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Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts

Gary Neville's tactical analysis of Liverpool vs Arsenal

Posted by Ix Techau almost 4 years ago · 9 replies

The make-up of [both Liverpool and Arsenal] is wrong. If we're talking about these two teams going up and challenging for Champions League titles and championships, it’s not going to happen. They're a long way away.

We’ve danced around the issue that it's encouraging that both teams play decent football but neither understand how to stop goals going into the back of their own net. They do not understand how to defend their box and they do not understand how to stop people playing - and that is a massive problem.

So the idea that these teams are playing nice football needs to be forgotten. It's a given that teams play nice football, that's what top teams should do, but they also have to stop the opposition playing at the other end and they're not doing that.

Arsenal were tactically all over the place on Sunday and in the big matches, teams slice through their midfield like a knife through butter. They have too many technical players who don't have bite.

For as much as Liverpool outplayed them yesterday, Arsenal were terrible in midfield from a competitive point of view, and from stopping the opposition playing.

Flamini throughout the game was a commentator, pointing and shouting at everybody. He looks to do every other person's job for them but the one job he's there to do, stopping the ball getting played into midfield, he failed to do regularly. I don't think he's got the quality to look after everybody else's job and look after his own as well.

Flamini neither screens nor presses. Top midfield players screen well and press well. No one appears to be listening to Flamini. I don't see anybody reacting to what he's saying.

I feel like we're being brainwashed into thinking teams have got to be either technical or horrible to play against. The best teams in the world are horrible to play against. You're not going to win the league or Champions League just by having technical players; you have to have a team of balance.

Nail, meet head.

9 Comments

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted almost 4 years ago by Ix Techau

That midfield played fine against Newcastle, though. And I would argue that Liverpool's midfield isn't that much better than Newcastle's.

The gameplan was off, and not for the first time this season. It became clear early in the game that Wenger came at Liverpool with his usual gameplan, but got overwhelmed in pressing. What he should have done at that stage was to adapt to the situation, and start countering.

Posted almost 4 years ago by supercodepoet

I think Neville is spot on. We see this weakness is most games this year not just against Liverpool. Hopefully Jan will bring in a true holding midfielder. If Arsenal can get that CDM I see them making a run to at least 4th.

upmyarse 10 pts
Posted almost 4 years ago by upmyarse

When the team played with two defensive players in midfield, the attack seemed to bog down, so I don't think they can.

I think it depends on how willing the other midfielders are willing to do the dirty work. Liverpool was able to dominate possession against us because every player contributed to harrassing us when we were on the ball. We played much better when we did the same (see Ramsay against Galatasaray).

It seems to me most of the goals against us have either come on the break or from set pieces; the boss made the point that the team needs be better when pressed, to be able to work their way out of trouble instead of giving the ball away (like the best teams are able to do).

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted almost 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Liverpool was able to dominate possession against us because every player contributed to harrassing us when we were on the ball

Reminds me of how other teams approached us a few years back. Relentless pressing was the only way to play against us and win. This would be true for any team though - if Liverpool applied the same level of pressure in every single game they play, they would easily win the Premier League. Any team could potentially win by applying that type of team pressing.

It's one of the better qualities of Guardiola's approach, he always goes for gung-ho team pressing.

Posted almost 4 years ago by Left Testicle

Wenger has always been clueless defensively. Just got lucky he inherited Graham's defence. Wenger is a fraud.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted almost 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Wenger has always been clueless defensively. Just got lucky he inherited Graham's defence. Wenger is a fraud.

I wouldn't go as far as calling him a fraud, but unfortunately he is rapidly becoming a dinosaur in the world of football. The modern game is not as much about individuals as it was ten years ago. The most successful teams in this era are the ones who adapt a team-centric approach where positioning on and off the ball is key.

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