Finally,there is a plan B. Or at least there should be. For years we have lacked an alternative plan when things went pear-shaped. When we needed to change things up we just didn’t have the options. Now though, we DO have the options, and that could lead to success this season. Last season is a prime example of our inability to change when we need to. Champions League second leg versus AC Milan. We needed just one goal to equalise. We couldn’t do it, so the only option was to bring on the well known goal machines Chamakh and Park. This obviously didn’t work, and we crashed out. There will be no excuses if that happens this season.
Plan A (maybe) Route One Football?! Obviously its a bit more complicated than that,but in essence this is what the technically limited sides do. Our system will be quite similar to this when everyone is used to each other (and learns how to bloody cross!). We bomb it down the wings with our pacey and skillful players (Ox, Gervinho, Pod, Arshavin? Per….), who cross it in to Giroud, who will either head it in himself, or flick it on to Cazorla and/or any other onrushing players. I watched Montpellier quite a bit last season, and this is what they did. Belhanda loved playing behind Olly because he constantly benefited from his flicks, and Cazorla will too. We have attempted to play this type of game in the last three or four games, to varying levels of success. When Podolski put in a decent cross against West Ham Giroud used his awareness and intelligence to poke it in. We saw him do this against Spain too. He is not on the same level as RVP, but his movement reminds me of him sometimes and we need to use this more. Against Norwich and Schalke we were just too crap to do anything for him . BUT against QPR we put in a cross for him. And we scored from it. He didn’t directly assist, but his height and strength confused the R’s defenders which eventually led to Arteta’s goal. When we give him the right delivery he will cause goals. We just need to consistently deliver the ball he needs. Could Arshavin be that man? Stay tuned….
Plan B-A False 9? We have used this tactic a few times this season as well, also to varying degrees of success. It can be compared to the tactic Spain used in the Euros. They played no legitimate striker, with two players interchanging from the wing, which confused defenders, as they didn’t know who to mark. Gervinho and Podolski are the two players who we have used in this way so far. When Gervinho is on form, this is hard to stop. But more often than not he isn’t on form. He’s injured now which opens the door for Walcott to fill this role if necessary. Theo has been on top form when brought on this season and we shouldn’t let contract disputes get in the way of a player like him playing. He has developed so much, and his finishing is now deadly. This tactic will be effective against teams with slow defenders with high lines, as they won’t be able to keep up with the interchange.
Plan C- Two up front? This is something we havn’t used this season, or any other season for quite some time. @goonerdave66 is an avid advocate of a 4-4-2, and I believe a subtle variation of this will suit us well. We were the most successful we have ever been with two up front and four in midfield and I think we could return to winning ways with this. I think a 4-1-2-1-2 formation will suit us best. I will do a shortened version, but @GB1886 wrote a fantastic piece about this and other things here http://gb1886.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/a-change-in-formation/ . I envisage Arteta playing the Gilberto role- breaking down attacks, setting up counter attacks etc. I think he will be better at this than even Gilberto himself was, as Arteta is more technically gifted. This formation allows The Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere and Diaby etc to flourish in their natural positions. Whoever plays in the two midfield roles will be vital. They will both be Viera and Pires, bursting backwards and forwards, but also getting wide when necessary. The two full backs will also provide width. Cazorla/Arshavin/Rosicky will be the main creators. This will work out well for everyone. Cazorla will be first choice, but we will finally be able to see our little Russian in his preferred positon and he can be deadly there. Up top will be Giroud and Podolski/Walcott.This is important, as Theo will finally be able to play up front like he wants. The team would play like I outlined in Plan A. Another VITAL part of this formation is that Chamakh, yes THAT Chamakh can play in this formation! He always thrived with a partner, and this will suit him down to the ground. We saw against Blackburn and Norwich last season that he can be quite decent, and this game plan will be the best platform for him to finally prove himself. I see no issues with this formation, and it will be interesting to see if Mr Wenger will use it.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or tweeting me @CiansBlog. Thank you for reading and take care.