Opinion: Why did Arteta not make changes to his tactics and set-up for the Man City game?

Mikel Arteta’s insistence on sticking to one playing style is hurting Arsenal. They say you can’t do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. Rio Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott (ex-Man City stars) wonder why Arteta insisted on employing the same failed tactics against Manchester City.

Arsenal have already met Manchester City three times this season. They have lost these games. The most recent defeat came on Wednesday night, when they lost 4-1. Arsenal’s game strategy failed again, as it had the previous two times. Arteta should have come up with a different plan for their meeting this week, but he did not. Guardiola was the one who made changes to his system.

“Pep talked about his philosophy; he had to change it from a winning philosophy,” the ex-City defender Joleon Lesccot told the Mirro. “He said we went to the Emirates and I wasn’t happy; they won, and he had to change something.

“Mikel Arteta’s faced Pep three times this season, and they’ve lost every time, and he hasn’t changed.”

Rio Ferdinand also had complaints about Arsenal’s tactics against Manchester City. He questioned why Arteta didn’t tweak things after seeing the Citizens dominate over his team. On Rio’s part, he doesn’t understand why Arteta stuck to his initial game plan even though it failed.

“Tweaks in games can happen; today it didn’t happen, but occasions like this can be a whirlwind and take it away from you, and I think that happened today with this team,” said Rio on BT Sport.

“Sometimes you’ve got to be humble enough to go, ‘Listen, I need some bodies around me; give that to the touchline; speak to the manager.’ Even at halftime, at the moment it’s not going our way; we need a few more bodies around us to build some confidence”

So has Arteta’s rigidity on one tactical plan been his biggest obstacle?

On his part, the Arsenal boss insisted after the Manchester City loss that he didn’t see any reason to change things up. “We wanted to tweak a few things, but they were able to execute and scored an early goal,”

“You have to understand where we’re coming from; we have to be loyal to what has brought us all this way.”

Arteta has matured as a coach, but now is the time for him to be ruthless in his selections He’s got to be unpredictable. Anyone who fails to deliver should be benched. Make tactical switches to confuse opponents. On Wednesday night, Guardiola taught him a lesson; now it’s up to him to put what he’s learned into practise.

Should Arteta be more adventurous with his tactics and squad changes, rather than stickking to just the one game-plan?

Darren N

Watch Arteta refuse to give up on title after Man City defeat – “There are still 5 games to play, it’s not over…”

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  1. Arteta is either too stubborn or not good enough make changes in tactics…
    Arsenal have so many versatile players who can play on different formations very effectively…
    When he saw single pivot tactic failed against Liverpool when Liverpool midfield isolate Partey by Thiago, Henderson and Fabinho…
    Same happened with City
    Still he was imposing same tactics on players…
    When you Holding will struggle against Haaland still why playing 4 at back??
    Tierney play so well in 3 at back system because of his defensive awareness..
    But but

  2. Because it was too late that’s why. A change of personnel yes, but changing to a formation the side hadn’t used before would have changed nothing. What annoys me is those overpaid talking heads, or ‘pundits’ know that full well. As former players to a man/woman I can imagine their reaction if just before a massive game the boss said; ‘I know we always either play 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, but tonight, for one night only, how’d you fancy 3-5-2’? Cue groans of dismay…

    If Arteta felt a new formation to cope with City was needed, West Ham and the Saints were ideal tryouts. Instead we stuck with plan ‘a’ and that didnt work so well either.

  3. Arteta and the Arsenal players were too scared the last few games. I’ve never seen a team which gives up before a ball is even kicked.
    I don’t know what to expect, certainly there’s progress but the mentality bit is still lacking from both manager and players. Hopefully they pick themselves up and complete the season on a high.

  4. I dont think Arteta does tactical changes, i just think he thinks his set up will be enough. He doesn’t like change and it is something he struggles with. Starting with the EL final, he very often when tactics are needed other than his own style, he has struggled.

  5. For sure nothing works more in strategy than deception. Another is counter strategy itself. Every drug has efficacy but not in all cases. We need to have alternative plans and apply the appropriate one in each case. There’s no one-size-fits-all in football strategy. If we can’t apply flexibility then we may not manage our good young talents well. Our coaching crew must realize that every player has got his mood and moment of play. Resting players when the need arises is not punitive. Rotating players builds more confidence, trust, commitment and hard work in a team. Arteta has learnt enough and we expect that he should know teams and their patterns of games in PL to be better able to plan Arsenal counter force in each game. We have met our expectations for 2023/2024 Champions League but what about the records we left behind in the PL in 2022/2023 Season?

  6. Arteta has lived by his pass, pass, pass, attack attack attack

    system, and against Man City Arsenal died by it!!!!


    I worry that he and Edu are going to make some very bad summer transfer decisions, and that next season we will struggle to be in the top four.

    I truly hope they do not, but sadly I think they will!!!

  7. ‘You can’t do the same thing and expect different results’… I might be mistaken but we have been top of the league for almost the whole season. Those are results that I can be happy with. Have we fallen short at the finish line? Almost certainly, yes. Could we have tweaked our system against city to try and improve recent results? Yes! However,I put it to you all that Arteta and co are still very much involved in the process of trusting the process. In my view he’s building a team with an identity, a clear style of positive football. I believe he’s sticking to his long term plan despite the fact that we’ve massively overachiever this season. Arteta strikes me as a man who wants to teach you to fish rather than buy you a fish supper after the pub. This rigidity is frustrating as a fan, very much so…. I’ve no hair left to pull out. But this year strikes me as different. Usual end of season collapse it might be but I for one am positive. I can see this team dominating over the next few years and a part of that is Artetas absolute belief in his process. I still trust the process too, I’ve had the most enjoyable league experience I’ve had in years this year and there’s no shame coming in second to city. We’ll have them next year….

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