A Narrow Victory Away at Burnley
It was not a historic performance that saw us recover ground on the league leaders. The match against Burnley was not a failure for Ozil and it wasn’t even a failure for Wenger. The insisted approach to the match was to maintain the formation and system that the squad had been playing up until this point in the season. It is actually quite impressive that so much criticism is being hurled in the direction of the team following a hard-fought victory. The questions asked need to be of the tactics, specifically adaptive tactics, that were severely lacking.
Sean Dyche had the Burnley back six set perfectly to distill the Arsenal attack and credit needs to be given to them for maintaining. I am mostly concerned about the old scenes of Wenger not switching the game plan to meet the opposition’s approach. We are seeing glimpses of character, in that the players were able to overpower them with the “Plan A”. Giroud would’ve been key to opening up the match, but there were positives to take. Koscielny and Mustafi are gaining confidence with each match and the front three are showing unfading determination.
Wenger's 20th Year as Manager
Wenger’s 20-year interviews are everywhere and he’s receiving the tributes that he deserves. Regardless of your stance on the manager, everyone can learn something from the man if they really listen to him speak. Opinions aside, it is amazing that he has been able to take the club through a transition to a new stadium and the modern era of football while maintaining the squad of the players and a huge staff off of the pitch. Arsene’s optimism, and that of the people surrounding him, is very comforting and I’m hoping that we are in for a surprise this year. I would need to do an entire post on the tactics to explain them and it is still early to be sure of what I’m seeing on the pitch. I think that we could be seeing a revolutionary approach on the field and in the manager’s mind.
*Bookmark this post and check back for a link to the upcoming discussion on the matches this season, loan players, the manager, tactics, and more!