Arsenal vs Wolves – Decoding Emery’s Tactics

4 Min Read

Unai Emery have been under severe pressure at Arsenal and it seem that his sacking is becoming a case of “When” not “If”. While it has largely to do with the poor results, but his weird tactics and boring style has also drawn criticism. In this article, I aim to decode some of his tactics and substitutions he has made recently, specifically in the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Why was Lucas Torreira the most forward Midfielder of the four playing the game?


When a team sheet reads Lucas Torreira, Dani Cabellos, Mateo Guendouzi and Mesut Özil, you see four Midfielder of different kinds, and when you put them into a diamond formation, you must imagine Lucas Torreira as the base of the diamond and Mesut Özil as it’s forefeit with Guendouzi and Ceballos as the Central Midfielders. But Unai Emery used Lucas Torreira as roaming playmaker, farthest up the pitch with Ozil, Ceballos and Guendouzi all behind him. Weird, huh?


Now what Emery wants to achieve through this is a dynamic player who can win the balls in the opponents half and can take help of the other playmakers around him to create instant chances. And it’s without a doubt that Lucas Torreira is the most dynamic Midfielder at his disposal and hence why he’s being used the way he is.

Why is Dani Cabellos not more farther up the pitch?


Mesut Özil has only player 170 odd minutes in the Premier League, so all the other times, Dani Cabellos has been the most creative Midfielder available at Unai Emery’s disposal. Considering this, one must wonder why he isn’t been used farther up the pitch.

Modern teams like to press high up the pitch and to beat the press you either need a quick ball moving system, something Arsenal doens’t have, or a player who is good in small spaces and can beat the press with his skills and agility, a player Arsenal does have in Dani Cabellos. Hence why he is being used in the position he is.

Why is Kieran Tierney being replaced by Sead Kolasinac in the latter stages of every match?


Now one very simple explanation for this can be Kieran Tierney’s fitness, He’s just coming back from a long injury layoff and he has looked a bit tired at times as the match moves on.

But you must wonder why he is being brought on with Arsenal a goal down and requiring to win, Surely Unai Emery understand the value of 3 points to make such a silly call. Well he does, there is method to this madness. Sead Kolasinac is a full back who can really use his physicality to steam forward at pace. While he usually confines his operating space to just the wide areas. But when he’s brought on with Arsenal requiring a goal, He’s used as an Inverted Wing Back, who runs directly at defences in the central area using his physicality and pace and can then pass the ball to the more creative players to create chances in more advance passes. Thus by doing so Emery is trying to take the ball quicker up the pitch.

You see he does have a plan their, it’s just he isn’t executing them well enough. And he needs to change or it will be to late, which might just be the case already.

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