Discussion in 'Match Day Archive' started by SA Gunner, Mar 19, 2010.
James Olley of the Evening Standard said the game was a microcosm of our season. Written off before the start and regularly throughout. Plagued by serious injuries. Showed tremendous spirit and mental strength. Despite everything we're still in with a shout.
4-5-1 with eboue on the right and perhaps rosicky on the left. not traore. even though i think we need a five man midfield to help contain their passing game, going with traore would be a bit extreme. we still need to play our game. we can't roll completely over and hope we can defend our way to the semi finals.
I'm watching the game again, rewinding each and every chance Barcelona get, and I must say, Diaby and Song were absolutely terrible if you look at their positioning closely. Also Fabregas should be our Xavi, not our No10. The way Xavi dictates the game from the halfline is absolute class, and Fabregas can do the same.
The thing with Barca is they play wider than us, especially when they build up attacks from the back to ping balls to the forwards. They often keep their FB's as has been said, wide and up field like wingers. Then they have 2 mids playing as deep defensive midfielders to complement their CB's as they look for openings.
It's a very patient process but one that is effective, more so than ours. The amount of passes between Puyol and Pique illustrate that.
We're going to have to keep it tight defensively, press them hard and basically play the game of our lives.
Keeping possession consistently will be key, we couldn't do it in the first leg with an out-of-sync Diaby so he needs to step up and support Nasri in orchestrating attacks, as well as working hard defensively.
On the surface 451 is very similar to 433. If anything it's just a defensive-minded 433. With our style of play we're never going to have the wide men playing strict wide-midfield roles so i don't see the point in playing that style of play we are not suited to.
By default, it's going to be Rosicky and Walcott flanking Bendtner, with Diaby, Song and Nasri in the middle. But I think bringing Walcott on later in the game could be more effective for us, but then again we need goals and an early one would be very crucial.
Really sad. RIP
I want to see us go 4-5-1 too.
I think we're relying too much on Wenger to tactically outclass Guardiola, which I just don't see happening.
Were people not watching on Wednesday? For the first 20 mins Nasri and Arshavin we pinned back in our own half, it was effectively a 4-5-1 anyway. The only reason to set up with a 4-5-1 from the start is if you're worried about counter attacks which isn't Barca's game anyway. Not sure how anyone who saw the way we defended and saw the way Barcelona attacked think it is a good idea to set up defensively so Barca can attack us. We would lose by 4 or 5 goals.
The only thing we have to do is be more aggressive and quicker in everything we do. Press quicker, win the ball back quicker, move the ball along quicker, attack quicker.
I think the idea is oft that they'll run out of steam. I don't agree with it myself - I personally think they'll be 5-0 up by half time if we park the bus - but consider this:
If the first leg had continued for 15 more mins, we would've won the game. Can anyone honestly disagree with that? The benefits of playing in a more physical league were clear - even though half our team were clearly unfit before kick off.
They ran out of steam on 60 mins and after we scored, the first and after we scored the second, even with Fabregas hobbling, we were around their penalty area passing it around the way we usually do.
If they come flying at us again, they'll run out of steam by the hour mark again. And that's when we're at our best - as the number of late goals we've scored would suggest.
And the best way to tire them out is to keep the ball. That is where all their effort goes.
good point sagreig. especially considering they rested a bunch of players the weekend before our match...
Play the midfield as a unit in either the pyramid or inverted shape, but the 2 CMs MUST work in unison whether they be attacking or defensive.
Next release the ball quicker out of defence to our pace in the forward line, be it Walcott or Eboue on the flank (but not both together at the start). That player's role is to stay wide & get to the byline to turn their defence & drag them out, then they either drill a cross into the area, cut it back to the CM coping onto the ball, or cut it inside themselves into the area. The opposite wideman is to attack the area off the ball ahead of the CF.
The thing is, if they're already a few goals up by the time they run out of steam the tie could be all but over. We need a solid performance for an hour of the match then really go for it in the last 30 minutes.
If we press like they did, the exact same thing will happen to us. Will tire us out by the middle of the second half, leave too many open spaces behind, make us prone to counter attacks. Closing down till the half line is what we should do.
Also, was anyone else amazed with how much space Nasri was getting on the left? No-one was picking him up! Unfortunately, we weren't getting the ball to him anywhere near enough - partly because Cesc only seemed to have one leg.
We should definitely spread the ball out wide and use the pace of Walcott/Eboue and the quality of Rosicky/Nasri. From Clichy's cross, Bendtner really should've buried his header. Without their first-choice centre-backs, we really need to put them under a lot of pressure.
I think we are all in agreement about what the main aim should be: we need to close them down a lot faster. We can only hope that a lack of fitness to several key players was the only reason we weren't effective at it. In the second leg, with Eboue and Rosicky out wide, and Nasri in the middle, we should be a lot more energetic, fluid and hard-working.
Damn, I can't get this Barca game out of my mind. Hope the players aren't feeling the same way!! Wolves first!
Almunia can't even run anymore, will he ever learn? :|
What do people think Wenger's reaction to that first 45 minutes, and the subsequent press Barcelona have got since, would be? Would he not really be that bothered at being thoroughly outplayed, instead focusing on the brilliant comeback. Or will he feel embarrassed that a team that he manages was so convincingly beaten at their own game, humbled almost, and with a feeling almost of embarrassment at the way the whole world now believes we're a million miles behind them technically?
Wenger seemed downbeat about the result in the post-match interview, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's a bit upset. He really needs to get his tactics right in the second leg.
There is an argument for starting him but it's a risk. He is still in my opinion fundamentally a very poor footballer but he has one asset which when utilised and unleashed is a potent weapon. The problem with starting Theo is you don't know if they will manage to block the avenues to him early effectively rendering him useless, if he isn't able to exploit his pace early then you definitely don't need a poor footballer on the pitch against barcelona, it would be like having 10 men! If he starts poorly he usually ends poorly and once that happens you no longer have the option of bringing him on freah when the opposition are tired! Then again you start him and things click, he could prove a very effective weapon ......tough one!
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