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It just shows how utterly out of his depth Emery was. Very poor management from the club to let him have a second season after failing in his first season. You could argue last night was the best we have played in two years. (I put Emery's best game as the 4-2 win against Tottenham) there will be ups and downs while Arteta figures out who will work long term but it is great to see the players, deemed not good enough or used wrong under Emery (xhaka, torreira, ozil, AMN) look revitalised under Arteta. 

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We wasted two seasons effectively on Emery. That’s on the people in charge of the club. They made the wrong appointment and have gone back to the man they should have appointments instead. What a joke the people running the club are.

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It's way too early to say Arteta is the man, we've got our Arsenal back etc. It's promising, nothing more, we only have to look at Utd to see what happens if you declare somebody the saviour after a few games (and in Utd's case a few games that statistically were quite telling in being spawny wins).

 

For one he's had another 18m with City and Pep to add to his experience, the club were in a different place when Emery took over so who is to say how Arteta would have fared then ?

 

3 matches for Arteta, a poor draw with Bournemouth, a good 35m against Chelsea and a good first half last night. Promising, especially in the short time, nothing more though yet.

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I think what’s promising is it’s not just a new manager bounce like Ferguson at Everton with everyone legging it around and crashing into the opposition a bit. You can already see how playing out from the back is a set of traps and good positional play that actually hurts the opposition rather than being an accident waiting to happen. The pressing is organised when we’re off the ball and we seem to be set up to stop the counter when we’re attacking now. That the players get the technical stuff this much already is definitely impressive. 

 

It’s tentative steps, and basically Pep lite at the moment, but honestly, it’s better than anything Emery achieved in 18 months. 

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interesting read from a decent twitter account

 

 

here is Michael Cox's very detailed take on the Athletic, minus the pics which do help somewhat 

 

Spoiler

In terms of results, it’s been a mixed bag for Mikel Arteta so far – a draw against Bournemouth, a defeat to Chelsea and then a victory over Manchester United.

But in terms of performances, it’s been almost entirely positive. Arteta has been in charge for less than a fortnight, and hasn’t had many training sessions with his squad amongst almost incessant fixtures over the Christmas period, but Arsenal already have a clearly-defined identity under the Spaniard.

There are three obvious improvements from the Unai Emery days: there’s a defined system, the side’s playmakers are being fielded in their best positions and getting on the ball regularly, and the pressing is considerably more intense.

In terms of formation, Arsenal are — on paper — playing a 4-2-3-1. In reality, they’re playing a very compact 4-4-2 in the defensive phase, which is routine for sides playing in a 4-2-3-1, but doing something very different when they have the ball. Arsenal are morphing into a 2-3-5, which is unsurprisingly reminiscent of how Pep Guardiola often formats Manchester City, and also not entirely dissimilar from what Jose Mourinho is attempting to do with Tottenham.

Arteta’s approach is similar to that of Mourinho, in that it involves him pushing one full-back aggressively forward on the overlap to become a fifth forward, while the opposite full-back tucks inside. While Mourinho’s second full-back becomes an extra centre-back, Arteta is using Guardiola’s ‘half-back’ policy, pushing him infield to become an extra central midfielder.

Here’s a good example of that system, from early in the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. Lucas Torreira (No 11) has the ball in the centre of midfield. To his left is Granit Xhaka, notionally his only partner in the 4-2-3-1. But to his right is Ainsley Maitland-Niles (No 15), having moved infield from right-back.

Arteta’s intention here is to guard against opponents counter-attacking quickly through Arsenal’s lines if there’s a turnover of possession, and forming this narrow trio offers good protection for the defence. It also suits both Maitland-Niles, a reluctant full-back who considers himself more of a midfielder, and the left-footed Xhaka, who is comfortable towards that side of the pitch.

Maitland-Niles played that role most overtly against Bournemouth, a little more conventionally against Chelsea before playing somewhere between the two roles against United. This situation, with David Luiz playing a long pass downfield, shows the positioning of Maitland-Niles and Xhaka, again either side of Torreira.

This 2-3 formation allows for Arsenal to use an effective front five without sacrificing defensive structure. Here’s another example from the Bournemouth game – again, Maitland-Niles and Xhaka are either side of Torreira, and the two centre-backs are in position…

… and as the move develops and the camera pans forward, the front five becomes clear.

On the right, Reiss Nelson played as a conventional winger. Ozil, the No 10, was given a defined inside-right role, always receiving the ball in that pocket of space. Alexandre Lacazette leads the line, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is given license to move inside and become a second striker in an inside-left position, thanks to the aggressive overlapping of Bukayo Saka. A little like Maitland-Niles, Saka’s best position is somewhat undefined — he’s somewhere between a full-back and a winger, and therefore this overlapping role suits him well.

And Arsenal’s main route of attack against Bournemouth was getting Saka over on the far side. His end product was disappointing, but there were various situations that justified the use of the system, like when Ozil drifted inside from the right and found him on the overlap…

… and also when Xhaka played good forward passes for Saka to run onto, with four targets in the middle…

Here’s an alternative perspective, from the second half – again, an obvious midfield three and a front five, with Saka and Nelson hugging the touchlines and stretching the play across the entire width of the pitch.

This formation contributed to the clearest chance Arsenal created against Bournemouth, when Bournemouth’s defence became so stretched to cope with Arsenal’s attack that there was an alarming space between the centre-backs, allowing David Luiz to thread a pass through to Lacazette, whose shot was stopped by a last-ditch block.

And the front five was obvious for Arsenal’s equaliser – Ozil’s touch back for Nelson prompted a shot which was deflected into the path of Aubameyang to turn home at the far post.

The front five was also obvious for Arsenal’s opener against Manchester United on New Year’s Day. This time it was Sead Kolasinac playing as the overlapping left-back, and Nicolas Pepe as the permanent right-winger, but the shape was identical. Here, with Kolasinac making a run inside Aubameyang and collecting a pass in behind the defence, his cut-back found its way through to Pepe at the far post.

That system was by design rather than accident — two minutes later they were in exactly the same shape, with Pepe again wanting the ball at the far post.

And here’s further evidence of the front five: Pepe has two options of a pass to the left, with Aubameyang free, and Kolasinac again sprinting forward down the outside.

In terms of individuals, the performances of Ozil have been particularly promising. Whereas the German was in and out of the side — and sometimes the match-day squad — under Emery, his former team-mate Arteta evidently appreciates his quality. Not only has Ozil been handed an important role in the side, Arsenal have continually been able to find him between the lines. The passing of David Luiz has been useful here — few Premier League defenders are so adept at breaking the lines with forward passes. Here’s a good example from the early stages against Bournemouth.

But the key player in Ozil’s improvement has been Torreira, handed the key role at the base of Arsenal’s midfield. He’s continually fizzed passes into Ozil in that inside-right position, with this example against Bournemouth showing how Ozil’s positioning has pulled the opposition left-back inside and created space for Nelson on the outside.

Often, the amount of space Ozil has found himself in has been extraordinary…

Perhaps the best example of the Torreira-Ozil relationship, though, came just eight minutes into the Arteta reign. Not only did Torreira have the confidence to receive the ball with his back to play in a dangerous position…

… he also received the ball in the right manner to turn and play it into Ozil on the run…

… and, sure enough, there’s the four other components in that front five —Nelson and Saka stretching the play, Lacazette running into the gap between the centre-backs and Aubameyang moving into that inside-left position.

This neat move against Chelsea, with Ozil dummying Maitland-Niles’ pass and letting it run into the path of the onrushing Torreira, also hinted that Arsenal’s two most creative players are on the same wavelength.

Another positive has been Arsenal’s pressing. Against Bournemouth there was great energy about their play, getting men around the ball quickly to put opponents under pressure with multiple opponents.

This situation led to an Aubameyang winning the ball in a dangerous position and having a shot…

… this incident out wide led to Nelson (No 24) winning possession, dribbling forward and having a decent effort from the edge of the box.

Against Chelsea the pressing had a slightly different impact. Arsenal didn’t manage to win possession in advanced positions regularly, but it did force Chelsea into aimless long balls downfield in the opening stages, an issue that was only solved once Frank Lampard made a first-half substitution and introduced Jorginho to offer more passing options in deep positions. That said, there was also a good example of counter-pressing 13 minutes from time, when Aubameyang lost the ball, he and Nelson (circled below) pressured N’Golo Kante to regain possession immediately, and Joe Willock curled a shot just wide. That miss proved crucial, as Arsenal then conceded twice in the final 10 minutes.

Against United, meanwhile, Arsenal’s pressing seemed more deliberate, and more intelligent. Here, after 10 minutes, Nemanja Matic finds his path blocked by three Arsenal players, so decides to go backwards to Harry Maguire.

Maguire’s first intention is to switch the ball towards the right of the defence, but before he receives possession, on the far side Aubameyang is already sprinting forward to discourage a pass towards either Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Victor Lindelof.

Maguire recognises the danger of that pass…

… but then, pressured by Lacazette, plays the ball straight to Maitland-Niles.

Here’s a similar situation, this time when David De Gea has the ball. Lindelof, on the far side, is gesturing for the ball but Lacazette makes an angled run to cut off the passing angle and force De Gea to the near side, where Arsenal are ready to press…

… De Gea plays the ball to Maguire, who is again tempted to pass to Lindelof but gets spooked by Aubameyang’s pressing, and therefore launches the ball out for an Arsenal throw-in. Arsenal continually forced this type of mistake.

And while pressing is about more than simply hard running and closing down, the work rate of Arsenal’s attackers was exceptional against United. Here, both Lacazette and Aubameyang sense that Fred is free for a short pass in central midfield, so immediately sprint towards him…

… and, by the time Fred takes his first touch, both forwards are upon him, tackling from behind and sending the ball to Xhaka, who starts another Arsenal attack.

Arsenal tired in the second half — as many sides have at the end of this Christmas period — but they still worked hard to regain possession. Here, Wan-Bissaka is seemingly set to bring the ball forward up an unguarded Arsenal left flank, but Lacazette sprints after him to close down…

… he makes the tackle…

… and then, when the ball falls to Mason Greenwood on the near touchline, Lacazette is one of three players surrounding him, forcing the ball over the touchline for an Arsenal throw-in.

Another theme has been the fact that two of Arsenal’s four goals so far under Arteta have come from near-post flick-ons at corners. At City, one of Arteta’s responsibilities as Guardiola’s assistant was planning set pieces, and therefore he’s likely to be methodical in his planning of dead-ball situations as a manager, too.

First Calum Chambers nodded the ball on for Aubameyang to head home the opener against Chelsea…

… and then, after Lacazette’s near-post header forced a save from De Gea, Sokratis Papastathopoulos slammed home the rebound for Arsenal’s second goal against Manchester United.

That also brings to mind George Graham-era Arsenal, when Steve Bould would regularly play the near post flick-on role for Tony Adams coming in from a deeper position. And, on the subject of those days, Arsenal’s highly compact shape without the ball — 4-4-2, the midfield deep and a high defensive line — is the type of organisation that Graham himself would be proud of.

It’s still early days for Arteta, and many sides have enjoyed a “new manager bounce” before returning to their previous poor form. But while Arteta has certainly brought enthusiasm, freshness and rejuvenated the dressing room, there’s much more to these positive performances. Arsenal already appear more organised than they’ve been for several years.

 

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I think this highlights exactly how to play against Arsenal at the moment.

 

The high, organised, press from Leeds is panicking the Arsenal midfield and defence. Take note, Premier League.

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The worry is Arsenal have been poor in the second half of their last two games due to being tired, if they're playing this badly now, how bad is it gonna get after the break?

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Arsenal are really bad. They can't handle being pressured and Leeds won't let up or tire. Xhaka is dreadful. Luiz has been the best Arsenal midfielder so far and he's playing at the back. Ozil hasn't touched the ball has he? 

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I'd have to say though, Leeds have been excellent, if they can bring that to the Premier League every week then they'll cause alot of teams trouble.

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Much much better so far, Ozils actually touched the ball. Couldn't give a shit if the goal was scrappy 

 

Im enjoying seeing Pepe ride tackles too

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9 minutes ago, wev said:

Xhakas still being fucking stupid though 

 

How has he not been booked or actually sent off. Bournemouth will be happy if Arsenal go through. Not the club, the town.

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Leeds have shown the difference between the Premier League and Championship. They haven't been able to convert the multitude of chances they've worked, they lack the quality needed.

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12 minutes ago, Adrock said:

Leeds have shown the difference between the Premier League and Championship. They haven't been able to convert the multitude of chances they've worked, they lack the quality needed.

It was interesting to see us go toe to toe with a decent Prem team. The converting chances thing has been a problem all season. We generally dominate all game like we did first half. In the Championship we can wear teams down with our fitness but that won't happen with a team like Arsenal. Whatever Arteta said at half time worked wonders. 

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Very slow start, wonder how much of it was down to this being the 3rd big game in 8 days and the players thinking they could get away with less effort than against Chelsea and man utd if arteta is asking for more hard work from the team that it appears we aren't at that fitness level for, then maybe seeing this as a game they could rest up a bit in. Is understandable with the injuries we have it also makes it hard to rotate players.

 

Leeds clearly playee excellent and Should have been ahead  it we got lucky and turned in a performance in the second half.

 

Apparently laca was asked what arteta said at half time and replied with "he shouted a lot"

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1 hour ago, humdrum said:

Very slow start, wonder how much of it was down to this being the 3rd big game in 8 days and the players thinking they could get away with less effort than against Chelsea and man utd if arteta is asking for more hard work from the team that it appears we aren't at that fitness level for, then maybe seeing this as a game they could rest up a bit in. Is understandable with the injuries we have it also makes it hard to rotate players.

 

Leeds clearly playee excellent and Should have been ahead  it we got lucky and turned in a performance in the second half.

 

Apparently laca was asked what arteta said at half time and replied with "he shouted a lot"

Yep, that was in the BBC post match stuff, he also said that maybe they weren't respecting the opposition and the match plan like they should have.

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