Marouane Chamakh: His playing style analysed in detail – Bordeaux and Arsenal Scouting

Having discussed the tactical possibilities available to Arsene Wenger with new signing Marouane Chamakh, it seems appropriate to follow up with a more detailed study of the way Chamakh actually plays, based on matches he played for Bordeaux in 2009-10.

Under Laurent Blanc Bordeaux used a clear 4-2-3-1 formation, relying on attacks from the wings, with Gourcuff running the centre of midfield. The team played good football, building possession from the back, and attacking with three creative players and Chamakh. Their formation is visible in this screenshot of the Lyon vs. Bordeaux Champions League Quarter Final first leg in 2010. The fullbacks are marked orange, the holding midfield yellow, attacking midfielders in blue, and Chamakh as striker in pink.

Chamakh played a crucial role for Bordeaux, leading the line and scoring goals, a constant threat to defenders. His style does not involve running with the ball or outpacing opposing defenders, but rather linking up with midfielders, and holding up the ball, in the ‘false nine’, and converting crosses in the box.

Continue reading “Marouane Chamakh: His playing style analysed in detail – Bordeaux and Arsenal Scouting”

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”

High Hopes for Löw & His Young Talent: World Cup 2010 Germany’s 4-2-3-1. On Talking About Football

The latest tactical comment on the World Cup, in our joint analysis with Talking About Football. This time we look at Germany’s system. A young and exciting team, who lack experience, something which sounds more than a little like Arsenal.

Low plays a 4-2-3-1 system, and like to get the full backs forward in attack. Pressing is the name of the day, and the team will look to counter-attack rapidly through their forward players.

High Hopes for Löw & His Young Talent: Germany 2010 German coach Joachim Löw is a tactical innovator who can use several systems to suit different situations. They are essentially similar systems, just variations on a theme, based around the 4-2-3-1 formation which he used successfully in Euro 2008. The German team is solid, and impressively conceded just 5 goals in qualification for South Africa 2010, losing no games. They are high achievers, reaching the Semi-finals of the World Cup in 2006… Continue reading on Talking About Football

Arsenal sticking to formation

Samir Nasri remains convinced that the 4-3-3 formation can help Arsenal in their quest for Premier League glory.

The French international was brought to the Emirates from Marseille in 2008 and recently made his 50th appearance for the club, with his time in North London hit by a number of injury problems.

He is looking to remain at Arsenal for many years and feels he can offer a lot to the side in the future. The Gunners currently sit fourth in the Premier League table and are 11 points behind leaders Chelsea after the West London side beat them 3-0 at the Emirates at the weekend.

Nasri claims the 4-3-3 formation that Arsene Wenger has been using this season suits the players which he has at his disposal and can be used efficiently to beat teams this season.

“I think that the 4-3-3 has worked because of the quality here,” he said. “It enables not just me but everyone to express themselves. I think that at the end of last season we adopted this style against Chelsea and some of the others, but it suits me as I can play on the left, on the right or in the middle and is something I’m well suited to.”

Wenger came out earlier this week and insisted that Arsenal were still capable of winning the title despite lagging behind in the table.

According to the Frenchman, Chelsea can drop points over the rest of the season and his side need to continue picking up wins to make up ground.

4-3-3 is the way forward, plus another Gooner signs for Citeh

The aftermath of the first home game of the season seems to be positive. A 4-1 victory over Portsmouth highlighted the flexibility of the 4-3-3 formation, which has brought us 12 goals in 3 games so far.

The goals are coming from all over the park which is good, as in the past we have suffered from a lack of goals from midfield. Our top scorers in all competitions are now Gallas – 3, Cesc – 2, and Diaby – 2. The strikers we have are proven goalscorers too, the likes of RvP and Eduardo for example.

Defence also seems strong, with new signing Vermaelen looking particuarly solid in the air and on the ground on Saturday.

The 4-3-3 formation looks solid, allowing midfielders to get forward, and the likes of Eduardo and Arshavin to be creative in attack.

Song, Cesc, Arshavin and Wenger all discussed the new system in the Portsmouth matchday programme, and emphasized the redefined roles they will play. They also pointed out that we can switch back to a 4-4-2 when needed.

I think the formation also suits our players, as we have many attack minded midfielders, and a fluid style of passing and movement. The new formation allows us to keep balance in the team, not too defensive, but not leaving the defence exposed either.

On the transfer front things are still pretty quite for Arsenal, but I expect we might see one more face come in the next week or so.

City have signed Silvinho from Barca, increasing their numbers of ex-Arsenal men. I don’t blame him for taking the opportunity, his playing days are nearing an end and he will most likely be on generous wages.

Joleon Lecott is also set to sign for City today, becoming the 3rd most expensive defender on record. I wouldn’t say he was worth £20m plus, but if they have the money then why not.

Thats all for today, should have more stories and a Celtic preview tomorrow. check out Untold Arsenal for a great review of Premier League club debt, makes interesting reading as always.

Should Abou Diaby be played as striker?

After watching the 3-1 win in Newcastle this weekend I pondered over Diaby’s role in central midfield. Diaby scored in the match and it struck me that he might be a good candidate for conversion to striker.

Image courtesy of Wonker

There is a good case that he should be converted to play as striker. Firstly he has proven that he can find the back of the net – scoring quite a few goals in his time at Arsenal, against Liverpool in last season’s CL QF, and against Fenerbahce this season (image above), as well as many others. Diaby took his goal well at the weekend too, with a powerful and accurate shot.

Another factor is that in central midfield he can be a liability. I know that he has amazing potential for central midfield, but he takes risks with the ball which are unacceptable. His distribution is not quick enough; he doesn’t release the ball, choosing to hold on to it and try to dribble it round 3 players instead. This isn’t saying he can never play there, but merely suggesting we should always consider where we can get the most out of a player.

I know many would like to see him fill the Patrick Vieira mould, I just don’t think he has the defensive nous about him. That isn’t to say I think he is a bad player, just more of an attacking midfielder – if he is playing in midfield. We know that he likes to think of himself as an attacking midfielder, but what if we extended this idea further?

It could be argued that his attributes fit the strikers mould – he is tall and powerful, useful against the tough defences in the Premiership. He also has amazing control and can hold onto the ball in very tight positions – the urge to dribble round players which is so dangerous in central midfield could be very effective in taking on the last line of defence. He can also pass well when he wants to, and as he showed at Newcastle he has pace, and most importantly a great shot.

The state of the squad does pose a problem, as we lack big strong midfielders; Diaby fills a gap there, whilst we have plenty of players who can play up front. So for now it would seem that selection consigns Diaby to stick to learning to play in the centre of midfield. However, if the need existed for a striker then I think he could be a successful conversion. It would be very interesting to see how he would perform if Wenger deployed him up front, but he will always be a central midfielder.

What do you think Diaby’s best position is?

Arsenal 2 – 1 Man Utd Highlights: Update, and the 5 man midfield

The highlights from the Man Utd game can be found here! Enjoy watching, I did! Click here for the first article.

Wenger has also been talking about the 5 man midfield and its benefits for our poor defensive record:

“I will use it again because going forward we have scored many goals but defensively we have conceded too many from outside the box,”

“I don’t know [about what will happen when all the strikers are back]. I took this decision because I tried to balance the team with the players that were available.”

This is absolutely true, we need more support for the defence at the moment as they seem to be struggling with just Fabregas and Denilson in front of them.

The 5 man midfield has been very successful us, and although I wouldn’t recommend it for every game of the season, a strategic deployment when needed is very wise.

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Lee Dixon defeats Delap’s long throw? Arsenal’s defence and Keown

I’ve been reading about how Lee Dixon proposes to beat Stoke’s long throw tactic which was our downfall on Saturday. We all saw how effective Delap was at putting in low, fast throws right into the box (Stoke highlights here). However, Lee has come up with a tactic based on what the team under George Graham might hve done, in the old days when Arsenal had the tightest defence.

Dixon's proposal
Dixon's proposal (Courtesy of the BBC)

He proposes putting 4 men on the goal line, and telling them to attack the ball, that way they won’t be jumping from a standing position. They also will be able to watch the trajectory of the ball rather than the man they are marking.

This seems very clever and it would work, but we have already played Stoke and already lost. I was shocked that Wenger hadn’t put some more work into defence before this game, because against Stoke’s muscle and long throws we didn’t look too strong.

I don’t think Wenger would ever go for such a radical tactic though, he is pretty conservative about tactics, and generally goes for the idea that if we can out pass the opposition we will win. This is great but in deadball situations this doesn’t work.

I think Wenger should rethink our defensive tactics because at the moment we are struggling to keep a clean sheet, and we have conceded a lot of goals during the past 3 seasons.

Hopefully rumours that we are bringing in Keown as a coach are true, because he might be able to bring back some old style Arsenal defending.

Read more tactics and fascinating individual player analysis in our Players Section.

Dynamo Kiev’s game plan for Wednesday

Yesterday at the Valery Lobanovsky Stadium Dynamo Kiev manager Yury Semin spoke about our upcoming Champions League fixture in Kiev, and revealed some of his thoughts on Arsenal and his tactics.

He has been watching the team closely in the run up to the fixture and had this to say about us:

“Arsene Wenger’s side play an easy natural game, and enjoy their football,”

“They have many young and talented footballers, all very technically gifted.”

He was impressed by the 4-0 win at Blackburn,

The game was totally in Arsenal’s control,”

“Despite the four goals scored they had many other chances. Arsenal’s victory was absolutely the fair result.”

He also mentioned Adebayor, and it sounds like Dynamo will give Ade a rough time:

“We knew very well prior to this, the capabilities of the Arsenal forward,”

“But we will not be putting a man-marker on him. Adebayor plays all over the pitch, and in every zone there will be one of our players to meet him.”

It looks like Dynamo have been watching us closely and know that the only way to stop us is to press us all over the pitch.

Semin will have seen how we exploited the open spaces against Blackburn, and he will be working with the players to stifle our tactics.

Expect Dynamo to be defensive, it’s not going to be easy, we’re playing away and that is always very difficult especially in the Ukraine and Russia. Many European teams fail out East and we have before – Spartak Moscow a few years ago for example.

Wenger will have been studying Dynamo with his staff, and I hope that they can work out a way to get us into the game, otherwise we may be in for 90 minutes of frustration.

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