Arsenal 1 vs 1 Tottenham Continuing the theme of guest commentators analysing our Player Positional Tracker vizs we have ThatsWengerBall giving us his thoughts on Saturday's North London Derby. His comments and brief analysis can be found below the gif. (Click on the image to open in a larger window)
- Arsenal started the game with a very fluid 4-1-4-1 system; with Özil starting on the left, Chamberlain on the right and two box-to-box midfielders in Wilshere and Ramsey playing centrally in front of Arteta, acting as the pivot.
- Whereas Chamberlain provided width on the right, Özil often drifted inside from the left to overload the centre of the pitch and could regularly be found rotating positions with Wilshere and Ramsey. This central overload allowed Arsenal to dominate possession throughout the whole match.
- To ensure Arsenal didn’t become too narrow, Gibbs (the left-back) acted as an outlet on the left when in possession and played especially high up the pitch in the second half – almost as a left winger. To counterbalance this, Chambers (playing right-back) stayed slightly deeper ensuring the centre-backs weren’t too exposed, recreating the offensive/defensive full-back dynamic seen often last year between Gibbs and Sagna.
- Chamberlain acted as more of a wide midfielder than an inside forward like Walcott meaning that when Welbeck dropped deep to link the play Chamberlain rarely made a run into the space vacated by the centre forward. This meant Arsenal offered little penetration and had to rely on crisp passing combinations and individual skill to bypass Tottenham’s defence.
- Tottenham played a lot deeper and spent a lot of the game defending in a 4-4-2 shape with Chadli playing off Adebayor. They attempted to utilise the space on the counter by hitting Arsenal on the break, however poor decision making when it came to making the final pass ultimately limited the effectiveness of this strategy.
- Eriksen and Lamela looked dangerous, moving in from the flanks to join Adebayor and Chadli when on the counter, however Spurs had so little of the ball (only 30% possession) that they struggled to have a significant impact on the game. That said, it was Lamela who took advantage of Flamini’s mistake and slid in a well-timed pass for Chadli’s goal.
- Arsenal’s substitutions changed the shape of their side quite significantly. From around the 65th minute onwards it was clear (as shown in the above PPT) that the Gunners were targeting the left hand side of the pitch. Alexis, Cazorla, Özil and Gibbs could all be found in this area creating a passing quartet that gave Tottenham quite a few problems and eventually led to an equaliser.