FIVE things Arsenal fans learned from the North London derby

Another awful result to add to the Arsenal ’s terrible start to the season.

After looking to have turned the corner and racking up some very good results, despite an almost unconvincing win against Olympiacos in the Champions League, The Gunners had appeared to look back to their best.

Three points is three no matter how you get them, be it with beautiful football or in an ugly way, and after watching Arsenal lose to Tottenham at White Hart Lane in somewhat controversial style, I realised that the ugly wins never seem to come our way.

This aside, here are 5 things I learnt from yesterday’s game:

1. Man marking? Looked more like zonal to me

The Gunners had apparently decided to go with a different defensive tactics yesterday. We actually used man marking, which still (in my opinion) looked like zonal in open play, but not on set-pieces. We were able to fend off their dead ball threats, but whenever they managed to break on the counter we seemed to have reverted back to zonal marking, as if it was more of a plan B if the new system failed, which unfortunately it did. A good example, or in this case examples, was Rafael van der Vaart ’s first goal which was dealt with in a zonal marking way, as he had acres of space to run into, and Carl Walker ’s late winner – had he been closed down like he would have in a man marking system – wouldn’t have happened. But hey, it’s a work in progress even it is going very slow.

2. Spurs were defensively solid

I fail to understand why we were unable to give their defence as much hell as other teams do to us when they equally use a zonal marking system – is it because they use it better? I don’t know, but we seem to only have taken advantage of that once when we equalised through Aaron Ramsey, otherwise, they were solid.

3. No consistency

I’d like to pick one player who showed this the most. Ramsey possibly had his worst performance for arsenal EVER, the Welshman gave away the ball far too many times. Forget the fact that he scored the equalizer, the midfielder was quite pathetic on the day and didn’t seem to have his head in the game at all. However, he wasn’t the only player who didn’t seem on, Gervinho , Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta all had poor games in my opinion. Had they been on song, we could have walked away from the game with all three points. It’s unfortunate that one of the players who never lacks consistency ended up injuring himself.

4. Coquelin was class

Francis Coquelin was Arsenal’s best player by a mile. The young French youth made great interceptions and linked well with the other midfielders, sitting just in front of the back four and had a pass completion of 88%, on a day when Arsenal uncharacteristically had less of the ball. Another who could have made a difference was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – why Arsene Wenger never gave the nod to the youngster to start ahead of Walcott was a mystery to me, as he seemed so eager to feature in the north London derby and make his mark.

5. We need to revert back to a 4-4-2

For most of the game, Robin van Persie was left by himself upfront to fend off their centre halves as well as create goal scoring opportunities, as Gervinho and Walcott both had an off day. A 4-4-2 formation would be a better option for us rather than the 4-3-2-1, 4-1-2-3, 4-3-3 whatever it was we used yesterday, simply because the 4-4-2 brought us so much success both defensively and in attack in the past. I think Chamakh and RVP upfront would be great, even Gervinho and Van Persie, we need to recreate what we had with Henry and Bergkamp in attack. The best thing about a 4-4-2 system is that it can easily change from attack to defence and vice versa.

Article courtesy of Taaza Banda from the excellent Gunnersphere

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