There has definitely been a change in the approach of Arsenal in recent years, with Arsene Wenger responding to the criticism that he was a bit too one dimensional with his tactics and that he had no plan B. The Frenchman and the Gunners adapted and became harder to beat in the big games and this season has seen us focus more on the high pressing game, but perhaps not quite enough.
The idea that Arsenal’s tactics were rigid and predictable was most obvious in that season when our Premier League title challenge collapsed after losing heavily in high profile games against Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Everton. The very next season saw us start to put that right with a hard fought win at Man City, based on defending and counter attacking and Wenger and the players have continued to work on this side of the game.
The strongest part of our game, however, is still the creative and fluent football the prof is famous for and so Arsenal are one of the Premier League sides that is taking up the heavy pressing tactics recently and successfully employed by Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
But as shown in a Sky Sports report on the use of the tactic by Premier League clubs, Arsenal are still not covering as much ground or making as many sprints as Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham. The report does praise the extra work being put in by Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez and we are doing a lot more than the likes of Man United.
But with all the pace setters using this pressing from the front tactic, do Arsenal need to focus on improving this one area of our game to have a real chance of winning the title?