What strategy, Arsène?

We are where we are. Not much use ruminating. However, there is a job to be done. Gaining 3rd or 4th in the EPL. And this will require all feet and heads on board. But also strategy?

Which brings us to the question. Does Arsene do strategy? Or are we one-dimensional, playing the same way all of the time. If we do strategy, what strategy would work best for us?

Following the admission recently by Arteta that we prepare for a game based on who our next opposition is, there has been some discussion on AA in the past few weeks. But the bubble burst spectacularly against Pool at Anfield.

One of our keenest observers of the game, Norfolk Gooner, wrote (December 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm):

“I think there was a plan……. of sorts,

1) Keep it tight at the back for the first twenty minutes. DO NOT concede an early goal.

2) If successful, try to hit them on the break before half-time. DO NOT concede a goal.

44 minutes gone and the plan is working.

Oh no it’s not!

We give the ball away and there’s no Corporal Jones to shout “Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic”.

We panic and go one down.

Plan goes out of the window, everyone bombs forward and, wonder of wonders, we score with our first attempt on target.

Half-time team talk,

1) Repeat item 1 above.

2) If successful try to hit them on the break before full-time.

19 minutes gone and the plan is working, we hit them on the break and score.

DO NOT concede a goal.

Deep into injury time and the plan is working.

Oh no it’s not!

We give the ball away and there’s no Corporal Jones to shout “Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic”.

We panic and it’s two all.

Deja-vu all over again.”

Which brings us to the question. Against the Hammers and Soton away, what strategy, if any, should we adopt?

AAers, you have your say.


31 Responses to What strategy, Arsène?

  1. If a plan is not working, it’s logical to change things…. do we think Wenger thinks any differently?

    Very nice stocking filler Arnie 🙂

  2. Big Raddy says:

    I have a cunning plan

    We need left sided presence who can defend and attack, has power and pace, can score goals, has a high media profile and will excite both the fans and the dressing room.

    Why not Gareth Bale? The man is perfect for us – why let him go to MU?

    According to Gazidis we have the money to sign anyone. Let’s prove it

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Ooops Sorry arnie. Thanks for the post (thanks too to NG)

    Of course we have a strategy. Loads of them. They don’t always work but they work more often than not.

  4. ha ha Raddy.. go back to bed and continue dreaming 🙂

  5. ‘morning all, Thanks Arnie this should give all the “tactical bollix” boffins something to think about. Not Micky of course, he’ll go for a combination of options 1 & 2. 😀

    What ever strategy we start with will go out of the window before the fifteenth minute, Flamini will be shouting and waving his arms about whilst running all over the place, but not where he ought to be, no one on the pitch will be taking charge and Wenger will be in earnest discussion with Bould about the meaning of life and everything (42 is the answer Arsene!).

    Meanwhile, the oppositionj will be running rings round our bewildered defenders and TPIG, hopefully, will be pulling off a string of unbelievable saves.

    At the end of the game we will all blame the clueless, biased, northern referee, what ever the result. 😀

  6. Irritable Bale syndrom… £120m…………….. ha ha… shit in my pants!

  7. That’s it for me, time for a swim.

    Happy Christmas to you all, if Christmas isn’t your thing please feel free to ignore my best wishes. I will be neither upset or offended.

    Jingle bells….jingle bells…jingle all the way……

  8. Jingle Bales Norfolk…..

  9. Floating shit ha ha ha……. do you check!

  10. I’m off………. have a great Christemasses everyone… see you on Boxing day xxx

  11. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post Arnie – I hope you didn’t mind me adding a couple of options to your poll 🙂

    Hmmm, tactics, strategy, substitutions …. these are things that even the most ardent AW supporters struggle with at times.

    I’d certainly like us to react earlier and more decisively during games and change formation/bring on subs, at least take a gamble if we’ve nothing to lose. It seem apparent that the players will defend deep when we’re under pressure and I don’t think that is always the best strategy.

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi NB, I’m not sure of he relevance of your @ 10:27, it doesn’t pass P’sM’sT 😦

  13. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    I see our Arnie is as lost for words as most of us. Here we have a man who has supported for ever, His loyalty for Arsenal could never be questioned, No matter where this man is in the world or whatever he is doing, he knows when we are playing and wants to know immediately what is happening.

    Arnie is not alone, many, whether living here or living abroad are the same, many from London and others from where ever, all feel the same. Speaking for myself, i am the same as the rest, so i assume with a Question such as Arnie’s and the idea from another Mad Gooner, that some supporters have doubts, as to how our Manager Manages.

    I have to be honest and say that i have supported Wenger since he arrived, i have to say i did have doubts about him for some time, but he grew on me, If i speak the truth the idea of a Frenchman taking the helm was a little off putting for me, but the world is changing and we have to change as well.

    Wenger has done good, no doubts about that, and if i speak the truth a lot better than i expected. As time went on, and results seem to not agree with me ,i start to question certain things, funny where when you are winning you don’t feel quite the same, but when the team are playing like they are, Question time.

    Now what i have seen from loyal supporters just lately, are polls that ask questions about general things that should really not need asking, but because supporters are not happy with their lot feel need to be answered, This latest one, i believe should be answered by the last choice, start with a plan but change as and when needed.

    Now this question has been asked because people do not see it happening, and other polls also leave supporters asking questions. Now when this begins to happen, is when supporters feel that perhaps somebody else could do things better, and i have to admit to having those feelings as well.

    Many things happen in a game of football, but also many things happen before the game is played. Team talks, team training, and team strategy should also be discussed who does what and who is leader and who takes corners and who takes penalties, and so many more who’s that would confuse a genius.

    Do we study each team before we play them, Video’e are easily available, but do we, and we would all say, well of course we do because were a professional outfit, but why do we question after the first ten minutes, and then for days after, only because it looks like we haven’t.

    Do we need change of manager, that could well be the next poll, and if i speak the truth that would be the hardest question so far for me.

  14. wally says:

    Wenger may or may not have a strategy, can’t tell can you.

    But you do know how and why it will turn out. Odd that.

    He’s waiting for the perfect player, because he can no longer make him can he. By the time he gets him they’ll be a different hole in the dike. Day late and a dollar short.

  15. poigmothoin says:

    Whilst I don’t know about strategies, but if plan A isn’t working, why wait until the 70th minute to change it or not?

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    I have said this many times before….but I believe that if you are competing in the CL or is very difficult to change team strategy week on week, it is more difficult when you have change of personnel week in week out.

    Liverpool last season were ultra successful….why? Because Brendan had 5 days training to drill a team before their next game.

    I believe Wenger and Maureen and other managers will know their shape/formation at the start of the season, they will have two variations attacking/defending but in essence it will be the same shape and the same style of play. It will be drilled into the players during that time. Arsene changed our shape this year mainly because of the arrival of Sanchez. But the WC caused issues in that a number of players didn’t arrive back soon enough to learn the system, this plus injuries mean we have had a ridiculously unsettling start.

  17. The Cockie Monster says:

    Exactly why, GIE !……..that with the addition of a top DM and CD, an injury free pre-season and no CL or Europa League next year…..we will win the league !. The nutty bastard part of me is almost wishing we finish 10th !. hahaha

  18. arnie says:

    Apols everyone. The post caught me a bit by surprise. It was constructed in a hurry yesterday to start conversation. Thanks to the powers – Peaches, Rasp, Raddy – for making some sense of the random ramblings. Lovely poll added as well. Most importantly, thanks Norfolk. 🙂

    Saw the post in the morning and read through some comments. Thought I will get back to it later, but it was a day when the Burns rules: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men Gang aft agley”! 😛

    Hospital appointment, last minute shopping, and the whole world seems to have descended on the roads. Never knew there were so many cars in Dundee – a dump in the middle to nowhere! 😛

    Christmas party in a bit, in Dundee, then drive to Edinburgh to attend midnight mass at one of the oldest parish churches in Botland – Duddingston. Excited! 🙂

    Snow is in the air, but all sleet so far. Have not given up the hope of a white Christmas though. Christmas wishes everyone. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. arnie says:

    So, what is my position? Textbooks in strategy give a definite answer. Start with a plan with the expectation that it will not work. Figure this out early and develop a variation along the way.

    This is the best advice. The team that produces the best variation is the winner. Strategy is not about the plan per se, but a system that produces the best variation.

    Clear as mud! 😛 Well, I suppose we do OK in terms of following “the best laid scheme”. Well, I think where our weakness lies is in what we do when “gang aft a-gley” results. Here is where we need leaders on the field.

    Here is where Arsene’s strategy is to pug in a number of thinking individuals on the field, and encourage them to develop a variation. Does it work? Well, with the Invincibles. it did. Withe the current team, the jury is still out. 😛

  20. arnie says:

    About Jingle Bale? Go for it, I say! 😛 oh dear, Arsene is not listening. he is off to his Christmas party. 🙂

  21. arnie says:

    Lovely comments everyone. Such a lot to learn. Such a pleasure. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. chas says:

  23. arnie says:

    Forgot to say, absolutely lovely motning batner today. 🙂

    Raddy’s vid had me in stitches. Mrs was in good enough humour to see the funny side! 😛

  24. RA says:


  25. RockyLives says:

    Thanks arnie – I went for the same boring, logical answer that most people seem to have plumped for!

    Midnight mass in Botland sounds splendid. I shall be popping out to one in Toronto (an Anglo-Catholic place, St Thomas’s on Huron St, that does the full choir, bells and smells, just as it should be).

    Festive greetings to all AA-ers

  26. The Cockie Monster says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year AAers !.

  27. The Cockie Monster says:

    And Leicester !. hahaha

  28. chas says:

    Cheers, arnie.
    I voted for all out attack, though having an adaptable plan seems more logical.
    I bet the vote for ‘start with a plan and stick with it’ was from Evonne’s Mum. 🙂
    ….. and the 4 votes for ‘No strategy. Let the boys wearing the shirt decide’ were from Eboue, Adebayor, Nasri and Gallas.

    Happy Christmas and a fun-packed New Year to all AA-ers everywhere.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Seasons greetings to all AAers, and I hope, most of all, that the new year brings you all good health.

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