Arsenal have no doubt improved this season but they have still fallen short against the top teams. While the Gunners have been blowing away small and average teams, they have struggled to impose themselves against top teams like City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern. Midfielder Jack Wilshere suggested that if Arsenal are to cure their struggle against their rivals, they need to emulate two European top teams Bayern and Barca’s playing style.
“Even against Bayern, we were on top for the first 20 minutes and had a great chance to score but didn’t. So we wanted to continue that [against Sunderland], stay high and win the ball back. Once we won the ball back in their half, we always looked dangerous.” Wilshere told Arsenal.com
“We have some big games coming up, we [need to] continue with the same work ethic off the ball, try to win it back straight away and press them.
“You see the best teams in the world like Barcelona and Bayern Munich do that and we have to try to do that as well, because when we get in their half we have the players to hurt them.”
Well said Wilshere and I agree with him. Arsenal need to do more than just the mere quick passing that they have been renowned for and that has seemed to have become mere rhetorics. Arsenal should be Bayern-like by pressing hard for the ball when they lose it. This is the only way to prevent being caught on the counter which we are always susceptible to, owing to the passing and absence of a real solid defensive midfielder. I agree Flamini is doing a decent job but we could do with a better defensive midfielder.
Pressing hard means more work for everyone on the field. For some players, it would be taking it in their stride but for others, it might be a big struggle. Chamberlain, Wilshere, Flamini, Giroud , Cazorla and Rosicky would do well with this tactic but Ozil and Podolski might struggle. While the former has been accused of laziness lately, Podolski doesnt like running around and is one of the reasons why he loathes the wing position.
But at the end, Arsenal will be the best for it. We employed it against Sunderland and made a mince meat of a match that was touted to be a tough one and with many tougher games and potential title decider lying in wait, Arsenal cannot afford to be negligent. They need to show they want matches more than their opponents.