How Marouane Chamakh can slot into the Arsenal system: Tactical Analysis 2010 – 11

Marouane Chamakh could essentially pose Arsene Wenger a selection problem this season if Arsenal stick to their current tactical set up, but ultimately he provides excellent cover for a team which has been stretched far too often over the previous few years.

In 2009 – 10 Arsenal played with what was widely regarded as a 4-3-3, but in effect was a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation. This consisted of two central midfielders holding the centre of the park, whilst Fabregas played between the lines. Two wide players, usually Arshavin and Nasri, looked to cut in from the flanks, whilst a single striker played as a ‘false nine’, dropping deep.

Chamakh At Bordeaux

Chamakh actually has the attributes to play in 4-2-3-1, as he played the stiker’s role in this formation at Bordeaux. The team played two slightly deeper central midfielders, with attacking support from three forward midfielders. Their line-up against Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League is a good example of  Bordeaux’s system in action.
Continue reading “How Marouane Chamakh can slot into the Arsenal system: Tactical Analysis 2010 – 11”

Why Nicklas Bendtner couldn’t save Denmark: World Cup 2010 Tactical Analysis

Nicklas Bendtner is well known for his self confidence in the Premier League, and has been subject to criticism in the past over his performances. Without a doubt he is a talented player, however he may not be the superstar that he and his father bill him to be.

Nevertheless Nicklas did come up with several important goals during 2009-10 and often had to lead the line on his own for Arsenal, a tough task considering his age.

Denmark used Bendtner as their main striker in the World Cup in South Africa, their preferred formation was 4-2-3-1, meaning he was the solitary front man, a tough task for any young player. Indeed, he didn’t manage to pull them through in the final group game where they lost 3-1 to Japan and missed out on the Second Round.

Continue reading “Why Nicklas Bendtner couldn’t save Denmark: World Cup 2010 Tactical Analysis”

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal Highlights: The second team gets a run out

Portsmouth 0 – 3 Arsenal: Bendtner 13, Bendtner 41 pen, Vela 56. Highlights from the Arsenalist

Comfortable is what you could call this result, and the 3 points have now secured 4th place in the league, and Champions League qualifiers next year. We are now unbeaten in 21 league games, and have equalled a club record scoring at least 3 goals in the last 5 away games.

Arsenal’s youngsters dominated for most of the game, although Portsmouth did have their chances to even the scores. Wenger rested most of the first team, including Almunia, opting for Djourou and Song in central defence – Vela and Ramsey also got starts, whilst Arshavin captained the side.

Wenger:

“We were sharp, composed and mobile with a great attitude.”

The changes were obviously made in order to give as many players as possible a rest before the crucial Champions League game on Tuesday. Walcott and Bendtner were both taken off in the second half – Sagna and Song were the only players from Wednesday’s team to play 90 minutes.

Randall, Bischoff and Merida got their chances in the second half as subs and the team looked impressive, by the end of the game we were in complete control.

Bendtner’s first goal was a header from Arshavin’s cross which David James dropped and let itno the back of the net. That will add more weight to the fans calling for Almunia to get his chance in the England squad.

Then Arshavin was brought down just before half time in the box, and a penalty was given although Arsh himself thought it was a clean tackle. Bendtner slotted home, and then in the second half Vela added another.

The only other event of note was Portsmouth’s red card – Arshavin was through on goal and Pamarot the last defender took him down. The resulting free kick came to nothing, but Pompey were down to 10 men with little chance of getting anything from this game.

The visiting Arsenal support was in high spirits, there is a little hope that we can beat Man Utd on Tuesday, and now that the league position is secured, the Champions League is what will make or break this season. It’s going to take a more composed performance than the first leg to go through, but we still have an outside chance of making it.

Internationals throw up three more injuries + Rocky7 Anniversary

As expected the first round of international matches have provided us with an extended injury list. It doesn’t make for good reading:

  • Robin Van Persie – Groin
  • Abou Diaby – Hip
  • Nicklas Bendtner – Knee

Bendtner’s injury may be serious enough to make him return to London, but Denmark seem to be trying their best to rush him into Wednesday’s game with Albania. Denmark assistant coach Peter Bonde:

“If he is ready then he is ready. We cannot be thinking about Arsenal. We treat players well, but we will play them if they are fit.”

So basically it doesn’t matter who owns the player – we need him to play against such top quality teams as Malta and Albania. This is a joke – for players to be injured playing games of such little quality, and returned to their clubs crocked.

We have seen this many times, and now Diaby has been withdrawn with the hip injury and RVP – our best striker this season is out too. The teams they were playing – Lithuania and Scotland.

There will be no end to this saga – international football is at the centre of FIFA and UEFA’s plans – I don’t mind internationals – but when they interrupt the club season at random intervals and cause injuries it doesn’t make sense.

It would be better to introduce a winter break in the UK like in many European countries – and play internationals then.

At least one player has returned from injury – Adebayor – after several weeks on the sidelines, during which we have regained our form. Ade got a goal for Togo against Cameroon, and although he is unpopular he is a dangerous player when on form. If he comes back into the squad plaing well then we may not miss Van Persie.

Finally, a mention for David Rocastle, a true Arsenal legend, who played for Arsenal from 1984 – 1992, winning the League Cup and two League championship medals, including the famous 1989 season. Today marks the 8th anniversary of his death, RIP Rocky. Arsenal Insider has a great tribute and interview with his sister Karen here.

Image Courtesy of wonker

Rocky7 Website

Arsenal 2 – 1 Hull City Highlights. Bitter Brown’s spitting controversy

Arsenal 2 – 1 Hull City: Barmby 13, Van Persie 74, Gallas 84. Highlights here.

Morning all! Last night provided a satisfying win in controversial fashion. Hull’s early lead, through a lucky Barmby goal, was cancelled out by typically late Arsenal goals, from RVP and Gallas. Arshavin was the all-important factor again in this win; this was the sort of game we would have lost a few months ago.

A twisted Phil Brown had a bit of complaining afterwards which focused on three points:
1. He claims Gallas’ goal was offside, as Djourou headed it last – this is debatable.
2. He was unhappy that Wenger didn’t shake his hand
3. Most controversial of all – his assistant Horton, claims that Fabregas spat on him in the tunnel, and he is taking this to the FA.

Firstly the Gallas goal – it looked like it did come off the goalkeeper’s fist last, so Gallas probably wasn’t offside, but it may have come off Djourou. In either case it has been given, we were looking like scoring a second at some point, and luck, which we have lacked, finally came our way. So I can understand his frustration.

Wenger saw the goal afterwards on the Setanta interview and looked very awkward, the questions asked also focused on the fact he didn’t shake Brown’s hand – this was because Brown had gone off to the away fans and players at the final whistle, that is all.

The most crazy claim is the spitting accusation. Wenger told the post-match interview that this was the first he had heard of it. A very bitter Phil Brown said that Fabregas had spat at Horton:

“I was there and I witnessed it, he spat at my assistant manager down the tunnel, that’s their club captain. Hopefully he’s proud of himself. He spat at his feet.”

Fabregas has now put out an official statement on Arsenal.com.

“I categorically deny that I spat at anybody after the match. I have never done this in my whole career on the pitch, so why would I do it when I am not even playing?

“I can understand the frustration of losing a game to a dubious goal, that has happened to me many times in my career as well. But this is not the fault of me or any of the Arsenal players.”

I can believe Fabregas, I see no reason for him to spit, but we don’t know the whole story. It may be some sort of mix up, which has been misinterpreted. It would be in our best interest to get this sorted out as soon as possible. It would be very sad it if it has happened, but equally stupid if bitter Hull have fabricated this story.

Anyway a great result, with a good performance from Song yet again. I was happy with Walcott who looked dangerous at times too, even though his delivery wasn’t the best. Our best player by far was Arshavin, he created most moves, again showing his value, whilst Nasri and Bendtner showed their class, coming on in the second half and changing the game.

Nasri is looking increasingly effective in the central role late on in games, while Bendtner can drop off into the hole, and Arshavin drift in the wide left area. Our attack looks very convincing even if we were poor in the first half, I think that was down to the suprising nature of Barmby’s deflected goal. The fact that we have so many players who can switch from attack to the flanks and midfield is very exciting. We have kept the momentum up with that win, and now we need a result at Newcastle on Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter or using our RSS feed to keep updated!

Arsenal well done! Highlights of those special goals. Wenger – keep building this team!

West Brom 1 – 3 Arsenal: Bendtner 4, Brunt 7, Toure 38, Bendtner 44. Highlights.

Well done Arsenal! We scored a goal! Things are finally starting go our way! 3-1 is a decent result even against West Brom, who have the worst defence in the league. I don’t care, as long as we take 3 points!

The main thing Arsenal need to do now is maintain stability within the team and become more clinical. Wenger is building something good here, Gooners need to keep the faith.

Arshavin impressed me again yesterday, he has the ability to make killer passes, and when settled in will surely be a great player for the club. Wenger went with Bendtner and he proved that he can play up front for Arsenal with two well taken goals.

One concern is Gallas, Toure and Silvestre are all out injured, but I am confident that Djourou is good enough, and Song looked so much better last night when playing at centre back, it seems to be a much more natural position for him to play.

Tonight the Villa – Man City result will be crucial, I’m praying for a City win, that would put us 3 points behind Villa, and in a very good position.

Also folks, Arsespeak is now on Twitter, you can follow our updates at http://twitter.com/arsespeak. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter then you should go and do it now!

Arsenal 4 – 0 Cardiff Highlights. A great night, and the new Arsenal Nike advert

Arsenal 4 – 0 Cardiff City: Eduardo 20, Bendtner 34, Eduardo 60 pen, Van Persie 89. Goal highlights.

After a short hiatus Arsenal were back in form last night at the Emirates, against a poor Cardiff side. It was the first game in ages that I haven’t seen, I was travelling, but reports, highlights and the word on the street all point to it being a pleasurable game to watch.

I can’t say that much about the game obviously, you can find extended ITV highlights here though. I would like to congratulate Eduardo on a fantastic return game, two goals is a great start and it will lessen the pressure on him considerably, we won’t be waiting for his first goal after a lengthy injury spell!

Wenger on Eduardo:

“He had a good game for his first game back. When you have such a long time out, it’s difficult to be patient, to come in every day and see everyone else play. He had to deal with a lot of frustrations.

“I believe – as any striker – he can contribute and help us to win games. He has the perfect spirit, he is talented and is intelligent.”

Well said Mr. Wenger.

I don’t know when our game against Burnley in the 5th Round is scheduled, but hopefully we can get it out of the way as soon as possible, avoiding any fixture pile ups, what with the Champions League games coming up.

So a good night for Arsenal, bring on Sunderland this Saturday, and hopefully a glimpse of Arshavin!

Here’s the new Nike advert, Arsenal vs. Mancs. I think you will agree it is pretty good, but what happens next??

Cardiff City 0 – 0 Arsenal Highlights: Replay at the Emirates

FA Cup 4th Rnd. Cardiff City 0 – 0 Arsenal: Highlights here

Arsenal went to Ninian Park with a reasonably strong line up yesterday and came away with a draw from a match that we could have won.

I missed the first 20 minutes, but it seemed to be a reasonably even first half. Cardiff spurred on by their fans at Ninian Park, and trying their best to close Arsenal down. They had some good chances but I don’t think they ever looked like winning.

After half time Arsenal came out with renewed vigour and we dominated possession and chances as Cardiff tired.

There were good performances from Gibbs and Song, but Ramsey looked off colour on his return to his old club.

In the end after having many good chances to score the game ended 0-0. Bendtner, RVP and Adebayor all had good opportunities, and I thought we were good going forward, it’s just a pity we couldn’t finish Cardiff off.

Wenger said after the game:

“We could do without the replay, 100%, but let’s not complain because we play football.

“It’s one more game to play. If that’s the price we have to pay to stay in the hat, we’re happy to do it.

“We are short at the moment and cannot rotate much. I could rest a few players in this game but not as many as I had wanted.”

Hopefully we can do the job on 3rd Feb at home now.

Hull City 1 – 3 Arsenal Highlights

Hull City 1 – 3 Arsenal: Adebayor 30, Cousin 65, Nasri 82, Bendtner 86.

A strong Arsenal responded well against Hull City this weekend, as we saw the side go 1-0 up, only to concede a customary goal after half time. I always thought it looked likely we would concede, but what was good to see was the response.

With Bendtner and RVP playing well we took the initiative and instead of conceding again we defended well and RVP set Nasri up for the second and then Bendtner for the third to make it 3-1. Bendtner could have even added a fourth when his header hit the post.

Arsenal are putting a good run together at the moment, and if it continues then we will see a return in confidence. That away game was the first in a long time where we really took the game by the scruff of the neck and forced a result when it could havbe gone the way that the Villa game, and so many others went.

We need results like this, and the fact that Bendtner played well will only increase his effectiveness as confidence grows. RVP meanwhile is having his best ever season at Arsenal, and he will be key in the coming months.

Click here for the highlights.

Bendtner told Bolton line-ups? Plus Arshavin likes Arsenal!

According to news reports Nicklas Bendtner told Fabrice Muamba of Bolton the Arsenal line-ups on Saturday, before they were officially announced. If true, this reveals an unprofessional streak in Bendtner, as dressing room confidentiality is essential to the workings of any football club. Bendtner and Muamba obviously know each other, having played in the youth system at Arsenal and at Birmingham, but even between friends you cannot act unprofessionally on the match day.

The quotes are dubiously sourced from the Sun:

“One of Bolton’s staff told Arsene after the game they knew their team well before the team sheets were handed in. When Arsene asked how that was possible the Bolton coach replied Bendtner told them.

In the end Bendtner scored the winning goal, and I hope that these rumours aren’t true, because it will only reduce his popularity among Arsenal fans, a misguided few of whom are already on his back anyway.

I think he is a great young player, with potential to go far, but like all players he is going to have to work hard to be consistent. He isn’t first choice yet, and only good performances can change that.

Meanwhile Arshavin has been fueling more transfer speculation:

“In some games last season, we played football which was very similar to that of Arsenal,”

“I would prefer my present No 10 but in the team where I hope to move it’s not vacant. So I’m ready for any number they are going to offer me.”

This doesn’t neccesarily mean Arsenal, many clubs have already assigned their no. 10 shirts, but he is hinting at something here. The fact that it’s so blatent makes me think we won’t sign him, and that this is just his way of finding a buyer who will pay Zenit for him – he is obviously desparate to leave and play in a more competitive league.

There’s not much point listening to any of this speculation because it is all just posturing for the media for alterior motives. Until deals are done nothing is certain!