After a nights sleep, and after what ended up as a very competitive match the 3.3 score line looked to be a fair result. Arsenal being 2 goals up at one stage, was looking like we would take all the points. Arsenal have had spells throughout the season where the beautiful game we used to play has been seen in short spells.
We realise that form and injury has had a detrimental effect on our season, if we are unable to play our best players, then we have to realise that we have to tighten up our side as to not give other sides opportunities to exploit us. Arsenal have a system they work to, and that system never seems to change. Any side who study us will see that we do have weaknesses, and that those weaknesses can be exploited.
Our back line that we played yesterday, would possibly be our best . Per Merts was left out in favour of Gabriel, and I doubt many would have been unhappy as Per has a problem with pace. Up front we had our players who have been showing good form, Giroud and Walcott on the bench where most supporters would have wanted them. Middle of the park we had Coquelin and Elneny with the out of form Ramsey on the bench , Sanchez and Iwobi on the flanks have both been showing better form. The only player most supporters would have changed was perhaps the goalkeeper. Petr Cech, for Ospina, but as Ospina has been in place since Cech was injured and we have had wins, he was the choice of the day.
Looking at the line up, one would have thought that we had enough talent to play even the best side in the league, so what went wrong. Fundamental faults of Arsenal that have been exposed for every game this season and last. Faults that every team in the league can watch and exploit. Those faults are Zonal Marking.
Arsenal play Zonal marking, players protect zones and train to protect certain spots on the field of play., Zonal marking played in the right way, and taking into consideration your opponents players, can be effective, but with all sides, certain players need policing, and in yesterdays match that player was Andy Carrol, 6 feet six tall and a very physical player, likes to come in from the side, away from the taller central defenders. He was unmarked for all of his 3 goals, and scored very easily.
Zonal marking seems to allow attacking players to venture a lot further than the orthodox way of defending, as defenders just back off rather than lose their position. It is that fault of Zonal marking that leaves defences exposed for free kicks and corners, and that seems to be where we are punished the most..
Not every team has an Andy Carrol, but they will all have strikers that will try and drag a player out of position, every opponent needs careful planning, as zonal marking does leave you exposed. Arsenal seem only to have an A plan for defending and sadly that has cost us many matches.
Written by Stevepalmer1