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Thread: Totally Unofficial 2018/19 Premier League Thread (NWT)

  1. #101
    Scott "Rufio" Feather
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    Quote Originally Posted by timdunkandthefunk View Post
    2-0 now. Make sure you close the chat on the stream, just some dude posting a bunch of racial slurs and swastikas.
    Thanks, saw that nonsense.

    Looks like the stream moved to a different url, but I can't access it. Oh well, between the shit performance and the racial slurs, it's not worth it

  2. #102
    https://theathletic.com/446857/2018/...er-unai-emery/

    Pay wall Arsenal article



    Breaking down Arsenal’s tactical set-up under Unai Emery


    By Joseph Lowery 5h ago 11
    Last season​ was a disappointment​ for​ Arsenal​ Football Club. At​ its​ best,​ the​ Gunners’​ attack was high tempo, free​​ flowing, and full of creativity. At its worst, it was sluggish, stagnant, and totally lacking cohesion. Unfortunately for fans, the bad Arsenal was more likely to show up when it mattered, and the club finished sixth in the Premier League and was beaten in the Europa League semifinal. Blame for Arsenal’s poor season must be shared by the players—they’re the ones responsible for putting in consistent, quality performances—and former manager Arsene Wenger.

    Most of the players will get a chance at redemption this season. Wenger will not. In his place will be former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery. Wenger’s longevity makes a coaching change at Arsenal much more momentous than it would be at almost any other club, and so the question about how the new manager might change the club takes on even more importance.

    But before we get to how Emery will put his stamp on Arsenal, we need to start by reviewing what went wrong for Wenger and Arsenal last year.

    At the start of last season, Arsene Wenger did something unusual—at least for him. Arsenal started the 2017-18 Premier League season in a 3-4-2-1 shape, consistently playing three center backs for the first time since 1998. Occasionally, the 3-4-2-1 fostered the sort of attacking play for which Arsenal has become famous, allowing Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez to dominate stretches by finding space underneath a single striker. Unfortunately, more often, the 3-4-2-1 lulled Arsenal into static attacking patterns. Even with numbers forward in the attack, Arsenal would look stagnant, stationary, and lacking ideas when confronted by a compact and well-organized defense:



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    An occasionally unconvincing attack was not Arsenal’s only problem. The squad lacked a true defensive midfielder, which too often left a large amount of space in front of the back three and made Arsenal vulnerable to all sorts of transitional attacks. Another issue was Arsenal’s ineffective response to pressing. Early on in the year against Liverpool, Arsenal’s backline attempted to bypass Jurgen Klopp’s press by playing aerial passes high up the field. But the relative height, strength, and aerial skill of Wenger’s chosen attackers for that match—Danny Welbeck, Mesut Özil, and Alexis Sanchez—limited the effectiveness of this strategy.

    As the season progressed, Wenger’s 3-4-2-1 morphed into a couple of different shapes, but none of his personnel and formational shifts really solved the problems he needed to address.

    Enter Unai Emery. How can we expect the new manager to change Arsenal’s style and resolve the issues that plagued the club last season?

    First, there is going to be a shift from three to four defenders on the backline. Arsenal played with four defenders late in the season last year, but Unai Emery will have an entire offseason and preseason to better adjust his team to four defenders, putting him well ahead of where Arsenal were at the end of last season. Emery has used both a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 in his career, but a “4-3-3ish” shape will make better use of the majority of Arsenal’s squad than the 4-2-3-1 did.

    While the basic tenets of a 4-3-3 shape remain consistent from manager to manager, there are specific things that each coach does uniquely. Emery’s scheme is designed to maximize his front three. At PSG, he had probably the most talented attacking trio in the world with Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, and Neymar. Those three players dominated Ligue 1 and terrified every opposing defense they faced. Now, in England, Emery has another supremely talented attacking three to work with in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Aubameyang and Lacazette are both traditional strikers, but Aubameyang will play on the left wing to allow Lacazette to remain central. Still, these front-line positions are not totally rigid in Emery’s set-up; with versatile and skilled attackers, positions in his front three are more of a formality. In Paris, Mbappe would often interchange with Cavani, enabling the Frenchman to act temporarily as the center forward. In London, Aubameyang will spend plenty of time up front while Lacazette drifts deeper or out to the wing.



    This interchanging does more than just satisfy the egos of two goalscorers; it also makes life extremely difficult for opposing defenses. When a center back is instructed to tail a center forward and suddenly finds his mark way out wide, it can cause significant confusion. The same goes for a fullback when instructed to mark a quick winger who has moved centrally. Look for the interchanges between Aubameyang and Lacazette because they will be key moments in Arsenal’s attack under the new manager.

    Another emphasis of Unai Emery’s 4-3-3 is his midfield alignment. Emery’s midfield three employs one deep-lying midfielder directly in front of his two center backs and two other central midfielders in less restrictive roles higher up the field.



    At PSG, Emery placed Thiago Motta in front of his back line. At Arsenal, it will be new signing Lucas Torriera. While Motta and Torriera have different skill sets, Torriera will be tasked with much the same thing as his Italian counterpart: protecting the back four and starting attacks. And as he proved with Uruguay at the World Cup, Torriera is perfectly suited for this role.

    With Torriera at the base of his midfield three, Emery will have several central midfielders to rotate in at the other two spots. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey seem like the two best fits as natural center midfielders, especially with a dedicated defensive midfielder behind them, though we could also see Mohamed Elneny or Ainsley Maitland-Niles make appearances.

    The biggest question surrounding Emery’s midfield shape is that it does not, at least on paper, have an obvious spot for Mesut Özil. Emery could choose to sacrifice defense for creativity and insert Özil into the starting lineup fulltime. It is also possible that Emery could shift Özil a little wider and have him play to one side of Lacazette. This would allow Arsenal to maintain a solid midfield while also giving Özil a spot in the starting XI. Where and how Unai Emery uses Mesut Özil will be one of the biggest storylines of this Premier League season.

    Taking over a squad with a talented midfield and attacking core will likely see Emery transfer another piece of his 4-3-3 tactics over to England: possession in the opposing half. At PSG, where the talent gap between his club and the rest of the league was large, Emery consistently pushed his team into the opposing half to maximize his attacking chances.





    This aggressive offensive positioning paid huge dividends in terms of goalscoring: PSG scored 75 goals from open play (this does not include counter attacks, set pieces, or penalties), putting them second among teams in Europe’s top five leagues. Arsenal is already comfortable stationing heavy numbers in the opposing half, but Emery places a special emphasis on dynamic movement and interchanging. Expect to see Arsenal’s goals from open play increase this season.

    As entertaining as this positionally-advanced attacking set-up can be, it can also put a huge strain on the defensive unit. Historically, when Emery’s attacking unit loses the ball, it tries immediately to win it back. If that effort is unsuccessful, Emery’s squads are naturally susceptible to quick counter attacks. Last season, this was one of the only ways to score on Emery’s PSG; with so many numbers pushed forward, opposing teams could send a runner to expose the space in PSG’s own half. Team’s tended to focus on attacking the space left behind by right back Dani Alves, who often ventured forward as an extra right-sided player in attack. Look at how wide center back Marquinhos is forced to go, leaving space open in the center of the field:



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    Defensive vulnerability in wide areas could be a theme that follows Unai Emery to Arsenal. With Hector Bellerin frequently encouraged to get forward, there will be space that opens on the right side of Arsenal’s defense. Thiago Silva and Marquinhos, two excellent center backs, did an admirable job of covering ground for Emery last season as Paris Saint-Germain gave up only 29 goals. It is going to be a huge test for Arsenal’s center backs to see if they can replicate similar defensive results for Emery this year.

    In Paris, when Emery’s squad dropped to absorb pressure, they often defended with only seven men. Usually, a 4-3-3 will turn into a 4-5-1 or lopsided 4-4-2 in defense, but at PSG, Unai Emery often set up his team to defend with only his back four and midfield three—and not just against smaller teams in Ligue 1 but against the best of the best in the Champions League.



    Why did Emery purposefully sacrifice numbers in defense? Instead of forcing his dynamic front three to help defend, Emery allowed them to find space and attack in transition. These transitional moments are often when Emery’s teams are at their best. Dating back to his days at Sevilla, where he was more apt to defend with eight or nine men, Emery employed tactics that provided his team dangerous transitional moments. Known for his flexibility, Emery could employ a mix of the defensive set-ups he used at Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla at his new club. With a fantastic front three and a capable midfield, we could see Arsenal defend with seven men in safer moments to create additional attacking chances. In other moments, perhaps when up against a more talented attack, we could see Arsenal defend with eight or nine men in an attempt to stifle the opposition.

    In Arsenal’s first post-Wenger season, we can still expect to see the dynamic attack that characterized the Frenchman’s best sides. Arsenal’s front three will play an outsize role in the offense. Arsenal is one of the few teams in the world that can rival PSG’s attacking trio from a year ago, and I expect Emery to attempt to recreate a version of that dominant Paris attack in London. Many, many chances will come from quick transitional moments, but he will also send numbers forward—possibly too many players at times—that could make those transitional moments a threat when Arsenal suddenly finds itself defending.

    One thing is certain: there is going to be plenty of exciting play at Emirates Stadium this season.

    (Top photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

  3. #103
    i dont think emerys tactics are going to work in the PL.
    he had 3 world class players, playing in a top heavy league. he could afford to attack because the opposing quality wasnt there. there are arguably 5 better teams than arsenal (6th was not a fluke last year) and the bottom squads are tough nuts to crack.
    i dont see much of a change, standing-wise from last year, and wouldnt be surprised to see him gone at the end of the year.

  4. #104
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeacOnCapeCod View Post
    i dont think emerys tactics are going to work in the PL.
    he had 3 world class players, playing in a top heavy league. he could afford to attack because the opposing quality wasnt there. there are arguably 5 better teams than arsenal (6th was not a fluke last year) and the bottom squads are tough nuts to crack.
    i dont see much of a change, standing-wise from last year, and wouldnt be surprised to see him gone at the end of the year.
    I mean the guy did consistent finish near the top of La Liga at both Valencia and Sevilla. It's not like he was just at PSG.

    He's an hour excellent manager imo, and unfortunately will do pretty well at Arsenal.

  5. #105
    I'm bullish on Emery too. Think Arsenal will be improved.
    Football. Bloody Hell.

  6. #106
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacvision7 View Post
    I'm bullish on Emery too. Think Arsenal will be improved.
    The one thing he struggled with at PSG in particular was managing *tough* egos. Arsenal has a couple of those (HI AUBAMEYANG) that could blow up the dressing room under him. That would be my concern far more than tactics.

    So glad that Aubameyang is at Arsenal so I can without reservation cheer against him. Was tough when he was at Dortmund since I have a softish spot for them. He's a tuuuuuuuuuuurbodouche. If he gets all petulant and wrecks the dressing room there like he did at Dortmund I will love every second of the car crash.

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by deacvision7 View Post
    I'm bullish on Emery too. Think Arsenal will be improved.
    I think the backline is a clear weakness but I think Arsenal will be better this year as well.

  8. #108
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    Emery, Auba, and Lacazette are gonna rule The Ship !

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTB View Post
    I think the backline is a clear weakness but I think Arsenal will be better this year as well.
    Back line will improve. vad will be sad.

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
    Back line will improve. vad will be sad.
    It could but I'm not sure where the optimism for that comes from. I like Bellerin but Monreal and Koscielny are getting up there in age and Mustafi has been at best inconsistent in an Arsenal shirt. Maybe the Greek center back they signed makes a big splash but there's a lot of questions about this group imo.

  11. #111
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    They can’t get worse. Therefore improvement will occur. Koschielny is going to be out awhile too. It will help that heyre not starting the season with 3 in back, which I think that article above states.

  12. #112
    Dickie Hemric
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    Having an actual alive, breathing true DM should help Arsenal a lot. I honestly cannot remember the last one that played for them. It's been years.

  13. #113
    Dickie Hemric
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    I actually think the addition of Torreira and the new manager, etc ... has improved Arsenal maybe more than anyone other than Liverpool this summer. That will be great for them right up until Aubameyang throws up a stink having to play on the LW, starts trashing the dressing room dynamic and gets another manager fired.

  14. #114
    Scott "Rufio" Feather
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimivich View Post
    I actually think the addition of Torreira and the new manager, etc ... has improved Arsenal maybe more than anyone other than Liverpool this summer. That will be great for them right up until Aubameyang throws up a stink having to play on the LW, starts trashing the dressing room dynamic and gets another manager fired.
    vad, thoughts on a striker for Dortmund? I guess Phillipp is going to be the guy?

  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by vadimivich View Post
    I mean the guy did consistent finish near the top of La Liga at both Valencia and Sevilla. It's not like he was just at PSG.

    He's an hour excellent manager imo, and unfortunately will do pretty well at Arsenal.
    He finished a distant third in La Liga twice (25 and 30 points behind 2nd place). Won a Europa League final in 2014 and 2015.
    A very good manager but Arsenal already had a very good manager.

    He might get more out of the squad than Arsene did, but talent wise, they are drifting towards the bottom of the top 6.


    Are they better than Pep/Man City? No
    Are they better than Jose/ManU - No
    Are they better than Klopp/Liverpool - No
    Are they better than Poch/Spurs - No

    MAYBE, they catch Chelsea for 5th (who also have a new manager), but I don't consider them serious contenders for the title and I think would be fortunate for them to get a champions league spot.

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by vadimivich View Post
    Having an actual alive, breathing true DM should help Arsenal a lot. I honestly cannot remember the last one that played for them. It's been years.
    Huge signing. He's the South American version of Kante. Teenage version of David Ruiz/Crusty the Clown looks like a solid prospect as well.
    When in doubt, rub one out -BiffTannen

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by vadimivich View Post
    Having an actual alive, breathing true DM should help Arsenal a lot. I honestly cannot remember the last one that played for them. It's been years.
    Remember when Arsenal supporters were jerking themselves off over Coquelin?

    that was fun
    Football. Bloody Hell.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacvision7 View Post
    Remember when Arsenal supporters were jerking themselves off over Coquelin?

    that was fun
    Not sure I remember that. Maybe some satisfaction with some performances and hope that it would be a permanent solution, but no jizz.

  19. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
    Not sure I remember that. Maybe some satisfaction with some performances and hope that it would be a permanent solution, but no jizz.
    lol

    Wrong.
    Football. Bloody Hell.

  20. #120
    Emery excellent?? Lol. Super average manager. Also would be concerned that he was considered a joke at PSG and flopped in Russia too for good measure. His only foreign stops have been complete busts
    Last edited by tintinisahottie; 07-28-2018 at 12:06 AM.

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