BFG blames Arsenal tactics by A.T.
Following the rather fortunate draw away at Liverpool, the Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker made rather interesting comments in his post-match interview. The German international, who is blamed by some for Arsenal conceding the late equaliser, expressed regret at the tactics deployed by Wenger during the latter stages of the game at Anfield.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Mertesacker said: “We didn’t find our own game. We realised we had to stick together and find space [and knew] if we got chances in the second half we could have scored. We did and then we tried to defend in the last minute, which we did but not as good as I thought [we could have]. Overall we have to take responsibility for our game, we want to dictate but we were on always on the back foot”.
Well, I have to say that we cannot go to any stadium in the Premier League and play the Arsenal way, or as BFG puts it, ‘find our own game’. The team will have to get used to away fixtures where they will have to soak up pressure and hit the opposition on the break. Just like the case against Liverpool yesterday, there will be matches in which we cannot have the lion’s share of the possession and we have to look toward alternative tactics.
Now although Arsenal weren’t very successful in trying to sit back and defend the lead last night, I have to say that in my opinion, the team was right in trying to do so. There are so many instances in the past where we took a lead only to concede late as we continued to play ‘the Arsenal way’. Now while that approach is very effective playing in front of a home crowd at the Emirates, it’s not so much so while playing away.
Personally, I disagree with what BFG had to say. There will be plenty more matches this season where we will not be able to ‘find our own game’. As we can observe by watching Manchester City and Chelsea, the key is to grind out results even on those off-days. The boys were definitely right in trying to hold onto the lead last night. But here’s hoping that the next time the need arises to hold onto a lead, and there will be a next time, the Gunners will be able to see the job through.