I watch a lot of football, and this season I have noticed that Man City have changed tactics and formation (for some reason) and I have to say, it ain’t working too well. Last season Cancelo was operating down the left as an advanced full-back and Kyle Walker was a more conventional right-back. This season Cancelo is all over the place and Pep seems to be trying to force a formation on the players that they don’t seem to be able to adapt to or don’t understand.
Now this pertains to Arsenal because City’s formation often sees them left with 3 at the back with Rodrigo pushed further forward. This is reminiscent of the way we set-up, except Arsenal are utilising it far better than City. This is more than likely down to the way it has been sold to the players and their willingness to implement it.
Man-for-man, aside from Saka, few would argue that Man City have a better First XI than we do, and a far better squad. However, that doesn’t count for much if you’re trying to force square pegs into round holes.
It makes me do a little sick in my mouth to think how I have come full circle in my appreciation of Mikel Arteta. I didn’t rate him. I thought he was an ordinary player and didn’t understand why he became synonymous with our club and I let that cloud my judgement when appraising what he was trying to do. He has taken a group of young players and is getting them to play a way that the best team in the country can’t. For this I cannot speak highly enough of what he is doing. It is amazing.
Pep is a great coach. He has changed the way football is approached not only by his home nation but across the continent. But he has done it with the benefit of coaching the dominant team with all the best players across 3 different leagues.
I don’t think you can accurately judge a coach in this manner. It it clear why Pep wanted Arteta on his coaching staff at City. Our funny, little perma-stubbled Spaniard has made a group of youngsters and misfits into title contenders.
I wonder what he could do with all the best players and a bottomless pit of cash…