. But the players needs to be clinical and not necessarily played into the 18 box. G.Mahalas and Saliva played high line when we don’t have a natural DM like Fabinho, D.Rice, or Gilberto Silva. I hope the coach and the players learn from the lose against ManU.

      1. I made the assumption based on our atrocious loss record at Old Trafford as compared to other teams and our win history against teams that used similar tactic

    1. I m not surprised. Chelsea sack their managers once result aint going their way. that is their pattern for success. tuchel have looked arrogant and lost lately..

      Auba went their to reunite with his friend but He is gone now. wonder whats going through his mind now….

      1. demands at the bridge is always high that’s how they have been very successful, honestly i thought that when Abramovic left they would likely struggle and lose top 4 as i predicted them outside top4 but boehly seems to want to go the root of Abramovic which could workout for them. As for Auba he will be fine
        He is the only established 9 in their team and guarantees goals with the right tactics

        1. Arteta is a lucky man
          No top club gives the liberty arsenal gives. He should give these club something special for affording him time that 95% of tops clubs doesn’t offer

    2. I think Tuchel had lost the dressing room and Chelsea have been tapping into Graham Potter. This is weird since Tuchel just got Aubameyang

  2. I think this is dragging on too long. Yes, Ten Hag got it right and got the three points. And in some ways it was a loss we needed to have if only to not get to far ahead of ourselves. hopefully lessons have been learned and we’ll be a lot cleverer next time. After all there are weaknesses in the overall balance of the 11. However, why go on and on. For my part the loss hurt, the team still needs improvement but it was a game which we contested strongly for 80 minutes. I would rather this type of defeat than the insipid, gutless efforts we have put in over the past seasons against City, Liverpool or even last season’s no show at Old Trafford.

  3. OW, just heard the news about the Chavs. I hope they dont get Potter. He is the man when it comes to upcoming managers.

  4. Aubameyang – I have unfinished business in England…

    After 60mins debut with Chelsea….

    Next hot topic Tuchel sacked.

    Business is now finished. Lol

    Feel sorry for Aubamenyang though but I don’t feel sorry for Him

      1. And Dan Smith calls himself an Arsenal Gooner. And I bet you are whispering to yourself that that actually happens. “Whisper to yourselves,,” Aubameyang will score more goals than Jesus”. Can’t see that happening now that Tuchel has departed with Chelsea. The only problem I had with the Manchester United vs Arsenal match was the high line. By rights it’s also up to the players to sort things out on the pitch. These players should be able to read the game. One would think so. They certainly were not intimidated by the United supporters. I don’t know how @gotanidea comes up with such utter nonsense. He’s posted that a few times now. He must be confused with the 8-2 loss 11 years ago. Arsenal were certainly on the front foot against United. There is a time for playing the high line, and a time to drop back. That’s the only way United were going to get at us. That’s where the goalkeeper should be able to read the game instead of ball watching. That’s a problem with the modern day goalkeepers of today’s football. My only gripe with Edu, is that we didn’t get in a player to cover for Thomas Partey, and getting another striker. Getting 3rd and winning the Europa League, plus possible FA Cup silverware will be progress

    1. Unfinished business to have his manager sacked, could not do it to Mikel, succeeded with Tuchel. Congratulations bro! What’s next Dan? Tuchel to Arsenal?

  5. The defeat was inevitable even before the game and it has come at a good time. We are still at the top and the flaws will be addressed. We have started well after a long time and signs are good that we will continue where we have started.

  6. We didn’t play our best defenders as Tierney and Tomiyasu should’ve started and as I also said before the game we should have gone for the 4-4-2 high press, scored first and then adjusted from there. Gabriel J. was having a great game but needed a partner to tango with. Nketiah was that guy but we brought him on too late. He was the only required sub after the first half and then we’d have adjusted from there.

    1. Tierney is not our best defender, I would prefer Ukrainian over him every time. He brings so much more to table then Tierney. Previously when Tierney played in such matches the result was same and he is weak. What is ur obsession with Nketiah? He is simply nit good enough to dislodge any of the front three. Only thing Nketiah dies is run around like headless chicken and try useless strikes at goal. If he was so great we would not have bought Jesus. No club was interested to sign him up as well until we offered him extension. You make Neketiah sound like Halland.

      1. Tierney is defensively better than Zinchenko and Zinchenko didn’t have to be rushed. Tomiyasu should’ve also come in for White long time ago. As for your talk about Nketiah its a worthless opinion to me. I could care less what you or anyone thinks about him and thankfully they don’t care what

      2. U don’t know how nketiah is vital for arteta not even arsenal I can very much brag that Nketiah is on par with Jesus and if he were to start alongside Jesus he would get more goals than him he is not haaland he is Nketiah bruv

  7. Wrong.
    We did dominate, everybody could see that. The game could have gone either way.
    Man U scored on a couple of counters. Whether they were actually tactical mistakes or individual errors by players stepping 4-5 yards too far up, and Ben White playing 1 player onside, is not to be said for sure.
    That you don’t believe Arteta is the right manager is fair enough, but stop your manipulating digs at him.

      1. It’s always easy to be critical when you have the answer book, but we don’t know if the players followed Arteta’s game plan. We went for three points when we could have been cynical at 1-1. From my point of view the main problem isn’t our game plan, but how we conducted it.

  8. It’s one game. Let’s move on already…
    We played bravely and showed quality. Probably a little immaturity from the players and the manager. Losing away to an in form top 6 when you control much of the game is not the worst thing in the long as we bounce back quickly, everyone needs to let this go…

  9. Nearly everything was wrongly done by the Gunners in the game in their last big game match away to Manchester United in the EPL.
    Save, that they dominated possession in the match, but they were naive in front of the Man United’s goalmouth to not score but only the goal scored by Saka. As the Gunners often profigated in front of the United’s goalmouth to miss their chances to score of the several goalscoring opportunities which they had in the match, to consequently become wasteful in front of goal in the match.
    Thus, Arsenal were left with no cigar at the end of the match despite that they dominated possession in the game.
    I think there has to be a change in game playing strategy by Mikel Arteta for the Gunners to adopt in the big game before Arsenal play host to Tottenham Hs in their next big game. So that the Gunners will stop being naive in front of the opponent’s team goalmouth or in their 18 yard box in the big game. But score avalanche of goals as they have the majority of possession in the match. And even as well when they don’t have it in the big or small games. This should start to be the noun by Arsenal this season.
    For, Arsenal should have won their last big away game match to Man Utd. Or at least come away with a draw in the match.

  10. Move on guys, we lost but played well. We all know we made a tactical mistake and I hope we don’t repeat it in future but the way team has started this season we can allow them one slip at the moment. Hopefully we will be back on track against Everton and that will show the real character & mentality of the team. I always think game after the defeat is always the real test.

  11. The only way to get better in a certain style of football is to practice. When practicing with a young and relatively new team you can expect mistakes.

    Mistakes are useful if you can learn from them and understand what you did wrong. United had two treats Antony and Rashford. To stop them to run trough or team you need to get into their bodies as soon as possible.

    I would have preferred a more cynical approach when we got 1-1. Now we have probably learned, we can’t be naive, but should go on playing our style of football with more defensive awareness.

    Next test will be Tottenham they have more or less the same style football, but are a better team. COYG

  12. Mu always plays o the counter against Arsenal.They let the gunners have plenty of possession
    Goals win games not weaving complicated
    patterns.Watch how other teams play.
    They run and shoot on sight.
    Arsenal tend to stop andpass .
    This slows down the attack.
    Everton wont be easy meat having drawn with Pool

  13. It was so apparent in the second half that when we pressed and attacked we left a huge midfield gap with a flat back 3 in defence on the half way line. One through ball with even just one speedy attacker exposed us on the turn and we were simply outpaced. Sad. Not the first time either.

    Did we deserve a 1-3 loss? Sadly we did. And the overall performance was not encouraging because of our cavity. I hope something about this is done from now on.

    At times we played well enough but were defensively naive and paid the price.

  14. The game is gone and I am more afraid of Brentford game that tottham game….
    To me every match is a big match because they both share the same 3 point, Chelsea, utd, tot, liv, city beat me or not and we are able to beat the remaining team, which one will be more preferable?,
    Please let’s beat Everton on Sunday first so that we will forget all this discussion about utd…

  15. i have been called crazy but i still believe only an in-form Partey makes arsenal to be fluid and all the players to look good.

  16. Arsenal went old Trafford and played the way they did, played like man utd didn’t matter, that’s a mentality of a top club but man utd are good too and fast on the counter so they hurt us. Our game plan is the only way forward as it should be the only issue was that there was no partey who is really good with positioning to thwart those counters we would have been good. Partey is injury prone and not reliable he will hurt out season again its why I strongly believe we have to move on from him. Let’s get someone who’s as good as partey by jan and we’ll be good

  17. I don’t think Arteta got it wrong. He played counter atttack in his first season into winning the FA Cup. This is the way Arsenal should play. Remember he always said to install a permanent style of play and the culture of the club. If Arsenal played withdrawn, then Man Utd would take charge and might win nonetheless in front of their fans and the referee in their side. Last season, Pep lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace through the same tactics. Sometimes it just happens in football. Our new players are still integrating within the squad while Man Utd broke EPL transfer record to bring in whoever they want. As long as we play like we played the first six games throughout the season, Arsenal will finish top 4. Let them play and judge them at the end.

  18. I have a different view on VAR disallowing Arsenal’s first goal due to a foul being committed in the build up.

    I was under the impression that Referees, this season, would not be blowing as fouls, small clashes.

    I thought Odegaard’s tackle on Erickson was one such incidence. The referee let it go to keep the game flowing.

    However, it seems the VAR person, was not on the same page as the referee.

    If the above was in fact the case, what more chaos can this action cause!!!!

    Apparently, because in this case, the foul and the goal occurred in the same phase of play as the goal, VAR felt justified at looking at this incident.

    Based upon this logic, in say a Man City game, if john Stone steals the ball from an opponent in a similar fashion to Odegaard, and he then passes to a team mate, and City go on to make another 30 passes without the opposition touching the ball, then the ball reaches Haaland and he scores.
    It would be interesting to see if the VAR official sees the John Stone tackle as a foul and cancels the goal.

    Based on the Arsenal experience, that should be the VAR official’s decision!!!

    How stupid is VAR becoming?

  19. Arteta is not an Elite Manager, a Skysports pundit mentioned this yesterday in Tuchel sacking. Arteta is immature he is learning but not elite. Unfortunately we as fans have to suffer through his learning phase. Man U used a simple tactic against us & he fell for it.

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