Arteta needs to find a solution to the low block quickly

Arsenal were in terrible trouble earlier in the season when our opponents learned that we struggled to break down the defensive low block, and we only found a way to deal with it when we introduced the energy of Saka, Martinelli, Tierney and Smith-Rowe.

Yesterday against Crystal Palace, we were missing Tierney and Martinelli, and the low block was just too difficult for us yet again, and we could even have lost the game with a breakaway goal.

David Luiz returned to the side after his brush with coronavirus protocols to partner Rob Holding at the back, but he was not impressed with Crystal Palace’s tactics or Arsenal’s abilities to counter the low block. “It was a typical Premier League game,” he told “It’s always difficult against a strong opponent with a low block, just waiting for the counter-attacks.

“I think we could have scored some goals and that’s frustrating. In these kinds of games, if you score one, you can score two or three but until you break the low block of the opponent, it’s going to be difficult.

“It’s up to us to try to find some new solutions and that’s frustrating because I think we could do it in that game.

“OK, I’m happy [with the clean sheet] but I prefer to win rather than just keeping a clean sheet.

“Of course for the long process it’s always good to continue to keep clean sheets and improve our defensive side, but I will always trade a clean sheet for a victory because I prefer the collective.”

It was actually our 4th clean sheet in a row, so that was the only bright spot on a dreary evening, but as David said; we could really have done with another three points…

READ MORE: Some Arsenal fans turn on Aubameyang after another blank display!

Tags arsenal v crystal palace David Luiz


  1. This could genuinely have to do with the players available. Can’t remember if Wenger’s post 2010 teams struggled with low block as much but both Emery and Arteta couldn’t unlock da low block.

    And to be honest, I don’t see a tactical way around it if the players can’t deliver sparks of genius.

    So if Saka, Tierney and ESR aren’t inspired, Arsenal won’t score against the low block.

    1. I think the best solution to beat the low block is to up the tempo and to stretch defenses using width. Both of which we lacked last game and are lacking in the current team.

      I think we need a winger who has playmaking abilities. At the moment we are lacking players who are good in the one touch play. If you look at our last team that was really good in the one-touch-play was with Cesc, Nasri, RvP and Walcott, with players like Arshavin and Rosicky on the bench. We are lacking a Nasri-type player at the moment. Someone who has playmaker attributes, but can also beat his marker and play on the flank. Mahrez would have been the ideal player, still a shame we never got him.

      At the moment I see WBA’s Pereira as someone who is affordable and has those attributes, but I’m not sure he is of the required level. Best option I can think of atm is Grealish, but I’m sure he is well above our budget.

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