Annalyse détaillée du travail effectué par Arteta depuis son arrivée, on voit bien qu'il utilise la force de chaque joueur et que le système est bien en place. D'ailleurs je pense qu'il a du étudier le jeux d'Arsenal et le contingent bien avant son arrivée déjà car arriver à de tel résultats en 10jours ça tient presque du miracle.
Michael Cox: Arteta has rejuvenated Ozil and Arsenal already look more organised than they have in years
Par Michael Cox Il y a 4h 37
In terms of results, it’s been a mixed bag for Mikel Arteta so far – a draw against Bournemouth, a defeat to Chelsea and then a victory over Manchester United.
But in terms of performances, it’s been almost entirely positive. Arteta has been in charge for less than a fortnight, and hasn’t had many training sessions with his squad amongst almost incessant fixtures over the Christmas period, but Arsenal already have a clearly-defined identity under the Spaniard.
There are three obvious improvements from the Unai Emery days: there’s a defined system, the side’s playmakers are being fielded in their best positions and getting on the ball regularly, and the pressing is considerably more intense.
In terms of formation, Arsenal are — on paper — playing a 4-2-3-1. In reality, they’re playing a very compact 4-4-2 in the defensive phase, which is routine for sides playing in a 4-2-3-1, but doing something very different when they have the ball. Arsenal are morphing into a 2-3-5, which is unsurprisingly reminiscent of how Pep Guardiola often formats Manchester City, and also not entirely dissimilar from what Jose Mourinho is attempting to do with Tottenham.
Arteta’s approach is similar to that of Mourinho, in that it involves him pushing one full-back aggressively forward on the overlap to become a fifth forward, while the opposite full-back tucks inside. While Mourinho’s second full-back becomes an extra centre-back, Arteta is using Guardiola’s ‘half-back’ policy, pushing him infield to become an extra central midfielder.
Here’s a good example of that system, from early in the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. Lucas Torreira (No 11) has the ball in the centre of midfield. To his left is Granit Xhaka, notionally his only partner in the 4-2-3-1. But to his right is Ainsley Maitland-Niles (No 15), having moved infield from right-back.
Arteta’s intention here is to guard against opponents counter-attacking quickly through Arsenal’s lines if there’s a turnover of possession, and forming this narrow trio offers good protection for the defence. It also suits both Maitland-Niles, a reluctant full-back who considers himself more of a midfielder, and the left-footed Xhaka, who is comfortable towards that side of the pitch.
Maitland-Niles played that role most overtly against Bournemouth, a little more conventionally against Chelsea before playing somewhere between the two roles against United. This situation, with David Luiz playing a long pass downfield, shows the positioning of Maitland-Niles and Xhaka, again either side of Torreira.
This 2-3 formation allows for Arsenal to use an effective front five without sacrificing defensive structure. Here’s another example from the Bournemouth game – again, Maitland-Niles and Xhaka are either side of Torreira, and the two centre-backs are in position…
… and as the move develops and the camera pans forward, the front five becomes clear.
On the right, Reiss Nelson played as a conventional winger. Ozil, the No 10, was given a defined inside-right role, always receiving the ball in that pocket of space. Alexandre Lacazette leads the line, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is given license to move inside and become a second striker in an inside-left position, thanks to the aggressive overlapping of Bukayo Saka. A little like Maitland-Niles, Saka’s best position is somewhat undefined — he’s somewhere between a full-back and a winger, and therefore this overlapping role suits him well.
And Arsenal’s main route of attack against Bournemouth was getting Saka over on the far side. His end product was disappointing, but there were various situations that justified the use of the system, like when Ozil drifted inside from the right and found him on the overlap…
… and also when Xhaka played good forward passes for Saka to run onto, with four targets in the middle…
Here’s an alternative perspective, from the second half – again, an obvious midfield three and a front five, with Saka and Nelson hugging the touchlines and stretching the play across the entire width of the pitch.
This formation contributed to the clearest chance Arsenal created against Bournemouth, when Bournemouth’s defence became so stretched to cope with Arsenal’s attack that there was an alarming space between the centre-backs, allowing David Luiz to thread a pass through to Lacazette, whose shot was stopped by a last-ditch block.
And the front five was obvious for Arsenal’s equaliser – Ozil’s touch back for Nelson prompted a shot which was deflected into the path of Aubameyang to turn home at the far post.
The front five was also obvious for Arsenal’s opener against Manchester United on New Year’s Day. This time it was Sead Kolasinac playing as the overlapping left-back, and Nicolas Pepe as the permanent right-winger, but the shape was identical. Here, with Kolasinac making a run inside Aubameyang and collecting a pass in behind the defence, his cut-back found its way through to Pepe at the far post.
That system was by design rather than accident — two minutes later they were in exactly the same shape, with Pepe again wanting the ball at the far post.
And here’s further evidence of the front five: Pepe has two options of a pass to the left, with Aubameyang free, and Kolasinac again sprinting forward down the outside.
In terms of individuals, the performances of Ozil have been particularly promising. Whereas the German was in and out of the side — and sometimes the match-day squad — under Emery, his former team-mate Arteta evidently appreciates his quality. Not only has Ozil been handed an important role in the side, Arsenal have continually been able to find him between the lines. The passing of David Luiz has been useful here — few Premier League defenders are so adept at breaking the lines with forward passes. Here’s a good example from the early stages against Bournemouth.
But the key player in Ozil’s improvement has been Torreira, handed the key role at the base of Arsenal’s midfield. He’s continually fizzed passes into Ozil in that inside-right position, with this example against Bournemouth showing how Ozil’s positioning has pulled the opposition left-back inside and created space for Nelson on the outside.
Often, the amount of space Ozil has found himself in has been extraordinary…
Perhaps the best example of the Torreira-Ozil relationship, though, came just eight minutes into the Arteta reign. Not only did Torreira have the confidence to receive the ball with his back to play in a dangerous position…
… he also received the ball in the right manner to turn and play it into Ozil on the run…
… and, sure enough, there’s the four other components in that front five — Nelson and Saka stretching the play, Lacazette running into the gap between the centre-backs and Aubameyang moving into that inside-left position.
This neat move against Chelsea, with Ozil dummying Maitland-Niles’ pass and letting it run into the path of the onrushing Torreira, also hinted that Arsenal’s two most creative players are on the same wavelength.
Another positive has been Arsenal’s pressing. Against Bournemouth there was great energy about their play, getting men around the ball quickly to put opponents under pressure with multiple opponents.
This situation led to an Aubameyang winning the ball in a dangerous position and having a shot…
… this incident out wide led to Nelson (No 24) winning possession, dribbling forward and having a decent effort from the edge of the box.
Against Chelsea the pressing had a slightly different impact. Arsenal didn’t manage to win possession in advanced positions regularly, but it did force Chelsea into aimless long balls downfield in the opening stages, an issue that was only solved once Frank Lampard made a first-half substitution and introduced Jorginho to offer more passing options in deep positions. That said, there was also a good example of counter-pressing 13 minutes from time, when Aubameyang lost the ball, he and Nelson (circled below) pressured N’Golo Kante to regain possession immediately, and Joe Willock curled a shot just wide. That miss proved crucial, as Arsenal then conceded twice in the final 10 minutes.
Against United, meanwhile, Arsenal’s pressing seemed more deliberate, and more intelligent. Here, after 10 minutes, Nemanja Matic finds his path blocked by three Arsenal players, so decides to go backwards to Harry Maguire.
Maguire’s first intention is to switch the ball towards the right of the defence, but before he receives possession, on the far side Aubameyang is already sprinting forward to discourage a pass towards either Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Victor Lindelof.
Maguire recognises the danger of that pass…
… but then, pressured by Lacazette, plays the ball straight to Maitland-Niles.
Here’s a similar situation, this time when David De Gea has the ball. Lindelof, on the far side, is gesturing for the ball but Lacazette makes an angled run to cut off the passing angle and force De Gea to the near side, where Arsenal are ready to press…
… De Gea plays the ball to Maguire, who is again tempted to pass to Lindelof but gets spooked by Aubameyang’s pressing, and therefore launches the ball out for an Arsenal throw-in. Arsenal continually forced this type of mistake.
And while pressing is about more than simply hard running and closing down, the work rate of Arsenal’s attackers was exceptional against United. Here, both Lacazette and Aubameyang sense that Fred is free for a short pass in central midfield, so immediately sprint towards him…
… and, by the time Fred takes his first touch, both forwards are upon him, tackling from behind and sending the ball to Xhaka, who starts another Arsenal attack.
Arsenal tired in the second half — as many sides have at the end of this Christmas period — but they still worked hard to regain possession. Here, Wan-Bissaka is seemingly set to bring the ball forward up an unguarded Arsenal left flank, but Lacazette sprints after him to close down…
… he makes the tackle…
… and then, when the ball falls to Mason Greenwood on the near touchline, Lacazette is one of three players surrounding him, forcing the ball over the touchline for an Arsenal throw-in.
Another theme has been the fact that two of Arsenal’s four goals so far under Arteta have come from near-post flick-ons at corners. At City, one of Arteta’s responsibilities as Guardiola’s assistant was planning set pieces, and therefore he’s likely to be methodical in his planning of dead-ball situations as a manager, too.
First Calum Chambers nodded the ball on for Aubameyang to head home the opener against Chelsea…
… and then, after Lacazette’s near-post header forced a save from De Gea, Sokratis Papastathopoulos slammed home the rebound for Arsenal’s second goal against Manchester United.
That also brings to mind George Graham-era Arsenal, when Steve Bould would regularly play the near post flick-on role for Tony Adams coming in from a deeper position. And, on the subject of those days, Arsenal’s highly compact shape without the ball — 4-4-2, the midfield deep and a high defensive line — is the type of organisation that Graham himself would be proud of.
It’s still early days for Arteta, and many sides have enjoyed a “new manager bounce” before returning to their previous poor form. But while Arteta has certainly brought enthusiasm, freshness and rejuvenated the dressing room, there’s much more to these positive performances. Arsenal already appear more organised than they’ve been for several years.