Arsenal & Man City Play Like Playstation Children
Great entertainment, great forwards adding skill, trickery and imagination to the game but dear oh dear, neither team can defend for toffee!
At a time of the season where Steve Bould (it’s about time he took some of the flak by the way) and Arsene Wenger should be making sure their players understand the very real, grave danger of being outside the Holy Grail of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, they decided to revert to type, which is to ‘just go and play’.
Where was the plan Arsene? The plan to try to stop some of the best attacking players in the league from getting easy early chances, easy early domination?
When I played I had pace to burn and was always looking for the ball into feet to turn and run. Or I’d hang on the shoulder of the last defender waiting for the though ball. The deeper the opposition defended in the early stages of a game, the more difficult that space in behind was to come by and after 20 minutes you had to start thinking of other options to get joy.
Not with Arsenal, oh no. They looked at Sane, Sterling, Aguero and De Bruyne and let all of those players have a free ride into the 18 yard box in the opening 15 minutes, which is of course when City scored.
For any coach of any team to actively let that happen is football suicide.
It should raise serious questions about the detail in which Arsenal and the coaches do or don’t go into during the week.
Case For The Defence
As for City, Pep this week talked about the need to buy goals. Sorry Pep, I disagree. You need to buy clean sheets in the summer pal. Because as good as the 20-somethings are that will undoubtedly see City scoring four and five regularly in the coming seasons, to win the league you have to even that attacking ability out with a coherent defensive plan. And City don’t have one. They marginally look less poor than Arsenal and trust me that is no compliment.
Both sides for me epitomise the FIFA/Playstation generation.
Lots of expression, lots of ‘tekkers’ and ‘skilz’ but playing the game like children. Like glorified under-11 teams who have no grasp of tactics, the need to man up and help a teammate through a tough spell or to make sure that 20 yards outside the box is where you steal the ball and stop goals, not last ditch token efforts when the ball comes in.
On Twitter I asked Gooners to look closely at Ozil’s performance. Those who did for even a five-minute spell would have seen my points made for me. A supremely skilful attacking midfielder who lights up a stadium when the time suits HIM. But at times of need he just coasts through games, has a poor tactical awareness of danger to his team even when in the opposition half, and indeed was sloppily dispossessed for one of the City goals.
Ozil is a man-child if you like, who has the childlike smile, plays in a childlike way but ultimately in the latter stages of big tournaments or playing against men he goes missing.
It’s not just him though, both City and Arsenal are littered with men-children and unless both managers rectify this naive attitude to football generally, then both teams will delight us royally in many games but alas, particularly in Europe where great teams are made, no cigar.