Posted on August 30, 2018 by ADMIN

View From the Enemy – Detailed instructions on how Cardiff can beat Arsenal….

This is a very interesting View From The Enemy, as Nathan Blake from WalesOnline gives his full detailed instructions to the Cardiff team on how to cause a shock and beat Arsenal. It is extra interesting as we don-t often see opponents giving their view of how the Gunners play and the best way to counter Emery’s tactics.

So here we go…….
Don’t let them play their tiki-taka

Arsenal’s strengths are obvious. They have a team of seasoned internationals, including French and English stars on the bench, and they do keep and pass the ball so well.

But of the top six sides, they are the ones who can be ‘got at’ most, so to speak, and pushed out of their stride.

Cardiff play a back to front game and in the Championship were happy enough to concede possession a lot of the time, but do that against Arsenal and they will simply pick us off.

What the Bluebirds have to do is stifle that flow of possession, play higher up the park, don’t let the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka have the time on the ball to dictate play.

I don’t think Mezut Ozil will play, something tells me something is going on between him and Unai Emery. But if he does he, more than anyone, he needs to be shut down as quickly as possible.

Even if Ozil is 35 yards out on the touchline, he has this capacity of suddenly bending one over the top and the centre-forward – be it Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette – is onto it in a flash. Pressure needs to be put on Ozil straight away.

It would be easy in this game for Cardiff to sit deep in numbers, try to soak up pressure and eventually score from a set-piece. But it would also be very risky to let Arsenal have so much possession.

Be bold… step out, step up and let them have it that way, so to speak.

Gunners don’t track the runners

Xhaka is a passing maestro, Ramsey is a wonderful talent who we’d love to see back in a Bluebirds shirt. He’s shone often enough at Cardiff City Stadium for his home-town club in the past and Wales – we don’t want him having a big game again.

But Xhaka and even Aaron, and most certainly Ozil, have been accused of not tracking runners from midfield.

So when they’re coming at us, we have to be ready to counter in an instant once the ball has been won back.

Joe Ralls, Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa have to be ready to go, aware there may suddenly be space in behind and they’ll have a clear run at it.

Xhaka, Ramsey and Ozil are wonderful talents, capable of scoring worldy goals, but the fact they don’t always track back has to be part of the attention to detail for the Bluebirds in training this week.

Bellerin can be beaten in the air
Arsenal’s back four is likely to be Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis and Monreal. Bellerin is rapid and at 23 clearly has his best years still in front of him.

But at 5ft 9in I think he can be targeted with deep balls into the box. I’d be asking Cardiff’s centre-forward – be that Kenneth Zohore or Gary Madine – to look to get on Bellerin’s shoulder and head the ball down into the path of Josh Murphy, Junior Hoilett or Bobby Reid.

Whoever plays out of those three needs to know what the tactic is and where to run as soon as the ball is played to the back post, where hopefully Cardiff will win the aerial duel.

Actually, the same can happen on the other side with Monreal targeted in a similar way.

Diagonal balls in, with runners on the go for knock-downs. That’s the recipe for success.

Can Madine end Cardiff’s goal drought?
The lack of goals is a little bit of a concern, although no more than that for me, but clearly it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

I can’t quite put my finger on why Zohore is not firing yet, but what I do know is that in the Premier League everybody has to play well – and particularly your number nine, who is expected to get the goals.

I wouldn’t expect Zohore to be prolific, but you’d hope he could maybe get a one in four ratio. But if he’s not scoring, perhaps Neil Warnock will look elsewhere.

I think Bobby Reid could do a good job up top, but he played there against Bournemouth and some were bemoaning the absence of Zohore and the extra physicality he brings. The point here is that you can’t play Reid as your number nine and continue with back to front football. He’s not built for that, prefers intricate little balls slipped through from a creative midfield which he can run on to.

If Cardiff are to persist with back to front the majority of the time, then perhaps it’s time to give Madine a go and tell him to absolutely harass Mustafi and Sokratis for 60-70 minutes. He’s got the power and physique to do that.

Then Zohore could come on for the last quarter, the last thing Arsenal will want. He too can play the physical game, but also has the ability to run in behind, which is something tiring defenders will dread.

Madine hasn’t scored a goal since his £6m move, I accept that. Not good enough. But I’d counter he hasn’t really been given a run as first-choice, albeit he hasn’t taken any opportunities which have come his way, either.

Does his lack of pace worry me? Not particularly. Glenn Murray is hardly a whippet, yet he scores Premier League goals for Brighton. It’s about pulling off defenders and knowing when to be in the right place at the right time.

Cardiff could counter Madine’s lack of mobility by telling him to simply work the width of the penalty box and have whoever plays from Murphy, Hoilett and Reid to provide the speed.

Madine to soften up Arsenal’s centre-backs and Zohore to come on and finish them off. I like that.

Halting the Gunners’ firepower

Aubameyang, Iwobi and Mikhitaryan – there’s an awful lot of technical ability there. The last two are wonderful with ball at feet, whilst Aubameyang is the most prolific player in the Premier League when it comes to consistently running on to the ball. He doesn’t play with his back to goal, just makes these non-stop runs in behind and is lightning quick.

Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba will need to be on their toes throughout and they have a dilemma. They need to be deep enough to deny Aubameyang the space – and he’s quicker than them, remember – but they mustn’t be so deep they leave the midfield and front men isolated.

I’ve already spoken about the need for Cardiff’s midfield to be right on top of Arsenal’s.

Precision is required. Cardiff have to find it.

Why the Bluebirds can win

Arsenal are seen as a top four team, but it’s in name only these days. They are in transition and haven’t made the strides of their traditional rivals up at the top.

Cardiff can win this one and I’ve just got a sneaky feeling an upset is on the cards.

Put it this way, I’ve said we’ll have one surprise from the upcoming games with the big guns of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Spurs.

I don’t think we’ll get a point from the last three, so this weekend has to be the one.

2-1 to the Bluebirds… and a stadium that is absolutely rocking.

Nathan Blake

Now that is what I call a top-class analysis from a real fan. He is obviously going to leave the ground disappointed that Arsenal upset his beliefs, but you can’t knock him for his passion!

**Do you have something to say about Arsenal? Send us an article for discussion!**


19 thoughts on “View From the Enemy – Detailed instructions on how Cardiff can beat Arsenal….

  1. Chiza

    It is so funny that a fan can analyze this way but our ex coach couldn’t analyze a team this way…..even Fabregas revealed that about our ex coach…so no argument over that…… I’m sure Emery has also analyzed Cardiff.. So no worries about the game on Sunday…arsenal to win 3-0

  2. Break-on-through

    I love these articles admin, it gives us a better perspective of how we’re perceived. Our own can be too biased either for or against. The lad who wrote this has put some thought into it, highlighting our strengths and our weaknesses. He noticed our soft spots, not tracking runners and can be got at from out wide. I must admit I don’t know allot about Cardiff, I don’t even know a little. I’m hoping to see Lacazette play with Aubameyang, if that means sacrificing a number ten I say do it. They’re the home team and with the way we’re set up, some of the game will be end to end so those two strikers are a must for that type of game. Three mids and three forwards, that’s what I’d do. Or if must I’d go with three back and overload the midfield area then let PEA & AL do all the damage.

    1. gotanidea

      Yes, I like these types of articles as well. Based on that article, Cardiff seem to know our strengths and weaknesses very well

      They would specifically target Ozil if he plays, so Arsenal should not play him, to have an extra CM. They also know that most Arsenal players do not track runners, hence your idea of switching back to a three-CB formation might give Arsenal more protection in the wings

      Otherwise Arsenal could also start more cautiously with 4-3-3. If Cardiff opt to sit back, Arsenal could switch to 4-2-3-1, when Cardiff’s runners are too tired to beat Monreal and Bellerin

  3. Invisible

    The trio of ozil, Ramsey and xhaka is our strong midfield, according to whoever wrote that. Sorry to disappoint, those thr3e are our weak link, or should I say weaklings. I prefer to sleep on this, any arsenal midfield trio should be more than enough.

    1. Break-on-through

      He didn’t say that’s our strongest midfield, he pointed out their strengths and their weaknesses (to his knowledge). He’s comparing them to his team you need to remember. He’s not gonna say well this lad is average that lad is average and I don’t want to see Iwobi on the pitch ever, or why is Xhaka still starting. He pointed out that we are full of international players, whereas Cardiff are more limited in that respect. He’s a Cardiff fan, he doesn’t know our team in depth like the way we do. Its all about perspective.

    2. gotanidea

      I think the article author just observed Arsenal based on the statistics and some YouTube videos. If that’s the case, Xhaka was one of the most successful passers last season and Ramsey looks like a world class box-to-box CM

      Sometimes Ramsey can do amazing stuffs, like when he dribbled past some defenders in Chelsea and West Ham matches

      He didn’t just move sideways and those unpredictable movements of Ramsey that what make Cardiff wary of him

  4. Namo

    I’ll leave all the analysis to Emery and his team. They’re paid a lot of money to do that. My part is to support the team.
    Having said that, I strongly believe we’ll take 3maximum points on Sunday.
    Onwards and Upwards!!

    1. ozziegunner

      Namo, provided he starts Torreira, Lichtsteiner (insread of Bellerin at RB) and Lacazette!

  5. Emmanuel

    I’m saddened by people’s perception of our team and where we stand right now. We are no more in the class of mancity, chelsea and Tottenham. That was a well-thought-out analysis. How I wished unai Emery would read this post and set up his team on Sunday to shame the cynic. Oh, days are gone when we used to bag three points against the likes of Cardiff City even before the game was played. What has happened to my Arsenal?

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let’s not mind Emeny, I think he must be joking a joke that will make him setup the Bluebirds for a cruel beating at the hands of the Gunners in the PL on Sunday at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Gunners will .most certainly pounce on the Bluebirds and beat them thoroughly to decimation in the match by inflicting a collateral damage defeat of 0-4 away win on them to leave them in dismay and confused at the final blast of the match referee’s whistle whistliy ending the match.

    I believe the Bluebirds know very well and are fully aware the Gunners will beat them to the point of submission in the match. And to prevent their defeat in the match escalating beyond the 0-4 away win that Arsenal planned to inflict on the Cardiff City in the match, their manager has therefore taken the step to call Unai Emery, the Gunners boss on phone soliciting for his help to restrict the Gunners team he’ll play against the Bluebirds to limit their goals scoring tally to the 0-4 away goals which the Gunners have sworn to score in the match and not pass them. For, if they pass them, the Cardiff City board could give him a query to explain why Cardiff City were over drubbed by Arsenal in the match. And at this juncture, the Arsenal manager sympathised with him the Cardiff City manager and accepted his request. But warned him to instruct his Bluebirds team not to be unruly to the Gunners during the match. t
    Telling him if they do, he’ll tell the Gunners to fire one of their rifles loaded with gunpowder they brought along to field to the mist of the Bluebirds which will see them scampering for their lives flying to all directions for safety. But many of them in their numbers will fall to the ground on the Cardiff City Stadium football playing field for picking up by the Gunners in form of many goals scored in the match by Arsenal said Unai Emery to the Bluebirds boss and he promised to make sure the Bluebirds.not be unruly to the Gunners and hang up his phone.

    So, ElNeny, be careful of what you say against Arsenal not to draw the wrought of the Gunners against the Bluebirds in the match on Sunday. 4

  7. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let’s not mind Emeny, I think he must be joking a joke that is making him setup the Bluebirds for a cruel beating at the hands of the Gunners in the PL on Sunday at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Gunners will .most certainly pounced on the Bluebirds and beat them thoroughly to decimation in the match by inflicting a collateral damage defeat of 0-4 away win on them to leave them in dismay and confused at the final blast of the match referee’s whistle whistling ending the match.

    I believe the Bluebirds know very well and are fully aware the Gunners will beat them to the point of submission in the match. And to prevent their defeat in the match escalating beyond the 0-4 away win defeat that Arsenal planned to inflict on Cardiff City in the match, their manager has took the step to call Unai Emery, the Gunners boss on phone soliciting for his help to restrict the Gunners team he’ll play against the Bluebirds to limit their goals scoring tally to the 0-4 away goals which they’ve sworn to score in the match and not pass them. For, if they pass them, the Cardiff City board could give him a query to explain why Cardiff City were over drubbed by Arsenal in the match. And at this juncture in phone conversation, the Arsenal manager sympathised with the Cardiff City manager and accepted his request. But warned him to instruct his Bluebirds team not to be unruly to the Gunners during the match. Telling him if they do, he’ll tell the Gunners to fire one of their rifles that are loaded with gunpowder which they’ve brought along to the field to the mist of the Bluebirds which will see them scampering for their lives flying to all directions for safety. But many of them in their numbers will fall to the ground on the Cardiff City’s Stadium football playing field for picking up by the Gunners in form of many goals scored in the match by Arsenal, said Unai Emery to the Cardiff City manager who promised him he’ll make sure the Bluebirds will.not be unruly to the Gunners and hang up his phone.

    So, ElNeny, be careful of what you say against Arsenal not to draw the wrought of the Gunners against the Bluebirds in the match on Sunday. 4

  8. Phil

    Warnock will have had his team eating raw meat this week getting ready for us to roll into town.This is exactly the type of game we continually lost last season under Wenger and probably the first time Emery will find out what the Premiership is all about.He needs to make sure the players are up for this from the start otherwise it will be a repeat of last seasons away form.Its all about rolling up our sleeves and earning the right to play our game.Interesting to see how a high press will work with 11 men camped around their penalty area

    1. GunnerJack

      As you say Phil we have to take in the words of the great Bill Shankly who made sure his teams knew ‘they had to FIGHT for the RIGHT’ to play football.
      Hope Emery’s been eating raw meat too and perhaps not a good idea to wear a tie on Sunday. Warnock’s liable to fly off the handle and strangle him with it! 🙂

      1. ozziegunner

        GunnerJack, spot on and Bill Shankly knew a bit about football. Lichtsteiner has been eating raw meat on the sideline, so it is time to unleash him against Cardiff. Ozil hopefully has been on a high protein diet too.
        Defense wins football matches, attack provides the by how much.

  9. Simon Williams

    Play 4 at back.

    Let the full backs push forward, Torreira dropping into the back line to create a 3

    This is way Emery wants to play. But it needs Torreira to start to work. I think it can

    COYG!

  10. herb

    If i were the Cardiff coach, beating arsenal is not rocket science.

    1. Bellerin, Xhaka and Ramsey are Arsenal’s weakest points. Make sure you put markers on them and you are done.
    2. Arsenal’s midfield is non-existent i.e. they do not tackle or track back and that is why the defenders look bad and exposed. Make sure the midfielders are very skilled and pass very fast.
    3. Deploy a powerful and skillful left winger then you will have a lot of joy on Bellerin side.

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