Uche – Arsenal are growing and learning how to pass parked buses!


Hello everybody. I am sure we are all in a much better place after yesterday’s giant killing. I enjoyed that performance very much. It was unbelievable ,and when the final whistle was blown, I was left in deep thought. How did we lose against Olympiakos a few days ago and then thrash Manchester United a few days later? Is it inconsistency or complacency? I am beginning to have an idea why we are losing to teams we are expected to beat such as West ham, Dynamo Zagreb and Olympiakos and it has nothing to do with the garbage in the media about an Arsenal complacency, regression or inconsistency. On the contrary, it is because we have progressed and with that progress has come growing pains.

Arsenal has finally been elevated to that elite European team that everybody fears. The consequence of that is that many teams are now playing us the way they play Barcelona and Bayern Munich. They sit back, defend with two banks of four and hope to hit us on the counter. This is a new situation for us and we are struggling to find solutions to this problem. Sometimes we have succeeded in winning such games and at other times, we have not been as effective.

We beat a Newcastle United team that sealed their post with ten men and we also scored goals against Dynamo and Olympiakos. Had we finished with eleven men against Dynamo, who knows? We might have drawn or won that game.

Teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich have had a lot of practice playing against bus parking teams under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, the best tactician in European football. They have excelled and found multiple solutions to compact teams, and of course with players like Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben in these teams, more wins are guaranteed. If we had a Messi or Robben in our team, we will be winning these tight games too. So am I surprised that we beat Manchester United the way we did? Not really. It has been a long time coming. Give this Arsenal team the space to play and they will murder you. We have always played the better football but with poor finishing – while they played badly and won from effective counters. But the signs of our improvement has been there for a while, especially last season at the Emirates when we lost to United 2-1. We battered them in that game even more than we did yesterday but we just did not take our chances.

So it is no surprise that yesterday, everything eventually clicked with our finishing and we put out the kind of performance Wenger has always known we are capable of, because he sees these boys in training every day, whereas we only get to see them for ninety minutes twice a week.

So where do we go from here? Are we now going to be playing like this in every game? No way. You need space to play like that and many more teams will park the bus while playing us – meaning that the results of these games will be mixed. This is what we should expect. Opponents are adapting and improving. We need to show them respect by not expecting to win every game. This is the best fan outlook on these games. The alternative is to unrealistically expect to win every game and when we don’t, we proclaim we are in crisis. It is time we viewed football with more brains than emotion.

Observe the trend. With so much money in football, the average European team can now buy 20 million pound players too and with that, the playing field is leveling. The days of the super team are numbered. Bayern Munich just might be the last of the super teams. Every other team has drawn and lost games this season. But Arsenal is getting better at playing these compact teams. Without the space to play, winning has become extremely difficult. But we are scoring goals and we put two past Olympiakos even with their very tight defense. What we must learn now is how to maintain absolute concentration at the back when we have so much possession. Possession gives you a false sense of security. When we keep the ball for so long and our keeper has had nothing to do for long stretches of the game, that is when we are most vulnerable to an efficient counter attack. Ospina may be low on confidence but he is not the only reason we are not winning all our games. We must be alert and maintain our defensive shape and commitment even in possession.

And finally, I will like to end this piece with Theo Walcott. I bet all Gunners are loving him now, right? Isn’t it funny how the guy without a ‘football brain’ has been our most consistent offensive player so far? I am so happy that the run he has been given upfront has aided his development, like some of us suspected, and we are playing our best football with him leading the line. So enjoy the Man United win folks. That was first class. Peace.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

Tags Barcelona Man United


    1. Haven’t ever won the CL, and have been without a domestic title in over 11 years. We have all the resources to be among the top 8 in Europe, but we’re clearly not in the same bracket as the real elite Europeans teams. “Big club” sure, but so are Liverpool if you want to dish out useless labels.

      To be among the “biggest football club/institutions in the world” you have to compete for the biggest competitions in the world. That simple. We don’t.

        1. Here we go, state facts about the club and get told by an AKB that I’m not a fan…

          Where was the bashing? Enlighten me. Was it the part where I said we have all the resources to be a top 8 club in Europe? Or just when I stated facts about what we’ve won?

          Funny old bunch you inbreds.

          1. The fact that nothing good comes out from you whenever you comment? Your comments are largely negative. How great a fan are you dude.

  1. Its something we are not used to for a long time, no matter how good we played. So of curse its giant killing!

    1. Giant killing is a term usually used for when a non league team knocks out a pl club. Nothing of the sort happened here and to say otherwise is a huge blight on Arsenal football club. Barcelona Dortmund A Madrid among others have spent lengthy times in the wilderness but where considered massive clubs none the less. Arsenal is a bigger club than both Dortmund and A Madrid. Barcelona where always considered one of biggest clubs in word football before even there 21st century successes. Arsenal conducts itself in a way only the biggest clubs do.

      I disagree with the article, these tactics being used against Arsenal are nothing new and they haven’t been new for a long time.

  2. You destroy the parking the buss tactics when you take your chances. With a player who turns his back against the wall it wont happen.

    Alexis is the main reason we are doing so good. He sure knows how to hit the ball, and others should learn from him, especially Chambo.

    Finishing chances. Chamberlain. Failing and making your self look like a clown. Ramsey miss, Giroud passing the ball to the oppesite keeper.

  3. Teacher : Do you know the reason Manchester United lost to Arsenal Student :Manchester United lost because their defenders were Young, Small and Blind # happynewweek

    1. My comment is awaiting moderation. May be because it contains Mourinho, which became a swear word these days

      1. Hahaha
        trust me mate… your not the only one ?
        I’ve been on lock down since Saturday,
        I think it was something to do about MoaninHO too ?
        I predicted before the season started that Mo will get the sack before Christmas! …. it’s looking good ?

  4. Attack Bayern like that and we might have a chance you know… Attack anyone like that and we have a chance. It was fantastic. Plus defensively we weren’t shabby either.

    1. A few years ago in CL we had a similar start as yesterday. Bayern couldn’t live with us until Ozil missed the penalty and it all went to custard. Moral of the story – we’ve been here before. Like everyone, I loved yesterday’s performance but not getting carried away. Most of us knew the boys had it in the locker, what none of us know us if they can bring it out on a consistent basis.

      1. Seeing as we were said to be poor in biggest encounters and that was maybe why we would never win the league well you would have to say we have shown a good consistency in those top games for a good spell now.

  5. Uche, the 2 rotated Gunners’ teams which the Boss had to 1st do in the Zagreb game is for the Chelsea game that was rigged by ref’ Mike Dean. And the one that was done in the Olympiakos game, was for the Man Utd game that paid off. Couple with the sending off Olivier Giroud, the 1st rotation had led to our lose at Zagreb. And the 3rd rotation in our Ucl home game against Olympiakos was done in anticipation of the big game against Man Utd. The Gunners starters for the Olympiakos game had 5 changes introduced to our starting XI of our 1st team starters that started the Leicester game. The Gunners also were some sort of underrating Olympiakos ability to beat them at the Emirates Stadium. But I am sure Arsenal have learn from their errors, which I am sure will not happen again as the Boss do the 4th rotation this season at Watford game, which will be to accommodate the Bayern Munich game.

  6. I thought a giant killing was like a non league club knocking out a premiership club in an early FA cup round. Also if anyone doesn’t think we’re a big club
    needs help upstairs.

  7. AW should now consider other tactics approach when facing clubs with parking bus.

    Maybe direct shoot from long range will add another alternatives.

    Like Golden State Warriors the NBA champion is relying on 3 point shooter king to break the deadlock. I forgot the fella name.

    Tipy tapy football is now so easily to be countered by even clubs like zagreb and olym.

    I thing fast paced combination of Walcott and Sanchez is suited our direct approach change.

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