Thursday 27 December 2007

More of the same

I don't want to come across as being too negative, as a point away to Portsmouth is not a disaster, however it certainly isn't as good as all three. Arseblog is spot on, as is Arsenal-Maina, with their analyses, and as you know I agree in their disagreement with the tactic of using 4-5-1 incessantly.

Pompey were happy with a point and they defended with men behind the ball, and who could blame them for this? Not me certainly, however it was slightly daft to play Ade on his own up front again. We do not have the personnel to play 4-5-1 effectively in this type of game, we don't have the dynamic inside forwards you need to threaten from the wide areas. We don't get the best out of Ade when is so isolated, and he rarely gets the ball in dangerous positions, always seemingly isolated with his back to goal.

There were very few incidents of note until the final fifteen minutes. Dioup should have been off for a shocking tackle on Rosicky, while Eboue was harshly booked for a nothing tackle. Portsmouth broke well and Benjani, who looked offside, broke clear; Almunia did well and forced him wide so that Clichy could nip in to steal the ball to avert the danger. Bendtner did very well, using his pace and direct running to good effect, one can only imagine how many more chances we would have created if he had been given more than a paltry ten minutes. Gallas missed from five yards, blazing over, while Rosicky hooked wide from a great Bendtner cutback when it appeared easier to score. 0-0 it finished, not a bad result, but not a good one either.

I suspect Arsene will continue with the 4-5-1, but I feel this is an error, we just don't open teams up with Ade on his lonesome up top. We need to revert to 4-4-2 and fast, otherwise the points will continue to be squandered.

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