Is Lichtsteiner the solution to the Bellerin conundrum?

Following we have two respected AAers coming to very similar conclusions re: Hector and Stephan. Could this work?

First up, your Copenhagen correspondent……..

Torn apart down the right flank by a very average team. Bellerin struggling. Mustafi and GB too far apart and outpaced.

It is becoming a familiar pattern.

To be fair to Bellerin, he was playing against a very good winger in Antonio and Arnautovic’s movement can cause problems for most defences. Also, as we can see from the graphic below (thank you FGG) UE set up the team so that Bellerin spent most of the game in WHU’s half.

I find this graphic very interesting. Look at the midfield and how compact we are.  Douzi and Xhaka occupy the same area giving Hector no assistance.

I know that Emery is averse to playing a back 3 and prefers the 4-3-2-1 but unless the midfield shield Bellerin we will continue to struggle.

My question is this … If Emery wants Bellerin to play as an attacking right sided MF and almost as a right winger, then why not bring Lichtsteiner in to play at RB? Drop a MF – we do not need Mhiki, Iwobi, Ramsey, Douzi and Xhaka all occupying a narrow space and keep Hector forward, allowing him to protect the Swiss chap, I seem to recall AW doing that by bringing Eboue into midfield.


Or do we just rely on scoring more than the opposition?

N.B. I know very little about tactics, formations and all that stuff, so the above could be total cobblers. Also, I quite enjoy shouting at the television when a simple lofted ball allows an attacker to go one on one with Cech. 😀

written by Big Raddy


Followed swiftly by our Devonian dissector…….

I believe it was LB who once posted this:



My guess was that the question marks highlighted the lack of a naturally fast right sided attacker.

Ok, the next bit, and this pains me somewhat.

I now have to give credit to a grown up gentleman who I know sits high in East Upper and spends the majority of the ninety minutes putting two Cheesy Wotsits up either nostril, one in each ear, then carefully arranging one Smokey Bacon flavoured Hula Hoop onto the tip of each finger before slowly consuming each salty snack, but here’s the rub, only someone in attendance could have made this comment:

Ants says:
August 26, 2018 at 6:28pm

In the warm up, Bellerin was being passed balls on the right hand side of the box to control and then use to find a runner in the middle. It was exactly as happened for the 1st and 3rd goals.

So there we have it. Goals win games. Bell set up two, while probably being responsible for conceding the one at the wrong end. How about leaving the fashionista up top with the good players and sticking Licht (who can defend) at the back where he belongs?

written by mickydidit89

67 Responses to Is Lichtsteiner the solution to the Bellerin conundrum?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, boys.

    Maybe it could work if we went 3 at the back with Lichtsteiner on the right of the three and Bellerin as a wing back?

    I tend to fall into the category described by BR’s nota bene so perhaps it’s best if proper comment is left to those with more knowledge of tactical ‘cobblers’. 🙂

  2. LBG says:

    Thanks to both
    Lichsteiner is the immediate answer ie a defender who can defend. But long/short term a quick, right-sided forward with discipline ( acknowledgement of occasional need to slot in if full back is overlapping), in Christmas transfer window would be my choice.
    Most important – 1. Give Dick time to create his own team. 2. Teach Hector the other half of his game.

  3. gunner smith says:

    I am no soccer coach but I do know that if you have a problem then the other guys must help out.If you watched the Mu game the rd had majority possession.They had 20 and 3 on target where as Spurs had 4 shots and scored 3 goals.
    Why did MU find it so hard to score?Simple. Spurs had a massed defence and hit on the break swiftly instead of endless passing.
    THis shows if Bellerin is struggling he must have back up.
    When Lakaku was in the box and going to shoot,he was quickly surrounded b y3/4/5 white shirts.
    Football is a simple game .The problem is some managers have grandiose schemes of how to play the game and get repeatedly beaten.
    As for Mourino if results don’t improve,he coud be out by Xmas.Such are the demands on a manager. Arsenal tolerated a specialist in failure for at least 10 to 15 years and are paying the price now.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting that we both came to the same conclusion!

  5. LBG says:

    “specialist in failure”, give us a break!

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    Terrifying that we both came to the same conclusion 🙂

    Brief motning all. Thanks Chas for the graphics 🙂

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning all. Bellerin definitely needs some help. What shocks me about the graphic is that Xhaka is lined up behind Guendouzi and to the left of the centre circle. If he’d been to the right of the centre circle then he’d have been in a much better position to cover Bell.

    I appreciate that the graphic is only an average position, but it does show that the ‘intelligence’ I’d called for from the midfielders was somewhat lacking.

    Apparently Unai is a fanatical analyst. He must know all these things .. so once again it will be interesting to see how he addresses the problem in the next game.

    Could it be possible that UE is the manager Micky has always yearned for ….. attack, attack, attack … just score more than the opposition? 🙂

  8. Rasp says:

    … the graphic also shows that Guendouzi and Xhaka are occupying the same space (which can’t be good) … it would be interesting to see the same graphic for when Torreira replaced Guendouzi

  9. VP of Oz says:

    we won!

  10. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant uncoordinated efforts, Raddy and Micky 🙂 thank you.

    Since your conclusions were the same or thereabouts, if you had coordinated would it make a better post? I dont know. Which is precisely the point. Is micromanagement always optimal?

    Leaving players on the field to work out the best positions is a point of principle that has its attractions. The point remains however that we have far too many in a congested MF and far too few to defend.

    But if we are scoring 3 and conceding 1, who am I to complain? If we do the same (or better) against teams on the same number of points or below throughout the year, 4th place trophy will be ours!

    Thats OK by me. So, single point of strategy following the great Devonian guru: AAA 🙂

  11. LB says:

    I would also be interesting to see Torreira replace Xhaka and Guendouzi remain………….

  12. fatgingergooner says:

    If you click on the link and go to heatmaps you will see that Torreira gave far better balance to the midfield and spent most of his time on the right of the midfield.

    If you take Xhaka or Geundouzi out of the average positions and stick Torreira’s average position in then we would be a much more balanced side and dare I suggest that we wouldn’t have conceded the first goal in the manner that we did with Anderson sprinting through our right hand side untouched.

  13. chas says:

    Had a look at heat maps for Douzi, Granit and Torreira.
    (Arsenal kicking left to right)

    First Guendouzi…….mostly left side, some almost on the flank

    Second Xhaka……..a fair bit on the right side but counterbalanced by some left flank ‘heat’.

    Last Torreira……..nearly all right side

  14. chas says:

  15. Red Arnie says:

    Xhaka. wow that’s a large imprint on the field. 🙂

  16. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the heat maps chas. We can now see clearly why the team appears more balanced with Torreira on the pitch, he covers the danger on Bell’s side.

    LB, I’ve been wanting to see the Ouzi/Terrier combo from the start … so far, UE has gone for one or t’other.

  17. fatgingergooner says:

    Terrier, I like it!

    Thanks for putting those up Chas, I wasn’t able to do it from my phone. Btw, where did you get those maps from as they seem to differ slightly from the ones I’d seen?

  18. chas says:

    I’m ashamed to say, from the Daily Mail stats site, fgg.
    It was all I could find. Used to use fourfourtwo statszone but they stopped doing it last year.

    Halfway down this page under the heatmaps tab.

  19. chas says:

    I didn’t see your whoscored comment earlier, fgg. Must have taken me that long to sort some screen prints!

  20. Aaron says:

    Good points regardless if the ideas were consolidated or not- would make for easier reading, but who cares.
    The Arsenal are not going to beat many top 6 teams playing this way, especially if they are not trained nor do they adhere to pup’s ideas of serially fouling inside of seconds if they do not get the ball back higher up the pitch.
    UE is smart enough to know that if you want to press and not concede on the highline then someone must foul to break up play- I believe we have a guy named Bould who could teach a few of our players to stick a foot, or hand in when necessary. I actually like Xhaka’s hard fouls here and there, if he is not sent off, at least he tries to break up play. The Ramsey attempt was comical.
    The team will continue to move forwards due to training, maybe a bit sideways and backwards now and then. Just excited to watch the games, as Auba and Laca are due.

  21. LB says:

    Does anyone really think that Steve Bold does any more that hand out water and explain to the new Spanish contingent who people like Freddie Ljungburg are?

    I don’t.

  22. chas says:

    Steve Bould wouldn’t have had the pace to get anywhere near breaking up counter attacks when the high press fails.
    He was playing against fat bastards like Micky Quinn.

    In fact he was pretty redundant once they stopped him crashing through the back of strikers.

    Only joking, Bouldie!

  23. chas says:

    I think the post worked far better as two completely separate ideas reaching a similar conclusion.

  24. wally says:

    Here’s a thought. Someone tell bellerin not to stand next to miki, there’s a game being played you can talk about hair styles later. Have a better sense of when you can push forward and when he needs to hang back. Have a better sense of your spacing.

  25. fred1266 says:

    Something I also think most people forget fabianski was brilliant and if it wasn’t do that we would have surely won the game much earlier

  26. chas says:

    I presume heat maps are based on touches of the ball whereas much of a defender’s work would be harrying, chasing, being in a position to block potential passes.
    The fact remains that if Hector hadn’t had so many touches high up the pitch, we might have scored 2 goals less!

  27. fred1266 says:

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Look here you lot, Arnie has the biggest brain in the northern hemisphere and he called me “the great Devonian guru”. So there 🙂

    Got-no-hair-we-don’t-care is ace with iPad, but other than that, I agree 🙂

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    bloody Nora, virtually brand new MacBook Pro and the number 7 is knackered 7777777777777777777778877788877777

    Mmm push harder appears the way forwards ‘tho not ideal


  30. mickydidit89 says:


  31. mickydidit89 says:


  32. chas says:

    Arnie also came up with these two ‘rhyming’ lines for a new song about Torreira…….. ☺

    “He came with great expectations
    But turned out to be a lame duck”

    No idea if it was a haiku or summat????

  33. chas says:

    Sometimes dribbling on your keyboard when eating boiled sweets can cause keys to stick.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    That’s what happens when you buy a Macbook Pro from a bloke in a pub for a “good price”

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Hector has been our best contributor to goal assists, what UE is doing works from an attacking perspective, which is why we should drop an MF and bring in the Swiss Chap

  36. chas says:

    Hence why you two geniuses came up with the same solution independently.

  37. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. only the ONE with the biggest brains can figure out that “the great Devonian guru” refers to himself. the case rests. 🙂

    Chas. those two lines were supposed to complete a quartet that your two lines started. not quite rhyming, but sort of. 🙂

  38. Red Arnie says:

    He comes from Middle Earth
    His father was a Smurf
    He came with great expectations
    But turned out to be a lame duck

  39. LBG says:

    Aaron 3:15
    Are you sure Xhaka’s “hard fouls” aren’t a case of the old adage – “you were late, son. I got there there as quick as I could, ref!

  40. LBG says:

    “He’s just a little man.
    But he’ll catch you if he can”.

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Of course Bellerin is getting forward and we are struggling on the counter at times, it’s practically the same group of players that used to do the same for Wenger!

    We need to remember that it’s going to take time for Emery to get his ideas across, and I expect it’s going to take a large number of transfers too for him to get the kind of players he wants. Its not all about ability and coaching tactics, it’s about having the right mentality too, and I suspect that some of the current bunch will struggle with what Emery wants and will be replaced with a different type of character.

    We have seen signs of change already, in the way we want to play and the way we are trying to defend from the front, but old habits die hard, and some of these players played under the previous manager for quite a while.

  42. LBG says:

    Chas 3:59
    Fatboy Quinn, famous for that hat-trick.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok then, so we’re all agreed, Bell plays right wing

    Now, the left wing

    Who’s most likely to set ’em up and score from the left?

    Yip, Nacho 🙂

    This is really rather easy once you get the hang of it

  44. chas says:

    ‘Sort of rhyming’ as in not rhyming at all?

    You ever heard the Vieira song anyway? ☺

  45. chas says:

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    …….Auba Laca
    Nacho Ouzi Torr Bell
    ……Koli Sok Licht
    ………The Helmet

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha Chas


    Earth, Smurf, Expectations, Duck

    Sure Arnie, that works ROLF

  48. Aaron says:


    Yes late, as in the preceding game late. At least he takes them completely out.
    The Arsenal can’t rely on Bel, and the goals that come from his side for the entire season, heck in the next few games that will be snuffed out. But, if the goals can come from that side when the other team is packing the box, that is another matter completely. Bould would put people on their respective a$$es before they got past him, that is the point.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    I don’t see a need for big changes in formation, just a tweak of personnel. The 4231 can work, but we haven’t seen it implemented correctly for 10 years. Someone said the other day that Gilberto was the last HM player we had, but I do recall Flamini playing out of his skin next to Fabregas in 07/08 and us coming very close to winning the league. If you read articles from that year a lot of them talk about Flaminis energy and how he bossed the midfield on his own at times and allowed Fabregas to get forward. I know football has changed a bit since then, but I truly believe that a player like Torreira could finally give us a working 4231 which allows the full backs to attack, a midfield partner to thrive, and a midfield which doesn’t have gaping holes.

    If he’s as good as I hope he is, then he is the answer to a lot of our tactical questions.

  50. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha, ahem. its all in the head, DH! 🙂

  51. Gööner In Exile says:

    I’ll start by saying I didn’t see game.

    But from pure tactical bolleaux standpoint and for fear of repeating myself. Bellerin can attack as much as he wants IF the whole team presses when we lose possession.

    However there is perhaps one thing that Mr Emery has yet to realise, unlike La Liga most teams here are happy to kick and rush, no matter how many cultured foreigners they have in the team. It has always been so.

    So with the press not always guaranteed to work and with us not close to perfecting it yet surely Torreira has to start?

    I take the heat maps with a pinch of salt, we were the team with far greater possession, how much of the heatmap is dictated by where we had the ball? Surely to truly understand it we need to see heatmaps when not in possession/defending.

    Personally I want to see Xhaka benched, a mobile defensive two of Torreira and Guendouzi plus Ramsey, then Ozil, PEA, Laca.

    Back four picks itself but eventually Mustafi out Koscielny in.

    Someone made a comment about the speed Spuds move the ball from a packed defence, and that amazed me yesterday, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mourinho team play so open at the back especially against a team that can hurt him on the counter, think back to his bode draws at OT, Anfield and other venues. And I am consistently amazed that Spuds can get away with playing as they do and getting results, why do teams continue to commit men forward against them and leave themselves open to 3 on 3 attacks?

  52. fatgingergooner says:


    In Uniteds defence they were losing so you can u derstand opening up a bit. If Spurs played like they did first half against City or Liverpool they would’ve been 3-0 down! It amazes me the excitement about their result as the performance wasn’t great.

    The first goal is huge in those big games and they nicked one on a corner after being outplayed for most of the match upto that point.

    I agree about mobility but I’d still like to see more of Geundouzi before putting him in the side. Xhaka’s passing could still be a big asset and he could thrive if the person next to him is giving him more cover, so for now I’d go with his experience over the extra mobility. Long term though I’d love 2 mobile midfielders who can add a bit of bite. With Ramsey’s engine in front of them we would finally have legs in a few midfield positions. The likes of Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky etc were technically very good but we’ve missed players able to get around the pitch for some time now.

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    My comment from 10 days ago suggesting having Licjh at RB and Bell as wing half…………………

    GunnerN5 says:
    August 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Well after 19 minutes I was worried about just how embarrassing it was going to be but it turned into an incredible half of football.

    We missed 4 very score-able chances. But our defense is a complete disaster Mustafi is a liability and Bellerin – well I love and hate him all at the same time. It would be fantastic if we had Litchsteiner at right back and Bellerin as a wing half.

  54. fred1266 says:

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG agree on United after the first goal, but for fear of repeating myself I’ve never seen a Maureen team that open even before the goal. He would normally take the point. But he is out of his comfort zone in that United fans are not starved of success like Chavs were and will not see a downgrade in entertainment for results on the pitch (yet), why Maureen made a big play of applauding them.

    We are probably in the same boat, do any of us really want to compromise football style and enjoyment for (no guarantee of course) for trophies.

    On Xhaka he is 25 and his 3rd season in PL, if he hasn’t worked it out yet I’m not sure he will, he should be entering best years of his career but we see a work in progress still and I can’t Give him benefit of time to adapt to new role because in my view it hasn’t changed.

  56. mickydidit89 says:


    Re: Bell and Litch

    You’re brilliant and let me make this crystal clear, I worked it out for myself, whereas Slippery Erik almost certainly cheated off you 🙂

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, however, your set up 3-5-2 has WINGBACKS as you rightly stated

    ………Auba Laca
    Nacho Ouzi Torr Bell
    ……Koli Sok Licht

    Does not have WINGBACKS as they are playing in a four man midfield.

    I call them WINGFENDERS

  58. chas says:


    Bit like this car – good for protection but also help you attack?

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Genius 🙂 ha ha

  60. mickydidit89 says:

    I was wondering why Stan would bother buying up the remaining few shares now he’s up to 98.8%, but then I realised that if he had 100% he wouldn’t have to attend an annual shareholders meeting 🙂

  61. LBG says:

    Know French papiers are as short on accurate news as our rags, but hope Lacs is not really getting pissed off with not starting!!
    Vardy retires from International footie. Wonder how he might have have fared with us …..the little runt!
    Morning all.

  62. LBG says:

    Ya Ya has “passed a medical at a London Club”.
    David Seaman still thinks he could do a job for us! Now that would put the midfield debate into a spin.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Love that car.

    Wingfenders. Excellent.

  64. Big Raddy says:


    AW would have payed Vardy on right wing. With Sanchez on the lef tand OG through the middle it could have been exciting.

    But I am very happy the little rat-faced weasle didn’t sign for us.

  65. chas says:


  66. chas says:

    Holy Moly
    Withdraw post and add Yaya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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