Ok I won’t leave it there, I’ll put some thoughts down first and then you can all have at it…..
Over the last few games a similar theme has arisen, why don’t we move the ball as quickly as we used to, obviously this often conjures up images in the mind of Paddy passing to God and him choosing which pawn to move next normally a rushing Thierry or Freddie and we just waited for the inevitable sound of ball in onion bag.
Repeat a couple of times then coast through the rest of the game conserving energy for the rest of the season. It is widely accepted that at some point Arsene shifted away from pace and power to smaller more gifted technical players, why?
I have a theory it stems from when we lost our unbeaten record, Ferguson decided stopping us playing would be far more beneficial than playing against us. He put a couple of solid banks out there and had his men go about kicking everything that moved, theory which proved successful in that upsetting the rhythm of our team stopped counter attacks early and denied us space in behind and time. This formula was gradually copied by everyone else, some like Allardyce had already done it.
With everyone else copying this tactic how would pace and power get round crowded midfield threes and solid defensive lines who were reluctant to move further than twenty five yards from their own goal, the power might have worked but the pace not so much. Hence the move to technical players who can unpick these packed defences and pass round midfield anchormen.
But here are my questions and the point behind the post:
Why did the likes of Blackburn, Newcastle, Middlesborough etc turn up at Highbury and play a proper game of football (ie both sides attacking)?
This allowed our pace men to burn away from opponents and exploit gaps left.
Why have teams adopted a very different style now?
They’d rather escape with a point, because Premier League survival is paramount and secondly once that is secure the next step is Premier League prize money, and every point counts. So when they arrive at the home of football they prefer to park the bus, would the Invincibles have had more weapons to break this down? I’m not sure.
Gooner in Exile