Posts Tagged ‘tactics’

Football

How Norwich can hurt Arsenal – plan B

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

Amongst Paul Lambert’s chopping and changing last season, Grant Holt was one of the few constant features of the Norwich City side that finished comfortably mid-table in their first campaign back in the Premier League. His rise through the divisions was remarkable ­ League Two, League One, Championship and Premier League in four consecutive campaigns ­ and with 15 goals in his debut season, some suggested he’d be a decent ‘Plan B’ for England.
After a transfer request and a quick U-turn, Holt laughed off suggestions he wouldn’t be as motivated, having secured a new contract in the summer. But while Norwich haven’t quite experienced ‘second season syndrome’, Holt has.

Just five league goals is a significant drop from last season, with his all-round game also less impressive under Chris Hughton than under Lambert. Since Holt missed a late minute penalty against Southampton last month, Hughton has dropped him to the bench, favouring loanee Kei Kamara as the lone striker. The Sierra Leonean is accustomed to playing on the wings from his time in MLS, and is more of an all-rounder than Holt, able to work the channels on the break.

This will be particularly useful away at Arsenal this weekend, where Norwich will play on the counter-attack. Kamara will hope to pull Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, who hasn’t played for a few weeks, out of position before spinning in behind.

Holt has become used to life as a supersub; his last three Premier League appearances have been from the bench, with his frustration at his reduced role summed up by the fact he’s been cautioned in all three substitute appearances. At the Emirates this weekend he’s likely to be a Plan B. No-one is calling for an England call-up these days.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans.

Article originally published here.

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Football

Why Cazorla is the key man for Arsenal against Spurs

By Stefano on March 1st, 2013

Arsene Wenger has two separate formats for his 4-2-3-1 formation this season. At the start of the campaign, he fielded two wide forwards, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, either side of Santi Cazorla, with Olivier Giroud upfront. That gives Arsenal pace on the flanks, and a classic number ten between the lines.

However, in recent weeks Wenger has experimented with Cazorla drifting inside from the left, the role where he made his name at Villarreal. This changes the balance of Arsenal’s attacking department: Cazorla becomes an extra central midfielder and helps dominate possession, while Jack Wilshere can play higher up the pitch, in the ‘number ten’ role.

It’s tricky to guess which system Arsene Wenger will favour for this weekend’s North London derby. Arsenal’s left-winger will be facing Spurs right-back Kyle Walker, who is impressive going forward, but has been poor defensively this season. Attacking him might be wise, but Wenger will also want to guard against his storming forward runs. However, neither Podolski, who jogs back half-heartedly, or Cazorla, who was caught out by Philipp Lahm when moved to the left against Bayern, offers a perfect solution.

Instead, Wenger might look at the midfield zone, where Cazorla’s movement into central positions should allow Arsenal to pass around Spurs’ three-man midfield. If Wilshere and Cazorla can get in behind Scott Parker, Arsenal might cause real problems; and with Cazorla scoring Arsenal’s last three goals from that left-sided role, it seems likely Wenger will continue with his ‘new’ system.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.

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