Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wolves

I guess now we have moved past winter and entered the Cliché season. So every game will be like a Cup Final. Home games are a must win. No team can be underestimated, certainly not Wolves who’ve just beaten The Pretenders. So on and so forth, I could probably write a thousand words just with clichés; but don’t worry, a headache and a modicum of common sense will prevent me from doing that.

Barring Nasri, Arsenal should have a strong first eleven available for this game. Djourou has been declared fit and while I haven’t heard an unequivocal declaration that Song is fit, I’ll be surprised if the Cameroonian doesn’t start.

There isn’t much to discuss as far as the starting eleven goes,

Szczesny – Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy – Song, Cesc, Wilshere – Walcott, RvP, Arshavin.

Many of these players got a decent rest in midweek. Sagna and Arshavin might have some tired legs but I expect them to put in the hard graft.

Wolves are a team that never stop chasing the ball and generally maintain their organization. It’s not easy to find spaces against such a side. Last season we needed a late strike from Bendtner and this game could be equally tight.

Leaving Karl Henry aside, I like the way Wolves have been playing this season and must say they have been rather unlucky with some results. For a team that has already won against United, Chelsea, and City, albeit at home, their position in the league table does not tell the whole story.

Part of their problem has been a number of individual mistakes during games and that has cost them goals and results. In the reverse fixture Chamakh scored inside a minute and that is probably the fastest goal of the season. I doubt such a feat can be repeated as in an away game the opponents will be cautious from the start. Nonetheless, Arsenal have to be quick off the blocks and look for an early goal. If the visitors do show some attacking ambition Theo could have a big impact on the game. If we come up against a parked bus Cesc and RvP will have to produce the magic.

Their other weakness is that they don’t score enough goals as can be seen from their tally of 26 goals in 25 games, which is joint lowest in the league. Away from home they have scored only 9 goals in 12 games but I must remind you that before the last game, Newcastle had only scored 4 goals in 9 games against Arsenal.

We will be tested on set-pieces. United conceded two and it can be argued they lost the game on free-kicks. Wolves have a creative approach to set plays and don’t mind taking it short and quick. They also push plenty of bodies forward and many of their players can be a threat in the air. The Gunners will have to be alert and must not drop their heads even for a few seconds.

In this regard we will benefit from the return of Djourou who will provide a presence in the box. Did you know that the Swiss defender is currently on a 26 game unbeaten run, longest of any present player, in the Premier League? The last time Arsenal lost with Djourou in the team was in November 2008 against City. I wasn’t aware of this till a few minutes back when I saw an interview mentioning this detail. Hopefully, the centre back will stay fit and extend the run till the end of the season. As discussed in the last post an undefeated end to the season could just be the making of this team.


14 Responses to Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wolves

  1. Unbeatengooner says:

    Djourou, Song and a good run for the boys. Though I neither expect wolves to give us an easy game or have an eye on wednesday, I believe we’d eventually prevail as I’m confident we’d keep our shape. Besides, we’ve seen time and again how lower sides struggle to produce two intense games on the line. I see the first chance of being closer to united than now though I’d be frankly surprised if we achieve a better result.

  2. Aussie Jack says:

    There are no `stroll`s in the park` these days Wolves are just as threatening as United ,City, Chelsea or even Huddersfield.If your`re off your game you lose, simple as that, no excuses. How will we go today?
    Well, I expect a win, not a big one but a win and quite a few bruises (” he that bares his arm and shows his scars will stand a tip toe when this day is named”, or something). I expect all the teams who are struggling to be physical, wouldn`t you?

  3. Aussie Jack says:

    After thought…..Many have been critical of Rosicky in the recent past and maybe they have valid reasons I don`t know. However, I`m a Thomas fan and I`m always happy to see him and Sami Nasri on the pitch, they bring life and spark to a routine “do it by the book” Arsenal and you get the feeling Wenger should be more liberal with Walcott and Arshavin (the maverick).

  4. richie says:

    I just hope Djourou is fit enough to play because if Arsene sends out Kosh & Squilla we’ll have big problems. Wolves get men forward and dump plenty of high balls into the area thats how they scored against Taggarts boys. Set pieces will be a test. Neither Squilla nor Kosh can head a ball worth shit. Many blame Squilla but for those of you who like stats and analysis check out the backwards gooner blog. If you don’t know the reasons you’ll find out how & why certain defensive partnerships aren’t working. It might shock you.

  5. stiko gooner says:

    I recently just heard of JD’s record also. Guess some players come with some kind of luck. Dessi I have not heard anything positive on Song yet hope its nothing serious and I have a feeling wenger is gonna play nasri against barca as a surprise. Heard that c**nt puyol is out of the first leg.

  6. stiko gooner says:

    I recently just heard of JD’s record also guess some players come with some kind of luck, wolves are deadly in set pieces squill will be a disaster hope wenger plays JD. Dessi I have not heard anything positive on Song yet hope its nothing serious and I have a feeling wenger is gonna play nasri against barca as a surprise. Heard that c**nt puyol is out of the first leg.

  7. SEEDICK says:

    not to underestimate the opponents n most of all to hve a v strong mental dsposition. wolves is a team zat like to kick players around n since they hve nothing to lose they play without pressure.so prepare afor the worse…….

  8. Sobin the gooner says:

    I Think we can do it,but don’t underestimate wolves.May be wilshere need rest,i prefer eboue in the right give sagna rest .my 11
    sczezsny-eboue-djourou-koscielny-clichy-song -denilson-fabregas-walcott-vanpersie-arshavin.
    COME ON GUNNERS.IN ARSENE WE TRUST

  9. dw says:

    Eboue has to play today or
    Do you want to put him in the
    Deep end aganist barcelona
    With no match fitness

  10. SEEDICK says:

    CAUTIOUS CAUTIOUS!!!!. manure ha nt been able to overcme a 2-1 deficit against wolves . arsenal is nt able to overcome a 1-0 deficite. remember newcastle 1-0 win!!!

  11. Wrenny says:

    “In the reverse fixture Chamakh scored inside a minute and that is probably the fastest goal of the season. I doubt such a feat can be repeated as in an away game the opponents will be cautious from the start.”

    Was Theo’s goal at Newcastle not even quicker? 😀

  12. […] Thoughts On The Tactics And Starting Eleven Against Wolves I guess now we have moved past winter and entered the Cliché season. So every game will be like a Cup Final. Home […] […]

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