Can Arsenal afford to play a high line defence all the time? by Eddie
Got a great win yesterday, and it was a nice game to watch but the defence stays dodgy. Chelsea lost at home, a great result for us which means we’re back on the same points. Somehow, I kept wishing Torreira got a yellow card after he came on, I was cussing at the TV and asking him to get a yellow, and just make it easy on Weds but it wasn’t meant to be.
My analysis and purpose of this article is about our defence. It’s known everywhere that we need to get world class defenders, but my observations have been on the high line we play. Studying our last 4 matches, we’ve played a high line defence and in all games we’ve conceded silly goals, especially from counter attacking positions. Emery’s tactics is the pressing game and playing the high line defence and though it’s working so well.
There’s a little bit of flaw in this strategy, we leave our keeper too exposed, and invite pressure on ourselves when we lose the ball. The game against Southampton, losing the ball up field, our defensive line was broken with just Kos running back trying to cover his position. We conceded 2 goals in that game while playing the high line defence, the last goal exposed it clearly, “get the ball from their attackers, try to lob it over their defenders and then we’re free to run with the ball to their net” must be some kind of instructions coaches use against us.
The Carabao cup against Spurs, both goals, playing high line defence, we got caught up and it’s a free highway for them. All Son had to do was step on the gas pedal after our defenders were caught up in the middle of the field. He stepped on it, was untouchable and scored a nice goal.
Goal no 2 also came from breaking our high line. All Kane had to so after getting the ball was to lob our defenders who once again were caught up in the middle of the park. Say bye bye to Dele Alli. We got punished and I was seriously hoping we would fix it.
Having Sokratis in the defence is a blessing, alongside Mustafi who we all miss now, Ironic isn’t it?? But today right out there, we could’ve conceded a number of goals again from playing the high line, so many times they broke through and wasted their chances. Sokratis had to take one for the team by getting a yellow card after once again it seemed our defence was getting caught up field.
Pressing game is so perfect when you learn to balance it and adjust to it in matches. The Manchester City’s back line is filled with players with enough pace to cover up if their line gets broken at the midfield. Breaking City’s and Liverpool’s high line defence needs luck, and Palace had all the luck today. One Penalty, one fantastic goal that came from a poorly headed ball by Bernardo Silva, and a lovely first goal which Ederson should’ve saved. My point is we need the proper and world class defenders if we’re to keep playing this high line from the back. Something needs to be done about it, Emery should find a way for the team to balance and adjust when playing.
If we don’t do so soon, we’ll pay for it dearly against good teams, we’ve conceded lots of goals after our high line got broken this season and definitely you don’t want to get caught high in the midfield against Liverpool on Saturday, the pace in that attack of theirs is insane. We need to find a balance and get rid of putting ourselves at risk all the time when we lose the ball up field. We need a temporary solution and we need it fast at least until we get a world class defender.