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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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Arsenal ace Lucas Torreira drops transfer revelation that could WORRY Gunners fans




Torreira joined the Gunners from Sampdoria lsat summer and impressed in his debut season at the Emirates.

The Uruguayan made 34 Premier League appearances as the Gunners finished fifth, scoring twice.

But he has now thrown his Arsenal future into doubt by admitting he wants to play in South America.

“One day, I want to play for Boca and wear their shirt,” Torreira said.

“It’s a dream I have had since I was a little kid. It’s no secret, my family and friends know that.

“I was with several friends [at the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid]. I did not think I was going to suffer so much, I lived it with a lot of nerves.

“It was not as we wanted, but reaching the final is not for anyone. It was a nice show because I had never had the chance to see Boca.”

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is expected to have a busy summer, though his budget may be limited.

First, the Europa League final against Chelsea on May 29 is on Emery’s mind though.

Though the Spaniard recently admitted he needs money to improve his Arsenal squad.

He said: ”I think we can improve first, by spending money to achieve players.

“In the past the club have done great work in watching players, finding and signing young players and developing our players in the academy.

“I have big respect for our work, for our players in the academy.

“I want to develop the players here—giving them progress to achieve something at a big club like we are.

“We can also achieve [buy] some players who are in other teams, who can come here and give us this performance—like [Virgil] Van Dijk with Liverpool.”

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Arsenal facing transfer PROBLEM because of Man Utd, Liverpool and Nicolas Pepe




Arsenal boss Unai Emery is looking to the transfer window to strengthen his squad, regardless of whether or not they win the Europa League.

But Manchester United and Liverpool are looking to do the same, with both clubs interested in securing Pepe’s signature.

The Lille star, who is also in the Gunners’ sights, has enjoyed a stunning campaign with the Ligue 1 giants.

The 23-year-old has bagged an impressive 20 goals from 36 league outings, clocking up 11 assists along the way.

Express Sport understands Arsenal are interested in securing Lorient hitman Alexis Claude-Maurice.

But Lille want him too as a replacement for United and Liverpool target Pepe.

Should one of Arsenal’s domestic rivals swoop for the star, then Lille may go in for Claude-Maurice.

And that would give the Gunners a problem, with Emery eager to sign Claude-Maurice as well this summer.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move to Pepe.

But United, according to journalist Duncan Castles, have enquired about the player Arsenal are also tracking.

“One of the clubs interested in Pepe [that] have expressed an interest to Lille is Manchester United,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.

“I’m told that last week a phone call went in to one of the Lille directors to enquire about the cost of a transfer for Pepe, who’s been outstanding in the French division this year, scoring goals and creating goals with a great deal of pace, actually a very good fit to what Manchester United would need on the right wing, to ask whether he would be available for sale.

“So Manchester United have shown their hand there. They’ve not gone any further.

“I’m told there’s been no bid and there’s been no further contact with Lille since that enquiry.

“But, again, the market’s beginning to move.

“Clubs like Lille who have players like Pepe who they know they will sell this summer, they very openly advertised and set a fee for him, would like to have as many of the big clubs bidding for him as possible, are waiting for one of these big clubs to make a move and inject money into the market so they can spend and recruit elsewhere, and those moves have implications for everyone else.”

Arsenal have also been linked with Kostas Manolas, Wilfried Zaha and Samuel Umtiti.

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Arsenal star hopes to play last Gunners game in Europa League final vs Chelsea




Danny Welbeck could be available to play for Arsenal in the Europa League final after returning to training.

The 28-year-old has not played after breaking his ankle in November.

The Injury was so severe it required him to go under the knife twice as part of his recovery.

However, following Welbeck’s return to full training Arsenal are now planning to take him to Baku to face Chelsea, reports the Daily Mail.

Although the player will travel with the squad it is not known what involvement, if any, the England international will have during the final on May 29.

It is expected to be a farewell game for Welbeck, after Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirmed the player will be leaving the club when his contract expires in the summer.

Following Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Brighton in their final Premier League game, Emery confirmed Welbeck’s departure.

“I spoke to the club with this situation and the decision is he is going to leave,” Emery said at the time.

Despite Welbeck missing half of the season through injury, he could get an opportunity to help the club qualify for the Champions League next year as Arsenal might not be taking Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Azerbaijan.

The club have made it clear they want Mkhitaryan to travel, but the 30-year-old Armenian might be caught up in political tensions if he travels to the game.

That is because there is currently a dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

Arsenal are seeking guarantees from UEFA about the situation with Mkhitaryan, but the club are reputedly growing concerned about the situation.

The Gunners have already played in Azerbaijan in the Europa League this season, when they took on Qarabag FK in the group stages of the tournament.

Mkhitaryan did not travel to Baku to play but the Gunners did win 3-0 on the night.

However, it might not just be Mkhitaryan not making the journey to Azerbaijan, as thousands of fans from both clubs also face the prospect of missing out.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have only been allocated 6,000 tickets each from the 68,700 seats at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, a decision which has infuriated fans.

And those who are lucky enough to get a ticket then face the logistical nightmare of completing a 2,500 mile round trip to attend the game.

Uefa have apologised to both clubs over the travel chaos fans face but admit they hadn’t expected an all-English final.

“It goes without saying that an all-English final played by two London teams was not a very predictable event at the time of the appointment,” Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti said.

“There is little doubt that this has added significant difficulties to the event logistics.

“We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelsea’s) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku.

“Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans. We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.”

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