Hey party people oaf12 here and welcome to Suburban Gooners!
It’s been a while since I have blogged on Suburban Gooners, yet it feels as if we are in the same position as we always (well for a while now) have been……nearly there!
My main worry is that the ‘there’ in ‘nearly there’ is the one thing that is changing! Over the years it has been the league title, then the top 2 or, at worst 3, but sadly now it is 4th and while I am still hopeful, even that target is looking rather challenging right now!
I’m not going to go into the who is or isn’t to blame – that has been done before, several million times. What I will say is that it certainly isn’t as black & white as simply being Wenger’s fault. Whilst he certainly isn’t blameless, I feel the main problems are higher up the chain. I would welcome David Dein back with open arms and as long as we didn’t ‘overspend’ I would also welcome a hungrier owner or at least one that seemed to care.
Anyway, enough of that rubbish, let’s get back to today’s topic and discuss our defensive corner policy. Again, I am not going to talk about why and whether we should or shouldn’t use zonal marking as that has been ‘done to death’. What I want to chat about is the fact that it drives me insane that we bring EVERY single player back to defend corners……
At first you may think “but oaf surely this is a good thing as it sures up our defence” but I would have to disagree! I really can’t see how, if anything I would argue the players probably get in each other’s way and play ‘the blame game’ when something goes wrong.
Also, I don’t know about you but if I were a goalkeeper (I have been, wow!!), I would feel more confident of collecting a ball within an area that doesn’t contain 20 players! By remoiving even 1, 2 or 3 it will create more space for Szczesny to manoeuvre, crazy huh!?!
My main concern however, is how much this limits us and invites yet more pressure. On the odd occasion a cleared ball may fall to, say, Theo on the edge of our box when cleared – this happened in the Newcastle game. Like lightening he carries the ball forward to launch a counter attack, so fast in fact that you start to remember how we used to play, how we used to be able to soak up pressure and then pounce!
Sadly, that is not the case anymore though is it? What actually happens, again as in the Newcastle game, is that the opposition have enough players back to crowd us out and we lose possession.
That is the odd occasion……
What usually happens is that when we clear the ball, all of our players are in or around our box so there is nowhere for the ball to go other than into the possession of the opposite team. Usually an opposing player picks it up and has enough time, as there is nobody there to hassle him, to look up and pick a pass / cross back into the danger zone.
It also invites the opposition to push more men forward, why not if there is nobody to mark! This is Sunday league stuff – if they (the oppo) have one striker forward you leave 2 defenders back, but if they have no strikers then you have a licence to push more men forward for the corner.
I’m not saying leave Giroud forward, he is good in the air so should come back but leave someone mobile, quick and maybe not as strong in the air up top. There will still be enough defenders and it will give us an outlet rather than blindly giving the ball away.
Imagine defending against Theo, or the Ox or Podolski at that matter, on the halfway line while your team have a corner. If that ball gets cleared over your head you know you are in trouble! Especially if one of the others are on the edge of the box to carry the ball or link up play too.
At the moment when we concede a corner our only target is to defend. With an outlet we could use (cleared) corners to our advantage – we cannot do this with the current set up.
To me this is obvious, simple, stuff and needs looking at ASAP.
What do you think Gooners? Are my points valid or talking nonsense?
Would be great to get your views in the comments below.