Emery’s Arsenal target: to be City light

You know the expression: “aim for the stars,  and see what happens”.

Well, in terms of style, and more importantly goal difference, it’s only City that dwell in the heavenly kingdom above. They represent the lofty ambitions of all other sides in England. We know that some other side in Manchester will attempt to overthrow their neighbours by adopting a more pragmatic approach, however The Arsenal  has been trained in a better school than that.

I know, we don’t have their deep pockets, but let’s get over that particular triviality and set out our stall to emulate the footballing ethos of attack, a lot, and score, a lot (their GD was 79, to the closest of Liverpool on 46!!!).

I just googled their formation and discovered that their cunning manager appears to deploy more than one pattern, and there have I been, cleverly or so I thought, building my Arsenal around a Mesut Ozil.

Interestingly, that De Bruyne fellow appears both central and wider depending on game, and I also noticed how in their line up against Barca, they went for a 4-1-4-1 set up, whereas against lesser mortals in the league we often saw a 4-2-1-3 (4-2-3-1) deal. In amongst that 2 in the defensive midfield area, that clever Pep fella also used two systems there as well.  Either the doubled up tough guys, or the one toughster and one more up and down.

In short, I’m now beginning to think there may be something in this tactical bollocks thing after all.


26 Responses to Emery’s Arsenal target: to be City light

  1. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Lovely poem.

  2. Eddie says:

    you is getting weak Didit 🙂
    Formations me foot, it is all about skills, desire and fitness, and luck if you ask Rasp. The thing with the likes of de Bruyne is that they can play in any position and deliver. If a player is only good running on the left than he is probably not good at any team.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    He who thinks tactics in football might be relevant is a pathetic weed 🙂

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky … you’re not forgetting that goal difference takes into account those conceded are you? 🙂

    I’m pretty you don’t have to worry and Unai will have us playing entertaining attacking football. As for formations …. they only seem relevant when defending … which hasn’t been a priority in recent years 🙂

  5. RA says:

    Well done, Micky,

    No one who is serious in sport or business can ignore Policies; Strategies; Tactics — it just takes some of us, born with a naturally cavalier and outgoing personality a little long for the penny to drop.

    Actually, when I say ‘some of us’ — I mean you, obviously!!! 😀

  6. RA says:


    That is a rather melancholic, and quite movingly sad poem — I liked it, a lot.

    I think it was written by a care worker some years ago – but I’m not sure.

    It reminds me of a poem about death which follows on from the Care Home, here it is – both illuminating and scary.


    Because I could not stop for Death –
    He kindly stopped for me –
    The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
    And Immortality.

    We slowly drove – He knew no haste
    And I had put away
    My labor and my leisure too,
    For His Civility –

    We passed the School, where Children strove
    At Recess – in the Ring –
    We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
    We passed the Setting Sun –

    Or rather – He passed Us –
    The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
    For only Gossamer, my Gown –
    My Tippet – only Tulle –

    We paused before a House that seemed
    A Swelling of the Ground –
    The Roof was scarcely visible –
    The Cornice – in the Ground –

    Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
    Feels shorter than the Day
    I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
    Were towards Eternity –

    [Since put to Choral Music — and I was mesmerised listening]

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    Micky – I find tactics to be intriguing but even with a 10′ x 12′ screen they are difficult (for me) to pick out on TV – I tend to keep my eyes on the action. So I leave tactics to others and seldom, if ever, get involved in tactical discussions.

    The most obvious tactics to see are the packed defenses but other than that I cannot discern the subtle variations.

    So I stick to what I understand – statistical spreadsheets.

    To win games a manager has to understand the tactics of his opposition – but in the end I believe that individual skills make the real difference.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, you have sent my mind racing, these days I feel more and more reflective and somewhat melancholy.

    I lived a very full life and I’ve been fortunate enough (on the whole) to have been blessed with good health.

    But on the subject of health I urge all the men to get an annual PSA test because the effects of prostate cancer can be lessened with early detection.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Tactics require the type of brain I sadly lack. I am not a practical man, cannot wire a plug or put up a shelf, and if I am honest, don’t really want to.

    I don’t deconstruct and rely upon others to do so.

    Micky would not be my first port of call when understanding De Bruyne’s place in the MC line up or their formation/tactics but I admire his spirit in having a go.

    Thank you

  10. chas says:

    Cheers, Micky.

    That clever Pep fellow wasn’t quite so clever in his first season with City. He was employing the full backs as extra midfielders and the DM was dropping into a back three when this occurred.

    Conceding 39 goals that year, he had a quick re-think and decided a few hundred thousand spent on overhauling an ageing defence (Zabaleta, Kolarov, Clichy and Sagna sent to the glue factory) plus a bit more oily moolah on some more Silva, Danilo etc and getting Arteteteta to have a go at polishing Saně and Sterling was the way forward.

    106 goals later, bob’s your uncle, no other team can get the ball often enough to score more than 27 goals against them.

    Conclusion – concentrate on all out attack and blast the other teams off the park. Bingo.

  11. RA says:


    I agree that it is a plunge into darkness relying for tactical advice from a man who likes dressing in a tactical diving suit to try and impersonate a seal, and also delights in tactically flying over the handle bars of a bike to try to bring his spider man talents up to scratch.

    That said — we both know that our Terry is the guy for tactics as he has a plan for every eventualité especially incomprehensible matters concerning wimmin kicking balls.

    For myself – I might pass, and take the micky out of GB and his ‘War and Peace’ length analysis of tactical bollix that even he does not understand. 😀

  12. chas says:

    I never realised the old Arsenal crest had writing on it other than VicConCresc.

    Deus Per Omnia. Obviously some prophecy about the BFG becoming a big presence in the Arsenal set up.

  13. Eddie says:

    In God we trust, you pagans 😀

  14. VP of Oz says:

  15. chas says:

    It’s actually from the Islington coat of arms and means “God pervades all things” but I wouldn’t expect someone who uses Google and comes across a first (incorrect) answer to understand that. 🙂

  16. chas says:

  17. chas says:

  18. chas says:

  19. LBG says:

    Chas 6.02
    Now that’s what you call a badge to be proud of!

  20. chas says:

  21. chas says:

    I think I’d go with the art deco badge if I had to choose my favourite.

  22. chas says:

    GN5 has done a small post with the World Cup group game schedule on it.
    I’ll sling it up at 7 if it’s not going to clash with Micky’s World Cup warm up tomorrow? 🙂

  23. chas says:


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