How Arsenal could have beaten Swansea’s bus parking!

The answer is simple – you don’t play crap! by FFFanatic

Parking the bus has always been able to get you points. Lots of them? Not so much. The reason it works is because you play for the draw. You do not commit forward. You focus on stopping the other team and you are perfectly happy with not scoring. You get points by then getting lucky and the opposition switching off. Chelsea do it, Swansea did it. Over a whole season unless you have quality like Fabregas, Costa and Hazard to be your only three forward players you will not be winning games but drawing. This won’t stop teams doing this age old tactic against us. And how do you beat it?

The answer to the question is simple – you don’t play crap. Swansea defended well last night but our problem wasn’t tactics or anything, rather our players just did not perform. It was like they had a hangover and couldn’t make things tick. We STILL got clear cut chances and just failed to convert them. Alexis’ miss eight yards out with the keeper squared up was diabolical, Theo’s rebound not much better. Giroud missed a good chance as well. We had numerous breaks into the box and did poor final balls. We were poor. Our defence weren’t much better – they had one attack in the second half and scored. ONE! Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mert and even Monreal all had bad moments in the move which lead to the goal – you can’t do that!

I’d like to think this is a blip. We were by far the better team and on a different night under the same conditions Alexis scores, Giroud scores or hell, even Monreal scores. We didn’t. If we want to improve then our option is to get someone who scores in those games but honestly I don’t see them. I don’t watch enough Spanish, French, Italian or German leagues to know what talent they have though so I won’t say they’re not out there – I just hope Wenger can find them. Still, one goal early in that game and we’d have won comfortably. Just damn poor striking and damn poor defence. Swansea deserve ZER0 credit because honestly sticking eight players in your own box is not football!


Tags Bellerin Koscielny ospina


  1. I hope this match will be a wake up call fir other matches especially the FA Cup final

    Villa can beat us if we aren’t at our best. Remember we lost the League Cup final to their neighbors, Birmingham City who were relegated the same season. The FA Cup is a must win and we need to be up for it.

    I think we will return to form against United. As much as I hate losing to Swansea at home it’s not the end of the world. It happens

    That said we should not lose home games well at least the way we did.

    1. The Swansea game was a 1 off we just couldn’t finish its not cause they were good. If we would’ve just put 1 in I bet we would’ve won 3/4-0.

      But I agree we will be back and scoring against United.

  2. Q)How to beat a team that parks the bus?
    Ans: Just give them the ball and break them down on the counter simple.

    1. But what if they only send three players forward which was all they needed for the goal.

      The article, i read first line then answer saying simple dont play crap.. enough said from our future nobel prize winner minus the el. We done more than enough in open play for us to win nine times from ten.

      Sanchez could easily have scored and then Theo does the same thing. Myself i wouldnt have taken Coq off unless it was for Arteta and i wouldnt have taken Giroud off instead i would have moved Sanchez up front with him and put Theo where Sanchez starts.

      That said i dont really think Arsene done anything wrong as we had men back who should have done better for the goal. Going forward again it was all down to final shot not being good enough. How anyone can blame Arsene for this defeat is beyond me, maybe agenda is blinding them from the positive.

    2. Nah,you break them down by getting around the back of them,you must have width,proper wingers,which would allow our fullbacks to get in position to overlap,with Ramsey on the right and Sanchez on the left we don’t have this

  3. No, tactics was the problem. Plan A wasn’t working by a country mile, so instead of using Giroud’s strengths for a plan B, Wenger decided not to have a striker on the pitch, make the game even more conjested with the subs, and carry on with plan A. Wenger also decided to help Swansea with their counter attacks by taking off our DM. Seems strange that Wenger went all out attack without an out-and-out striker on the pitch.

    1. yeah, it was strange….think the reason is cos he didn’t know which midfielder to sacrifice.(don’t blame hime to an extent-Ozil and Car give us options and Ramsey, could’ve scored)…Maybe he should taken out BFG for theo, played 3 at back with Moreal more towards CB position since their threat was from the other flank. That would’ve allowed Giroud to stay on with theo.

      1. Knowing Giroud, he wasn’t going to score that day. He was very immobile and when crowded with defenders he doesn’t know what to do. Please re-visit the Monaco game, we re out because we didn’t substitute him early enough. The issue is always about lacking width. As long as we play narrow, good and defending teams will pack that area and we are stuck. We need wide players wide to stretch the pitch and open the opponents! We are playing with too many central midfielders!

        1. I agree the Monaco game he flopped up big tym…But he did improve since then..Even if he doesn’t score, he does draw defenders which helps others score (like Ramsey – hull Game).
          Also agree we don’t use full width of pitch..AW idea of playing midfielders in wide positions doesn’t work..

        2. I will try to summarize my thoughts under four salient points.
          First Point: I do not see the logic in substituting your only striker in a match you intend to win. Remember mourihno laughed at Wenger when he made the same substitution against chelsea at the emirates? Except you are planning to draw a match, you do not remove your only striker on the pitch.
          Second point: in the Swansea match, everybody understood we needed speed on the wings in order to breakdown their defense (whenever we had the chance to counter attack) and run behind their back line which we weren’t doing. Though we missed the Ox and Welbeck in that match, for goodness sake we had Theo on the bench! Take out any of Ramsey, Ozil, and Cazorla and bring in Theo on the wing.
          Third point: Wenger will always sacrifice football points in order to achieve boardroom points. He wants Theo to agree to a new deal and the bait is to promise Theo a central role. This is what he tried to achieve in the match by slotting Theo in central attack. Everyone of us will agree that Theo is more effective on the wing than in CA.
          Fourth Point: Wenger needs to learn to let go. Before the return of Ozil from injury, Cazorla was flourishing in the AM role. He excelled in many of our matches, playing from that position. Ozil came and Cazorla had to be redeployed to a deeper role to accomondate Ozil. Thruth be told, Cazorla and Ozil should rarely play together in the same match. They are no complements, they are supplements, depending on the nature of the oppornent. But I guess Wenger can not stand his most priced player sitting on the bench.
          I support Wenger. I want him to achieve big with us and I will appreciate if he sees out his contract with us. I only wish he would have plan B and even Plan C for every match and then treat opponents with respect. That is knowing their weaknesses and strengths.
          I believe we cannot finish the season below 3rd and we will win the FA. This will be a massive improvements over previous SEASONS, and then we can take the positives into next season

          1. You can point at all you want but the simple truth is we should have scored and we had more than enough men back to stop the goal. Some players let us down at the final moment.. Theo was one of those players along with Sanchez Per Kos and Ospina. Thats all there is to it.

  4. What a USELESS article….read the heading and expected some good points and get this sh!t….

    1. To be fair, this article was ripped from a comment I made on another post and not written as an article (I’d have been a bit more literate with my point if it was) so I didn’t write the title for it. If I was to go into tactics on how to beat Swansea I’d have written a whole different piece but the point stands – we just had no edge to our game. Nobody wins if they can’t score from 5 yards out.

      1. Go ahead write that article on “how to beat a team that parks the bus – Tactically”…im sure im not the only fan that will want to read that……

  5. 1) Try long balls into box
    2) or get best dribblers to dribble into box and try to score, if doesn’t work big chance of penalty
    (we do have them Car, Ox, Ozil, Sanchez)
    3) Use CB more effectively, get them to come forward with ball, cos teams that park bus don’t mark CB, Kos gave a good example of that when he pushed forward once vs Swansea..
    4) Long range shots
    5) Invite them forward when they have the ball then use quick counter attack.

    1. @Gunner, after your post the other day I went to see again the game against Chelsea and you are right, bus parking teams don’t mark CB’s unless there’s a set pieces. Question is : what if the CB loses the ball? We need extra caution.

      1. If u watched the Man U- Chelsea game – would’ve seen it much better..
        That’s where the DM needs to cover that, like they do when we loose the ball on our corners with Both Kos and BFG in opposition box..

    2. CBs coming forwards is exactly what a counter attacking team wants – they are the least offensive players but leave the biggest holes if they move forwards. It’s pretty useless to talk about using a DM to reinforce the defence if the defence is ahead of the DM. Movement is good, swapping positions can confuse or create gaps in the opposition. That said it is far more productive for a midfielder to drop deep and drive forward then it is for a CB to go ahead of the midfield as the midfielder who is more attacking would just have to drop into defence.

      There is a distinction between parking the bus and playing on the counter. Chelsea switch between the two annoyingly seamlessly but it’s about what point the press comes on at and how much you commit to an attack. If you observed against Swansea until around the 60th Minute they would commit 4 or 5 to the attack but do so from counter. They were also pressuring us anytime we came over the half way line up to 60 minutes. At 60 Minutes the pressure came on 15-20 yards into their half and attacks were limited to 2 or 3 players. Their goal is scored by 3 players attacking. The first 60 minutes Swansea played a deep counter with a medium press. The final 30 they played a deep counter with no press. THAT is parking the bus – not making an attempt to drive forward. With Chelsea you can highlight it best by looking at their full backs. If they’ve parked the full backs will never advance considerably beyond Matic.

      Of your ideas I would say number 3 is the most dangerous and has least reward. Number 5 we did for the first 15 of the second half but then Swansea shut up shop. 4 is all good and well to say but it requires a moment of pure class because generally you will have 4 players between you and the goal on any position at any time. 1 can work but it goes against our style and generally doesn’t play to the strengths of the majority of our players. Crosses into the box is another matter. 2 is effective IF there is space. Dribbling can be deadly in and around the area but you need to have space to move the ball into or you just hit brick walls. SO what should you do? Width, Movement, Drive, Quality. Simples. I may write something properly to explain what that is later but you can get the gist of it.

      1. You must think us idiots. If any fan knows the difference between parking le blues i mean parking the bus and countering attack it is the Arsenal fans. We have seen it more than any pl club and in our glory years we where the epitome of great counter attacking.

        Width Movement Drive Quality i dont think you should need explain unless you want to, again were not so dumb.

  6. Seeing the Quality of Champion league games it meks me sad because it shows that we are not even close of winning that trophy!

  7. I think Wenger should have taken Cazorla out instead of Giroud. Playing with Wilshere and Ramsey as CM and having pure wingers for Giroud could have win the game. The good thing is that this will be a wake up call to our players. Hope to see them coming to Old Trafford with more determination.

    1. I agree. The right decision for me was Cazorla to come out, Theo to go on the wing. I think he was right to remove Coquelin when he did as the game had shifted from us cutting and them riposting to us just hacking at them with no reply. Having Giroud plus Theo on would have given us width, crosses and importantly more box presence. BUT it didn’t happen and we still should have won. It just wasn’t our night.

  8. Arsenal should have not played so many CM in the park (“wilshere,Ozil,Ramsey,Cazorla”) and then what could happen is that you concede with these players and a goal goes in! There is some kind of technical quality a player has and all 4 have the same mentality who would like to attack and are lousy at defending. Such kind inconsistency does not exist in a player like Müller or Sanchez. If arsenal can only open a team through the middle and want that perfect passing going then arsenal need to sack Wenger.

  9. Lets see in the next match if ARSENE WENGER is really interested in winning the game against MANU and if not it shows top 4 is good enough for him and people who follow the old man are going frustrated right now and French managers don’t take Teams to the highest capacity and keep them and are just not good enough.

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