Wenger vindicates new zonal marking policy

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he has implemented a tactical change in the way his side defend corners and set pieces.

For much of his time in charge in North London, Arsenal have adopted a man-marking philosophy when defending inside their own penalty box. However, recognising in recent seasons that the Gunners have struggled to match opponents using the system, the club have decided to test a zonal marking philosophy in the hope it will cut down the number of goals conceded from such scenarios.

Speaking to Arsenal Player about the shift in defensive strategy, Wenger explained:

“We have changed our system a little bit. We’re testing it at the moment. It’s too early to say that it works, but the signs are positive.

“The authority of Wojciech [Szczesny] is stronger and bigger as well, and his presence at crosses is better than at the end of last season, which helps as well.

Asked why the decision had been taken and why he felt it necessary to abandon the club’s traditional man marking philosophy, Wenger continued:

“It looked more rational. You’re less subject to screening, when you run after somebody and they cross each other they can of course stop you from intervening.

“It has advantages and disadvantages. You need a great sense of individual responsibility in zonal marking, the responsibilities are more clear in man marking. You’re initiative for taking responsibility [in the new system] is bigger.”

Although Arsenal indirectly conceded from a cleared free-kick in Dortmund, Wenger stressed that he was pleased with the overall performance of his back-line.

“If you want success, ideally you want to dominate every game from the first to the last minute. I liked the fact that we were quite solid in our defending and calm under pressure.

“At some stage you accepted in the second half that it would be difficult to combine and get out [of defence] and that you will be tested defensively. That we came out with some credit is for me a positive for the season.”

One player who earned particular plaudits for his all-action display in the Westfalenstadion was uncapped Frenchman Laurent Koscielny. Signed from Lorient ahead of last season, the 26-year-old appears to have consolidated his burgeoning reputation in the eyes of his boss, with Wenger tipping him to be a star of the future.

“People forget that Laurent has had two seasons at the top level; one in France, one in England,” stressed the coach.

“The fact that he has such a short experience at the top level makes his improvement potential bigger. I believe he will be a great central defender.

“I have always thought there is a massive potential in this player. That is why he has already grown this season and I felt in the last 20 minutes he was immense against Dortmund.

“He keeps things simple, he is quick and he reads [the game] well. Like every central defender who comes to England, he was surprised by the intensity of the game but he has adjusted now and adapted.”

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Peter Blair

Oh no

Obiwan
Obiwan

lol! Its not that bad.Big up to Koscielny. Djorou(sic) should be kept as far away from the first team as possible till he gets his head examined

Johnnyboy
Johnnyboy

sorry if this is off topic, but does anyone know a good live streaming site to watch blackburn vs arsenal for tomorrow?

shubham
shubham
jay
jay

or install veetle/sopcast and head over to either http://www.livefootballol.com (sopcast) or http://www.kiwisportz.eu/

hope this helps

hatespurs
hatespurs

best: http://forum.wiziwig.eu/forums/3-Football-streams plenty of streams in the forum its split into weekdays and weekends.

Johnnyboy
Johnnyboy

thanks for the help lads, greatly apreciated!

Sedara Percy
Sedara Percy

Spot on on Kos. His reading of the game is awesome and great.

Matt
Matt

This isn’t as complex as Wenger makes it sound, especially now when we have big Per Mertesecker and Szczesny. Why not have all the players in the box man mark the opposite players, except Per M, leave him alone to challenge the ball. Szczesny is pretty dominant as well, with them both attacking the ball from a corner then in my opinion the opponents wouldn’t stand a chance against them.
But hey, atleast Wenger is doing something about this and finally recognized the problem, if we don’t concede goals from set pieces againt teams like, Bolton, Blackburn etc. we will win those games comfortably.
So far so good, lets hope it stays that way !

Nope.
Nope.

“You’re initiative for taking responsibility [in the new system] is bigger.”

Should be “your”.

With Per, Kos and hopefully Tommy in the side I hope this works well

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

How are those nit’s YOU’RE picking?

George

You wouldn’t get this problem in the days or yore .

George

*of

arseblog
Admin

hah

northerngoon
northerngoon

This is a warning; put down that stone and step away from the glass house.

vanheusen.jr
vanheusen.jr

Only time will tell. The presence of Matesacker should help as well. On d bloke from laurent, good to see hw well he has developed. He’s an example of hw hard work improves talent. Let’s win 2mro. #iluvafc

Jekyll
Jekyll

Why does Wenger say ‘people forget’ Kos has only played 2 seasons in top leagues. It’s pointed out regularly. He also said ‘people forget’ Mertsacker is only 26 a few days ago. Who has forgetten these things? I’m not sure what his intent is here but he uses ‘people forget’ a lot for things that are common knowledge and everyone talks about. .

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

but people forget he uses it a lot. so he keeps using it.

highberry
highberry
George

Fucking hell everyone, cheer up.

TSOTIA
TSOTIA

i see us defending far better than in recent past. The signs are positive. The b/b game should further show our position.
Did anyone else noticed that our off-side trap has gotten better? That used to scare me a lot.
Kos is a gem; his commitment to tackles is, perhaps, second only to the ever reliable Sagna.
Better times lie ahead, esp. with the Verm.

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

wenger inherited a defensive brick wall, and built a fantastic, pacey, counter attacking side on top of it. the defense slowly but surely died off, delayed by some top signings like Sol and the young toure, lauren etc. but in the end we were left with a shaky, error prone, confidence zapped back four. but wenger kept building the attacking side and that for a while covered up the shaky back four, as the opponents hardly had the ball.
now he is taking more responsibility for the defensive weaknesses of the team and addressing them, and hopoefully on that will build a new attacking side.

gladys_c_hugh
gladys_c_hugh

if wenger inherited a defensive brick wall , then eight years later he rebuilt it into a fort knox which included none of the bricks from that first wall. The defense didn’t “slowly but surely die off, delayed by some top signings…” those top signings were part of a squad that didn’t loose a single game in a season. your analysis is flawed and I’m bored of hearing people talking about what wenger inheirted when he built the squad of 2003/4 with all bar one of the starting eleven coming from his management. The reason for our “decline” has more to do with the emergence of chelsea and now city as contenders, and that has less to do with the management at those clubs and more about the imbalanced amount of money they are able to chuck around.

George

Yeh the offside trap was somethin I noticed. Gotta be a mertesacker thing really hasn’t it?

Matt
Matt

I think it has to be the experience of big Per and the fact Clichy left us, usually when our offside trap was broken it was because Clichy was meters inside, trying to get in line just so he could raise his hand towards the linesman.

trackback

[…] are Arsenal’s Achilles heel this season. Wenger has revealed that the club has changed from a man marking system to a zonal system. In all of the goals conceded so far, no resulting headers from corners or freekicks have managed […]

Eric Irish gunner
Eric Irish gunner

Just show them videos of Adams bould and keown and do the fucking same take no fucking prisioners, kos is doing well do

OOKed
OOKed

you know of a video of Adams, Bould, and Keown in the middle of a Ménage à trois ?? ..

Eric Irish gunner
Eric Irish gunner

Are you a poof

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

So Arsene, how’s that new zonal marking system going for you? 4-3? Pull the other one.

McClockender

lucky it was only blackburn we were playing,chelsea or man city wud hav given us a right thrashing.shite even shrewsbury will fancy turning us over.

Dan
Dan

The zonal defending on set pieces was in during preseason and the commentators picked it apart during the Emirates cup because the defenders weren’t attacking the ball when it was put into play. It’s not as new as this article suggests.

I would agree that it’s causing some major problems right now. Go back to man-marking and just fight through the screens like other teams do. It’s really down to concentration and effort.

Surfbushido
Surfbushido

I’m sick and tires if listening to lazy pundits having a pop at zonal marking. Loads if teams use it in the prem but too many listeners of the Sky tv era just have a sexist Evertonian scotsman’s view of Liverpool and how they couldn’t defend well using zonal marking. Now everyone thinks it shit!
Spain didn’t have any problems using it at the world cup, barcelona have never had a problem with it. In fairness no team uses just man marking or zonal marking systems, it’s usually a combination of both with one way as the basis. Ie everyone plays zonal except a and b who will mark x and y. Zonal marking is probably the most successful way of defending set pieces in the Premiership over the last few years when you look at the teams that use it.

Assnal
Assnal

‘I feel sorry for Arsenal,they have been dealing with the 8-2 wordplay jokes 4-3 weeks now’

Livelyhood

thats cool