Monday, 2 July 2012

The Spain Blueprint Is Perfect For Arsenal

I've just finished watching Spain win the European Championships. That's 3 major international tournaments in a row. Not bad is it? I must say that they've disappointed me greatly this tournament, playing terribly dull football.

However, tonight they played excellent football. I hate to say it as I hate most of Spain's players, but they did outclass Italy and they won easily by playing beautiful football and keep ball, whilst harassing Italy when on the ball, thus retaining possession quickly and tiring out the opposition by making them ball chase for most of the game.

What Spain were tonight was a perfect blueprint for Arsenal. Let's think about it, what do Arsenal like doing, what is their style? Pass and move, playing football beautifully. But Arsenal's problem compared to Spain is that we're not as good tactically. We don't always harass the opposition when we're on the ball, we do sometimes to the top teams, but not always to who ever we're playing. As well as that, we don't play 'keep ball' enough, we always keep attacking rather than looking to just keep the ball, pass it around and play safe, thus tiring the opposition out and starving them of the ball, as well as controlling the game and the tempo of the game, like Spain do.

Therefore, Arsenal should look to be more tactical like Spain. Everything about there game plan just equals 'win'. Everything about Arsenal's game plan equals 'entertain', which isn't always a good thing. Pass and harass should be Arsenal's main motto, they could even have those three words stuck up on the dressing room wall!

Now a simple argument to this could be 'well, we haven't got the players for it' or 'well, we aren't as good as Spain', but it matches our style and we have got the style of players for it- Wilshere, Arteta, Song, Rosicky, Ramsey, Van Persie etc. Additionally, we also have the quality, players like Arteta, Wilshere and Song are built for the Spain style of pass, move, keep the ball and harass the opposition. They have the technical ability, the energy, the maturity, the passing ability and, perhaps most importantly, the desire to play football this way.

So I think we have the qualities to do it and the style to do it, but have we got the manager? Wenger isn't a particularly tactical manager and he will have to adapt to pull off this new style. The team will have to be more disciplined and I'm not saying we're as good as Spain, but we're not too far off. I don't think we'll be as good as they are straight away, but with time, we could be. The potential of players like Wilshere, Ramsey and Chamberlain is frightening and they could, along with the rest of the team, have a lot of success in English and Europena football with this style and challenge for trophies on all fronts.

It's also the style England should start adopting, rather than playing for luck and going defensive like some non- league minnows in the FA Cup 3rd round. England's style is quite embarassing, but that's a topi for another day. I just can't believe more teams don't play like Spain and use the same methods and philosophies of closing down, passing and tiring out the opposition. I was at junior football training the other day and saw a bloke throwing the ball up in the air for the kids to battle for it in the air, and if this is how youngsters are being coahced to play football, then the future's not looking bright for English football is it?

The overall point of my article is that Arsenal should adopt Spain's style of playing. It's quite similar to the one we use anyway, it just needs tweaking to be more tactical. It suits our style and our players, therefore we should start playing the 'pass and harass' game plan that the Spaniards use. It might be dull at times and less entertaining than what we're used to seeing at Arsenal, but it should be a lot more effective and give us a better chance of finally achieveing success again.

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