The old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Well, Unai Emery has been attempting to get his Arsenal side playing out from the back since the start of his regime and more than a year on, has seen very little success.
A lot was made when Emery installed this particular style, as Petr Cech was the current incumbent of the number one jersey and apparently, extra training for the Czech stopper’s footwork was on the agenda to allow him to deal with the extra demands placed upon him.
This was never something that Cech became comfortable with and fast forward a year later, our defence can hold their hand up and say they too have some work to do.
Part of the gameplan from Emery is to retain possession and spread it around our back third, eventually lulling out a pocket of space as the opposition come out of their trenches.
This, by and large, does work to a degree. If we were constantly struggling with the concept as we have done in instances, then we would be giving up goals like we have done this season. But that hasn’t happened, only when we choose to utilise the new option given to us by the rule change this summer.
Goal kicks can now be distributed to a teammate inside the box, rather than before when it had to be played outside the box. We have seen on two or three occasions when this has seen us concede a goal in some comical defending, rather than play it forward quickly.
Perhaps we can continue to play out from the back, as it is a work in progress, but maybe boot a goal kick a few yards further forward? It doesn’t have to be so close to our goal when we are facing a pressing team, surely?
A little dose of common sense every now and then, especially when the scoreline is on the edge, could work wonders.
Over to you boys.