Have We Become Less Exciting?

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Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Eman on Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:33 pm

I've recently been seeing a lot of Gooners on here talking about how our style has deteriorated in excitement over the past few years and personally I don't see it at all.

IMO, we have been an often-frustrating but sometimes magnificent side for years now. We either tear a team apart or look for openings without much purpose, fail to find them, and recycle possession back to our defenders. For me, nothing has changed in our style; if anything, we have gotten better at finding the openings by acquiring better players, and in the process have scored some of the finest goals of our modern team's 'era' in the past couple of seasons.

That said, I know that some people disagree on that front. In terms of goals scored, possession stats, highlight packages, or just pure opinion, what do you guys think about the direction that our team's style of play has been heading?

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Jay29 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:21 pm

Currently, my objections to Arsenal's current style are:

- The passing is too slow
- Players take too many touches
- The approach play lacks structure
- They're too passive without the ball

Passing is great to watch when it's quick and incisive. I've lost count of how many times I've written "our passing was too slow/ponderous/purposeless" in a post-match write-up. We seem to take two or three extra passes to do anything. Added to that, I think our players take too many touches, which slows the play down further.

Slipping into tactical talk for a moment, I think we lack a structure to our attacks that facilitates quick passing and movement. Our wide players play as extra midfielders and want to get on the ball and pass. Our play becomes either too centralised or too biased to one side (usually the left). Sometimes this results in neat interchanges in tight areas, sometimes it doesn't. We don't use our full backs very well. Our forward is often very static. It looks too much like we're forcing it.

I was watching Celta Vigo vs Sevilla this morning. Celta were amazing in the way they played, with control, pace and precision, yet having a clear structure to the team: one holding midfielder, two supporting central mids, two wingers holding the width, and both full-backs getting up on the overlap. They could use the overlap to get in behind, or use it as a decoy, drag the defence over to one side, then switch the play to the other where other winger is waiting. Then when they lost the ball, they pressed.

Arsenal don't press consistently. When they lose the ball, they sit back in their banks and hope to win the ball, then launch slow counter-attacks. When we're winning a game we sit back in our shape and just see the game it, whereas we used to control the ball and toy with the opposition. There's nothing more boring than being 2-0 up at home against, say, Norwich, and then sitting back the rest of the game and seeing it out.

07/08 was probably the last team that I found really fun to watch. 10/11 was good too for half a season. 13/14 had its moments but had a lot of the problems I mentioned above. Last season Alexis was pretty much a one-man show. This year the football hasn't been too enjoyable.

Turned out to be a longer post than expected but I've been thinking a lot about this. In the past, I'd look forward to playing the weaker teams at home because you knew we'd win 3-0 or 4-0 and look great doing it. Nowadays we win 1-0 or 2-0 and don't look quite as convincing.
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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by VendettaRed07 on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:32 pm

Absolutely.

We are defensively significantly better than we were a few years ago, when we'd give up hat tricks to fullbacks and blow 4-0 leads, but we could score and tear teams apart

We play slowly and predictably. When in the final third players always seem to be 2 steps behind where they should be. Games are so frustrating to watch with how wasteful we are. I think we are better at dominating possession against lesser opponents. Chance after chance feels wasted with how much we control games sometimes so when the goals do come it's almost more like a moment of released frustration rather than a moment of unpredictable skill

I feel we were at our most exciting in years back when Ramsey was in out of this world form scoring goals and game winners every match.. But after his goals dried up and form dipped I don't think we've been as fun to watch or exciting since

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by urbaNRoots on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:38 pm

Yes we are a lot less exciting than we were say in 2010 or 2008.

It goes without saying, I would like to see us play more sexy football but then those days when we just couldn't keep a clean sheet are days I just wamt to forget. I know you can win even big games with exciting football but I'm not confident Wemger knows how to deal with the defense in big games without parking it.

I like the balance we have now, we play beautiful when we are in our day (mostly against poor opposition), but are a lot more cautious in our approach in away games and top 10 teams.

I know some Arsenal fans like to mock Chelsea for poor football but we play similar football to them and it was evident again yesterday, defend deep and break at times. Like us Chelsea when they are on top form pretty much destroy teams with beautiful football but are careful in away games and top 10 teams in general.
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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by EL Patron on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:17 pm

The main issue is that we are way too easy to nullify, we don't play with enough variety. Everyone wants to roam in the middle of pitch and play in between the lines. Sometimes we have too many cooks in kitchen. Even some players who make good runs off the ball like Ramsey, Sanchez all want to get involved in the build up and play those little one two.

It's not a bad thing because you get games where it works well, we outplay the opposition and create tons of chances but you also get games where we are too predictable. All the other team has to do is get man behind the ball and crowd out the space the likes of Ozil, Santi and Sanchez like to play in and we ran out of ideas. The most annoying thing about these sort of games is that the players and the manager can see that nothing is working but they don't change the approach. They will still try to play down the middle instead of using the wide areas a bit more.

The lack of natural winger in the squad is also hurting us, we only have Ox as an a out and out winger and he is still learning the role. Theo is more of an inside forward/striker so there is no one but Bellerin to provide some width when we need to vary things.

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by T-Mach on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:11 am

Yes,we've definitely become less exciting when compared to last few seasons.

In the past when we thought of our brilliant goals by Arsenal we used to come up with goals that contained a passing masterclass before the goal was actually scored.But for the last 2/3 seasons our best goals have been more about the individual brilliance of the goalscorer rather then the pass that set it up.We do score Wengerball goals at times(Wilshere vs. Norwich) but such goals have decreased recently.

Now the concentration is more on winning games rather than humiliating opponents(the weaker ones ofc).The emphasis on being compact and sound defensively has been on the rise in recent seasons.

We start to conserve energy in the second half when we're winning.When we used to play Wengerball with woeful defenses,we fans used to crave for solid defense and used to feel we'll be better winning 1-0 & 2-0 rather than 5-3 & 5-4.

Guess AW realized this too and we had to settle for a compromise between Wengerball & compact defense.He chose the latter.

Though it doesn't seem very good on the eye,I believe this tactical setup has made fans confident that we're capable of winning unlike a few seasons ago when we would never be able to win ugly.That said I wouldn't mind occasional Wengerball performances against those hapless lower tier teams.
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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Eman on Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:43 pm

T-Mach wrote:In the past when we thought of our brilliant goals by Arsenal we used to come up with goals that contained a passing masterclass before the goal was actually scored.But for the last 2/3 seasons our best goals have been more about the individual brilliance of the goalscorer rather then the pass that set it up.We do score Wengerball goals at times(Wilshere vs. Norwich) but such goals have decreased recently.
I would say the finest team goals we've scored in the past decade are Wilshere vs. Norwich and Rosicky vs. Sunderland, while many others players such as Giroud, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil and Flamini have some incredible team goals in the past couple of seasons as well. Many of them are in this video:


Perhaps my memory is skewed but I don't recall such beautiful goals being more common in years gone by. I remember one being scored by Vela after a ridiculous number of passes but in the end the final pass was just a long ball over a poorly positioned backline...anybody have specific examples?

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Raptorgunner on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:21 pm

Yes we have become less exciting. Only few players we have actually stick to their role and the rest are all over the place and playing half of the team out of position is not helping either.We just need more effort and creativity to have cohesive play. I think the striker position is the key, when Theo starts you can see some of the old Arsenal.

I remember the days where no mater who we played, at the end of the game you would feel proud watching us play, even if we did end up losing. We did create and score some of the best goals in the league.


Last edited by Raptorgunner on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Jay29 on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:29 pm

We scored great team goals between 98 and 2008 as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60PjbHZUE8Y

Great goals are only one part of great football, in any case.
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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Raptorgunner on Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:33 pm

The Year RVP was healthy, he did score some ridiculous goals, and also the year before that it was Nasri.


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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by Eman on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:07 am

GoonerJay29 wrote:We scored great team goals between 98 and 2008 as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60PjbHZUE8Y

Great goals are only one part of great football, in any case.
To be clear I wasn't suggesting that our football during the early 2000s was less exciting than it is right now; I meant our football during the trophyless spell.

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by silver on Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:56 am

I agree that our current team does not keep to their positions/roles and run around everywhere which a lot of the times becomes detrimental to our team. For instance when we want to switch play to the RW and see Ramsey all the way on the other side of the pitch, its like W.T.F.

I do believe we need to be more structured.

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by boyzis on Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:35 pm

Less exciting ? Not really. Basically if u look at from this perspective that the slow purposess passing is actually a disguise. It draws defenders towards the ball leaving space behind than you see one of the frwrds making that run in behind. It wrks bcoz team usually defend against us.
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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

Post by urbaNRoots on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:11 pm

boyzis wrote:Less exciting ? Not really. Basically if u look at from this perspective that the slow purposess passing is actually a disguise. It draws defenders towards the ball leaving space behind than you see one of the frwrds making that run in behind. It wrks bcoz team usually defend against us.


Except we don't really make those runs in behind, except for Walcott and Ramsey/Özil when they are bothered.

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Re: Have We Become Less Exciting?

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