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The tactical tweak that could have got Arsenal all 3 points against Liverpool




After yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool, many aAsenal fans must now be vindicated to believe that Arsenal are now at a level where they can hold their own with big teams. This also means that quietly, many fans believe that we are contenders but they would not admit that come May 2019 we could lift the trophy aloft.

We must thank Arsene Wenger that despite the failings of this side, he managed to start the process of bringing in top class players and in his later years, without promising Champions League football. He managed to sign Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when there was no Champions League Football to promise them. This all means that despite our failings, we were just a few steps away from resurgence and Emery-style has managed to bring through this resurgence in style.

We must also thank the Board for seeing through the cast of serious contender for Arsene Eenger post to pick the right person with the exact skill sets useful to get Arsenal to take up the resurgence quickly. With examples of Manchester united after the exit of Alex Ferguson, Liverpool with the entry of Klopp, and Manchester City where first Guardiola Season was nothing much to celebrate about, fans must have resigned themselves to about two or three season of messy football before it would pick up. To find Arsenal knocking at the top four rather quickly and dominating an arguably the most powerful Liverpool side in years, is something many must have not thought possible, yet that is what happened.

Emery, inevitably inherited his predecessors squad problems that he has to work extra time to deal with. Squad thinness, defensive fragility and how to play two form players in Lacazette and Aubameyang in the same side without upsetting the balance, are all passed on to him and they are very much alive with him. There are statistics that indicate that Arsenal are more concrete when Aubameyang is not playing, yet he often gets on the scoring sheet. Yesterday, he failed to score but his statistics are reading high and his influence in the game highly got Liverpool defense harassed to a point that the arrival of a new attacking formation got them disturbed out of their cool to a point of conceding almost immediately when Ramsey, Iwobi and Welbeck came on.

Perhaps Emery has been just below all out bold to want to shift the play pattern which would have these two strikers playing together and getting Welbeck to replace one of the two late in a game. Because Aubameyang has played as a winger when the two have been in the field except during Fulham when he opted for 4.2.2. system. It did not go badly but he never deployed the system again.

I think now with the evidence from yesterday, Emery should now not be afraid to go the last mile into the adventure to bring these two players, whose complementary game had been doubted previously but every time they have been deployed, they have been successful in playing off each other. They have been team mates rather than rivals both on and off the field. They have treated their duty as a department where each has a role rather than a situation where one person gets to play and others to wait for their chance. Certainly, Emery has encouraged the cooperation but just. Unai has not played them as complementary strikers often. Klopp himself is reportedly to have described the duo as Van Persie and Dennis Bergkamp, which means he was prepared for a system that the two would combine and play off each other magically, and that was not quite what he faced from the tone of the statement. Perhaps he was just being cheeky questioning the fact that Emery has not found a way to utilize the two as a striking duo rather than have one of them shoved into the wings.

I wish to suggest a system that might help Arsenal deal with these three problems for now and build upon going forwards. It is a generic 4.3.3. system

————————-AMN (Roving Fullback) ——-

With Koscielny and Mavropanos returning soon from injury, Mustafi should be the one to give way. Ainsley Maitland-Niles plays a free role of a roving defender, who will be mobile and fit into either ends where the fullbacks should be, to help out in defending that area when the attack is directed there. He is certainly mobile enough and will be the perfect aid to Torreira in covering any spaces at the back.

Perhaps on the left we have better players but both Iwobi and Xhaka play in the areas of shifting from wingers to Central midfield to support Torreira and AMN when necessary. Cech will have to learn playing with the ball at his feet, as Leno will still need to learn much more.

I will not say that if this was the pattern that Liverpool found yesterday we could have bagged the 3-points, but I suspect Klopp thinks so!

Nicholas Oyoo

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Three Hugely Important Takeaways From The Brighton Vs Arsenal Game




Arsenal were held by Brighton & Hove Albion to a 1-1 draw as they put up a sub-par performance. After the first twenty minutes of the Brighton Vs Arsenal game, the Gunners simply lacked the cutting edge and decisiveness to win the game.

A shambolic performance in the Brighton Vs Arsenal match at the Falmer Stadium allowed Chelsea to gain a two point advantage to be placed fourth in the league table. Currently struggling, Manchester United comfortably won their match against Huddersfield town and have now reduced the deficit to 6 points.

Aubameyang once again initiated the goal scoring for the Gunners as his lovely curling effort gave them a 1-0 lead over the Seagulls. It was a culmination of poor defending and unnecessary panicking from the Brighton defense which allowed Aubameyang to unleash a beautiful curler for the starter.

Arsenal were the dominant force for the first twenty minutes and produced a substantial amount of chances. The ex-Dortmund striker could have had a hat-trick inside the first half, only if he had latched onto the chances and finished clinically. Credit must be given to Matt Ryan for making some great saves to keep his team in the hunt.

After the half hour mark, things started to ease out for the home team as they slowly started to take control of the proceedings of the Brighton Vs Arsenal tie. At the 35th minute, a long ball from Davy Propper found Stephen Lichsteiner, who fumbled a simple heading to gift the ball to Locadia, who found the equalizer for Brighton. Leno had already committed himself forward and it was a regulatory striker finish past the keeper into the net.

The second half saw Arsenal plummet in terms of creativity on the field. They simply could not string together a set of passes for the forwards to shoot at the goal. To sum up, the Brighton Vs Arsenal game was so bad that the Gunners only managed one shot on the target in the second half.

Why Lucas Torreira Is Arsenal’s Unrivalled Best Signing Of The Season

Brighton were stubborn in defense and did not allow the Gunners an inch of space to shoot. The substitutions made by Emery didn’t help the cause further. It was a dampening day at work for the visitors as they were tactically dominated by the mid table team.

With the Anfield trip next on their schedule, Arsenal needed the three vital points from the Brighton Vs Arsenal fixture to ensure they remain in hunt for the top four. After having dropped points here means Arsenal will now need to get a win against Liverpool at Anfield – a much more daunting task.

Here are the three talking points from the Brighton Vs Arsenal match:

1. Arsenal Need To Sort Out Their Defense ASAP

Injuries to defenders has plagued the Arsenal defense. Yet again it was a sub-standard performance by the Arsenal defense.The defenders simply lack application and are committing silly errors in front of the goal in crunch situations.

The transfer window does not open until new year. Once open, Arsenal definitely need to target solid center backs if they want to challenge for the fourth position in the league and the cup competitions.

With the most important fixture coming up before New Year against Liverpool at Anfield, if the defense isn’t sorted out, Leno will be left helpless against a much fierce Liverpool attack. Emery somehow needs to find a solution to the defensive woes.

2.Arsenal Are Over-reliant On Aubameyang For Goals

It was once again Aubameyang who kick-started the goal scoring for the Gunners. He had two more solid chances but was denied by some exquisite goal-keeping of Ryan. Aubameyang is the leading goal-scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals. Arsenal have always relied on him to dish out the goals.

It is high time that the other players stepped up and contributed more to the attack. Lacazette’s substitution during the Brighton Vs Arsenal game for Aaron Ramsey at the hour mark did not help the cause further. Although, he missed two big chances, but by far he was the most significant player on the pitch for Arsenal.

The Gabonese striker regularly made inroads into the shaky Brighton defense. Arsenal need Aubameyang to continue his rich form when they go up against table toppers Liverpool on 29th December at Anfield.

3. The Mesut Ozil Saga Continues Even For The Brighton Vs Arsenal Fixture

Emery substituted Mesut Ozil, the most creative player on the pitch at half time. The result was evident with Arsenal unable to push forward once Ozil was gone. The Gunners lacked the inventiveness once the German was gone.

There were no more risky passes or through balls in the second half of the Brighton Vs Arsenal tie. Aubameyang had no support and Torreira’s off day saw things go from bad to worse. It is evident that there are certain problems between Ozil and Unai Emery but Arsenal need to resolve them expeditiously.

Brighton’s goal in the Brighton Vs Arsenal match was somewhat Ozil’s fault too as he failed to track back in time. This led to him being substituted at the start of the second half.

Given his experience in big matches and the amount of creativity he brings to the team in the absence of a natural right winger, it is imperative that Emery continues to trust Ozil. The team is already bereft of Henrikh Mkhitariyan and hence Ozil should be included in the starting lineup against Liverpool.

Follow Arsedevils for more news and updates on Arsenal.

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Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey backed to make Juventus switch by Andrea Pirlo




Juventus are currently top of Serie A, which is no surprise considering they’ve won the Italian league title for the past seven campaigns.

Despite their nine-point lead at the summit, manager Massimiliano Allegri is still keen to bolster his squad.


World Cup winner Pirlo wasn’t surprised to hear of the interest in Ramsey, revealing that he is a fan of the Welsh international.

“Ramsey is a great purchase,” Pirlo said on Sky Sport Italia.

“Juventus are preparing another excellent deal. He is a strong player and could do very well.”

The Bianconeri have made a habit of picking up top players from other European clubs on free transfers, Ramsey could be another, his Arsenal deal expiring in the summer.

Pirlo himself joined the Italian giants after his contract expired at Milan in 2011, showing that his former club have a keen eye for a bargain.

This season Emre Can joined on a free from Liverpool with Dani Alves joining from Barcelona for nothing in 2016.

Sami Khedira is another player who made the switch after seeing his contract expire, and has gone on to play 118 times for Juventus, scoring 20 goals.

Ramsey has been quiet on his Arsenal future this season, but it has been widely reported that Unai Emery and the former Cardiff man have quit talks after failing to agree terms.

Before the season began Emery had been vocal about Ramsey’s place in the Arsenal squad, stating before that that a new contract was on it’s way.

“I’m very happy with him,” said Emery in August.

“For me, every day, every training session, he has the ambition I want.

“He’s working with a quality, the type of ability that I want. I want to work with him.”

The Gunners are currently fifth in the Premier League table with 11 wins from their 19 games.

Emery’s side face a tough trip to Anfield on Saturday as they hope to leapfrog Chelsea into the top four.

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Mo Salah has his say on Kalidou Koulibaly racist abuse




Liverpool star Mo Salah has waded in on the racist abuse directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese defender was targeted by Inter…

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