Is striker Alessia Russo better playing up front as a false 9 for Arsenal Women?

Our Arsenal Women walked away 5-0 winners against Bristol City Women this weekend, after another dominant performance from our gunner women. The goals where shared around and everyone played a part in the massive victory at Meadow Park, but Alessia Russo played a huge part in our victory, scoring two goals in the second half and sealing the win.

Jonas Eidevall opted to start both Stina Blackstenius and Russo (our two number 9s) and had Russo sitting in the false 9/high midfield position, and it seemed to work perfectly, leading me to question whether that’s actually her best position.

Russo always played as a number 9 while at Manchester United and has, for the most part, played up top for Arsenal since joining the club. But, after the weekends performance and the impact she has sitting back a little bit, it makes me wonder if Eidevall and his coaching staff have realised that having her in that false 9 position might benefit the team more.

I’ve said a few times this season that I thought we should be trying to integrate a way that both Blackstenius and Russo can play together, as they’re both such great players. And when they do play together, they give us an extra level of attack and fluidity up front, that we seem to miss sometimes when it’s just one of them and they’re always chopping and changing.

Both players have produced a lot for us this season, but it does seem like Eidevall trusts Russo a bit more, to lead the line and produce goals, but Blackstenius has been just as good when she’s had the chance to play, and I always thought that if they were to play alongside each other, they would bounce off each other and be able to score more goals with each other’s help.

Seeing Russo line-up behind Blackstenius was a bit confusing for me at first, because I just assumed Eidevall would want her up top. And, I thought, if they were to start together in those positions, it would be the other way around. But because of how good Russo is off and, on the ball, it made a lot of sense once the game started to flow.

Russo is very good at bringing the ball forward, and turning her back to players to get in control of the ball, and the, play and then push the ball forward, or create spaces and time, for her teammates – I think that’s what she did perfectly at the weekend as well. She not only has a way of creating for others, but with that extra space and time it looked like it was easier for her to take a shot, and take advantage of defenders with her slick movements.

Either way, I still think having them both of the pitch, in some capacity, makes us a stronger team. And seeing Russo thrive in the false 9 position, I hope we get to see a bit more of that, because it clearly worked like a treat.

What’s your thoughts Gooners?

Daisy Mae

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Tags Alessia Russo stina blackstenius

1 Comment

  1. Anybody who has watched Alessia Russo over the last few years will know she is not an out and out striker/goalscorer. She is at her best as a 10 or false 9. Just surprised it has taken so long for Jonas to realise it.

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