Were Arsenal lucky to get a draw after Wolves win tactical battle?

Unai Emery seems to be very set on teaching the Arsenal players the ‘playing out from the back’ and his ‘pressing’ tactics, but it seems that Nuno Santo, the Wolves coach, found a way to beat us at our own game. As Ian Wright said on his YouTube channel: “We were very lucky.

“We were fortunate in the end to get away with that.

“Wolves, on the counter-attack, they had a plan for us and we were very fortunate to get away with that.

“I love our manager. At half-time, he realised we were getting hurt on the right-hand side because [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang wasn’t getting back to help [Sead] Kolasinac, which is a worry for me in itself.

“I was pleased he made the decision to do that at half-time, as much as it’s hard on [Alex] Iwobi because he has been playing well recently.

“The tactical fouls that they made on us were clever and stopped our flow.

“There wasn’t enough creativity from us. Mesut came off. He couldn’t quite get into it because Wolves had the two banks of players and he couldn’t find the space that he needed.”

So, was Emery out-tacticked by Santo? Even his usual changes after half-time didn’t look like penetrating their defences. Or was it simply all our players having an off day?



  1. The three back is the best formation to neutralize Emery’s style.It becomes a five back in defense causing Wolves to easily double up on the wings in defensive using the CB’s and WB’s.The fact that Kolasinac and Bellerin couldn’t dribble was also a problem as they always had to pass anytime they were faced in a 1v1.The few times they did take on their man they failed abysmally especially Bellerin.I’d advice Unai to start scouting for proper attacking fast full backs who can actually dribble because his tactics rely a lot on these type of players.

    1. Actually Bellerin used to be able to do that when he was younger, but then he became reluctant to challenge the opponents or race against them, as he gets older

      Other Arsenal players seem to want to save their legs too, by frequently passing the ball, rather than trying to skip past their markers. Arsenal have to find braver and more skillful players that are not afraid of physical duels

    2. Kev, was you at the game or did you watch the highlights on TV?
      Bellerin had a very good game and took on opponents as well as linking up with his colleagues.
      Kolasinac got no protection whatsoever and was often faced with two opponents.
      He was also having to go inside and cover for Mustafi, which gave their right side the opportunity to attack.

      We were very lucky to draw and I am amazed that no one has compared the side to side, side to back passing that was so criticised last season. It was complete and utter c@@p from start to finish and for those of you saying that”we would have lost a game like this last season” just be thankful for the bar and post in the last minute. Wolves completely and utterly outplayed us.

      We weren’t professional enough ( apart from Leno 10/10 ) and Wolves outsmarted us.
      They brilliantly executed the use of using up time, making professional fouls and breaking up our game plan with simple teamwork.
      We had only four players who really turned up…Leno, Bellerin, Holding and Torreria.
      What use Aba is out on the wing I have no idea, he is looking like a complete waste of money, basically waiting for something to happen.

      This is how I saw the game and I think I am being completely honest and facing the facts regarding our performance and that of Wolves.
      This result doesn’t mean that we are not
      progressing, it means that Emery will go away and react/analysis the game and plan accordingly in my opinion anyway.
      It’s amazing how quickly players are turned from Emery inspired revelations to being slow, overpaid, lazy AW liabilities in the blink of an eyelid.
      One bad game and out come the doom merchants and professional armchair critics.
      Jeez, does anyone know what being a supporter really means?

  2. Honest answer, we rode our luck, scored a fluke goal and managed to hold out till the end by virtue of a master performance from Leno.
    But hopefully we learn and move on. We have the Interlul break to try and sort stuff out before facing Bournemouth, spurs and Man U.
    It’s a critical time.

  3. It’s not good to rely on Aubameyang in defending

    Xhaka is nothing special without his deliveries on the set-pieces and his free-kicks, similar to Beckham. Ozil and him are supposed to be the playmakers that can control the tempo and dominate the midfield

    Had Arsenal had a more technically gifted playmaker and some crafty wide players, maybe they would not get four draws in a row

  4. Yes we were very lucky,and I think wrighty was wrong when he said ““There wasn’t enough creativity from us. Mesut came off. He couldn’t quite get into it because Wolves had the two banks of players and he couldn’t find the space that he needed.”I believe if auba and laca had finished the glorious chances ozil had given them we will have won with 4 goals difference,ozil created so many glorious scoring chances but our strikers couldn’t finish it

    1. Aubameyang has missed a lot of comparatively easy chances for a forward of his quality this season; Chelsea and Wolves being prime examples.

  5. Look thats 4 draws in a row,
    Apart from the Liverpool game we arent playing that well, but unlike wenger era were not losing these games, if this is our bad run we can live with this, one thing for sure auba cant play on the wing, emery will have to find a formation with laca, auba together up front

  6. The Wolves plan is the same every week. As Matt Doherty said: “ours is a difficult formation to play against, and we’re very good at it”. We didn’t just out-tactic you, we’re going to out-tactic a lot of other teams this season too, as evidenced by the 1-1 draw we earned against Man City.

    The 3 defeats we had prior to our trip to Gillespie Rd were a misnomer, as we battered Brighton but lost to their only shot on target, and were only an incorrect linesman’s flag away from taking a point off your dearest neighbours. The Watford game was a bit different as it was a 2 minute lapse in concentration that saw us ship 2 goals, and then get bullied a bit in midfield as we tried to play our way back into the game.

    So, rather than blaming individual players or your manager for the lack of points, better to do what Wrighty and a some of your commenters here have done and say “we got away with that one” and move on. There are still 13 worse teams than us in the division for you to take points off.

    Really looking forward to getting you lot back to God’s Golden Acre. I was at your old Library ground for Fabregas’ senior debut when him and his teenage mates battered our 1st XI 5-1, so I’m hopeful we can put that one right. To be fair we did batter you 5-1 in 1971, but I suppose that means it’s our turn to do you again.


  7. If any club relies on one player to be the creative outlet and pull the strings they will be in trouble.
    There are other players on the pitch that can do more; take on defenders, draw defenders and create space, do more than wait for Ozil to make that killer pass.

    Auba needs to take on defenders 1v1 on wings, if not compete with Laca for striker. Iwobi needs to be winger 100% and stop playing inbetween winger and a 10; playing like a 10 1/2 helps no one.

    Xhaka needs to earn that spot rather than getting an automatic nod every game. AMN needs a chance to compete with Xhaka, let best man win.

    Poor Mhki not sure where or if he fits Emery’s squad. Waste of wages every week, and at 30 he’s not getting any better.

      1. Exactly waste of money,sell them both in the summer if any clubs would be that foolish to pay their wages, both of them will not be in emerys plans next year they just dont work hard enough.

      2. QD. here you go again with your insider knowledge on who earns what.
        Please let me know where you get your facts from regarding the players salaries, as I cannot find this on the official website and THAT is the only source to rely on.
        Every other source is just complete guesswork and BS.

  8. When teams park the bus Arsenal cant seem to find a way.This had happened during Wengers time.
    Emery may have been unbeaten in 12 epl matches but sooner or later he has to get back to winning ways.
    I think he shd drop some of the big wage earners .These guys can only play when
    given time and space
    They shd get used to being closely marked
    and shadowed otherwise Arsenal wont be able to win

  9. I know Wolves are very good side; they are hungry and fight until the end. I respect that.

    In the first 10 minutes or so, it seemed to me that we played with too much respect for the opponents. We played very cautiously. But after that, we looked like we were playing as if we were afraid.

    Wolves played really well, but, after the convincing draw against Liverpool, we should have played better, with more confidence. Xhaka and Ozil were completely rubbish and lacking focus. Ozil always plays too deep when he has no space up in front. That’s not his job as no. 10.

    I have seen lots of possitives under Emery, but we were just lucky to get a point on Sunday. Could have been worse without Leno. Along with him, Torreira and Guendouzi were great signings. Now, we are short in available players due to injuries. We need some youngsters to step up and inspire the regular starters.

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