SHOULD ARSENAL SET UP A DEADLY FRONTAL ATTACK MODE NEW SEASON? by Nicholas
Arsenal are faced with a defensive crisis this season. It’s only the last two matches Against AC Milan – perhaps the most important match for Arsenal to date and in the EPL against Watford, that we have kept clean sheets after so long. Petr Cech for instance has been looking to get to his 200th clean sheet since December! Players like Monreal, Mertesacker and Koscielny are now aging and one cannot rely on them so it is time to move some of them on. I would keep Monreal and sell Koscienly.
This season Arsenal have had to contend with a shaky defense that was able to leak lots of goals. But I think the over-focus on defending is making Arsenal lose out on one of the best means of defending – dominance. Is it a coincidence that nowadays Arsenal rarely dominate possession in games that we are leaking so many goals? But the other issue is dominance for a reason, being dangerous and also scoring more frequently out of this dominance is very important. It is what Man City are now doing, it is what Barcelona are known for, it is what Bayern, PSG and Real are made of. It was what the Arsenal of Yore – the Invincibles – were known for. Arsenal should score more frequently, score more earlier in games and score more goals.
This means we have to generate an almost unexpected goal conversion ratio from attack and therefore Arsenal needs to shape the team around superior attack and score default system. The squad is certainly well placed for frontal domination. Just look at these players; Lacazette, Aubemeyang, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Iwobi, Wilshere, Ramsey… But for starters, I would get rid of Wilshere and Xhaka but keep Ramsey on the bench. I would bring in Ousmane Dembele, Goncalo Guedes, Oriol Romeu, Ryan Bertrand and Fraser Foster.
My personal team under the current squad circumstances for the above would be a 188.8.131.52.1 system as below:
Guedes and Dembele are capable of working the wings with high level energy and that will mean Bertrand and Bellerin stay back defending in more instances, but can come out one in a while in that odd moment follow-up attack to provide killer passes. Romeu is coming with Premier League pedigree and can sit affront the back three and help intervene to cut off the opposition moves early on – forcing the opponents to errors that can be then be better dealt with in the defending department. Both Mkhitaryan and Ozil have the potential to start up attacks from deep in the central defense area and continue those attacks in the pivot attacking midfield set-up as well, and completing the same in advance attacking roles as well as striking positions. We would have Aubameyang and Lacazette in the same team finally. We got Welbeck, Iwobi and the youngsters to fill the roles in the bench. Petr Cech needs to be allowed to move on, he has done his bit and Bertrand and Foster will help retain the British core in the side. At least we have the core of this team already playing together in Ozil, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, and Lacazette is already in the squad.
A team that attacks competently also ends up somehow defending well and that’s the reason why Arsenal squad of 2003 ended up the invincibles. That’s is why Man City somehow are not conceding too many goals.