Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bellerin: Established relationships help us on the pitch

Hector Bellerin says Arsenal may be trying to implement a new playing style under Unai Emery but the fact so many of the first team squad have been together for some time means they still have a good understanding of each other.

The Spaniard was central to the Gunners 3-1 win over West Ham at the Emirates, assisting Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck with cut-backs from the right flank, as Unai Emery sealed his first points as the club’s new head coach.

Afterwards, Bellerin stressed that it was only a matter of time before their hard work on the training ground paid off.

“We’ve been working hard now for the last two months, so we knew it was just a question of time,” Bellerin told Arsenal Player.

“We had two tough games to start after lots of changes at the club. We knew it was a question of time, a question of scoring the chances that we had.

“Today was that kind of day. We still could have been even more efficient, but even though we started behind in the scores, we turned it around and I was very happy with the reaction of the team as well.”

Beautifully matter of fact about the changes taking place in N5, he went on: “At the end of the day it’s football, right, and that’s what we’ve always been playing and there’s always a few adjustments here and there that we need to make in order to play the style that the coach wants to play, but of course we’ve been playing with each other for a long time so even though the system changes, at the end of the day we’re the same players so we still understand each other and that helps.

“It’s all about the work of the team and we’ve been working really hard this week and we knew what we had to do in order to score goals and that’s what we all did together.”

If you were at the match today, you likely picked up on the frantic gesticulating, pointing, shouting and frustration between some of the players as passes went astray and defensive positioning was questioned.

While Hector quite rightly chooses to play up the understanding he has with his teammates, it’s fair to say there’s still a lot of work to do on the training ground. Emery himself was quick to acknowledge a lack of balance between attack and defence today. 

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This guy is so rapidly becoming Theo Wallcot! Please focus on defending as you’re supposed to be defender!
He was the greatest defensive liability on the pitch today!

Jean Ralphio

Have to agree, still feel like we need a new defence for next season. Bellerin needs to improve. Hopefully he does. Lichsteiner should start next game. We miss BFGs calm reading of the game. He and Kos complemented each other well. A few tweaks with positioning and we might be ok though.

A Different George

Fullbacks haven’t played the way you want in a generation, except maybe in Italy and when they are coached by Big Sam.


I went to the game yesterday, hector was on holiday. It’s the mentality of either “I gotta get back and make sure the opponents don’t hurt us” or “oh well, someone else will get it.” That wasn’t a problem for nacho. I’d start linchteiner, and allow bellerin to learn and slowly win his place back – if he earns it.


I’m seeing no sign of established relationships at the momen t


This might be a hidden hint at a quarrel between Unai and Mezut having after all taken place, Bellerin taking the latter’s side.


Replacing Mustafi with Lichtsteiner might improve the defence as a whole and might bring out the best of Bellerin.
Lichtsteiner’s cynicism and Sokratis’ brawn along with the Mr. Reliable Monreal is a backline worth trying out in this relatively milder run of fixtures facing us.


Lichtsteiners not a centre back, and bar a few positioning moments mustafi hasn’t been bad, especially today


Of course lichtsteiner’s not a centre back. But after that crunching tackle on Mahrez he was much more restrained in taking on the left back. Most of the good centre backs have had a bit of a bastard in them – Adams, Keown, Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Ramos to name just a few. Moreover Lichtsteiner has a lot of experience as a Right back and he can act as an ‘on the pitch coach’ for Bellerin if he’s played as an RCB and can also cover for Bellerin when he goes forward with someone like Torreira covering for the centre back.… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

IMHO it’s a not a question of players. You could of had Campbell and Toure today and they would have been roasted. It’s about balance. If the fullbacks are playing like wingers, the midfield has to sit.

Arsenal's Top Scorer

Exactly, modern fullback has to overlap on attack but someone needs to cover him.


By the comments all over the interwebs you would swear we lost the game. The sports entertainment punditry and narrative is boring. Great three points! I can see what we are trying to do on the pitch. This fan welcomes the effort and the win. COYG


Torreira anchoring a disciplined, hard working midfield allows Bellerin to get forward and attack the space that is left by our lack of wide right winger.

Maybe, in that system, we should expect less from Bellerin defensively. Instead of thinking of him as a traditional full back, why don’t we just measure him against the role he has in this team. I’m happy to give him the benefit of the doubt as he is obviously contributing with assists and width.


I’d just play him as a winger and be done


I agree. Particularily against rapid attacks as Liverpool’s, Arsenal could not allow so much space on the flanks.


That part of the game plan works, miki demands 2 defenders attention, and bellerin excellently overlappinh & taking advantage by getting himself into a favourable crossing position. I agree, we csn accept unperfect defending if attacking contributiom is top notch. My worry is that his contribution is very limited to above mentioned case, else he looks a bit to lost, more so than he did in his excellent breakthrough season. He must not limit his perception of himself as a player he must want be requsted to be more influential overall.


If you’re pushing that high up, you need to almost guarantee not losing the ball or a simple lob into our half means counter attack will always be dangerous even if you play a line of 4 defenders (and we only have 2). If you expect your full backs to be the wide men creating crosses, why not just play real wingers? Bellerin seems to have no speed defensively this season and his tackling is hopeless. Torreira and Xhaka seems a good balance if the little man just covers the back line. I like Guen but he is somewhat naive… Read more »


Though he contributed to Arsenal’s 2nd/3rd goal, defensively wise he can
beaten in a one on one.Arsenal were in a way lucky to win
Had the Hammers taken their chances it could have been another loss.
Defensively not much to crow about. Until and unless the defenders show up
it will be a case of I told you so.


To be fair, if we’d taken our chances last week, we’d have chalked up an away win at Chelsea, so it works both ways.


Did Arsenal take all their chances?


Bellerin and the German can easily be outmanouvred in a
one on one.The defence as usual went missing to leave
WH one up.
Why not take leaf from other teams eg Wolves to see how they
defended against MC.Emery,I hope is not as condescending as the
fm when learning from others.
To refresh the memory: the fm said he had 30 years coaching experience.
In spite of this,year and year out the same defensive blunders
caused the gunners to decline.

Lord Bendnter

Did people not see how crap we were last season? It was asparagating (an adjective describing dislike or digust, root word asparagus)! This team needs a lot of work. And we have to be very patient. We’re not playing for the Premier league trophy, we’re aiming for fourth place. So people need to chill out a bit and give this manager and team time. Of course it doesn’t help that Stan probably won’t invest in any seriously well established defenders. So, let’s just hope we improve bit by bit and recruit some cheap gems who become world class (and aren’t… Read more »


Fullbacks are being instructed to play how they are playing. I think are defence has been average but since the season we got to the CL Final we have not had a midfield that can defend. Its not just vieira we never replaced. Guys like Gilberto and Parlour. Ljungberg used to get loads of goals but his work rate was 2nd to none. He and lauren where formidable.. Looking at our squad is it any surprise its the two new kids that are the only ones who even put in challenges.


Except for Monreal the defense is horrible, and I dont know why bellerin is considered a defender, he has no defensive capabilities, Emery needs to give Lichtsteiner and some other CB’s a look!


Bellerin looks and plays like Bendtner nowadays. He is on his way to becoming TGDTEL




Well working overlaps and crosses and the final 3rd, Bellerin is to often caught; not reading passes, miss positioned, beaten by the opponent. I am no hater, I want this guy to bloom, this he will not do if he keeps limiting his influence on the game to overlap & crosses, he must want more, and be requested to deliver more.

89 was fine

The balance really isn’t right yet.Bellerin did plenty going forward but his runs don’t get covered and the space left behind him is scary, it would be interesting to see some one else in his position to see if the same issues happen or maybe it’s getting the midfield selection right, either way it’s gonna take time but at least the players look like their up for it.

Billy Bob

Are some players just not capable/willing to carry out multiple roles? I get the distinct impression that no matter much you want the players to press, some can’t/won’t!! Same goes with defending as a team, some can’t/won’t!!! Question is, how do we work round this? Do we identify further players required for the January window and get rid of certain unwilling players? What if certain players are difficult to shift because of performance and/or high wage demands? I don’t envy the boss!!!

Up North

Bellerin is a interesting case. He got the pace and Stamina to run up and down the pitch and his crosses has considetably improved since last season. What he’s being worse at is 1 vs 1 where he is bypassed with relative ease by quick footed wingers. He lacks the quick footwork which in my opinion he posessed earlier. I think the main reason is his building of muscle mass which helps him in offensive play, but reduces considerably his pace and agility in tight situatons. Up against the Salah’s or Zaha’s in PL he’ll get into trouble. A structured… Read more »


Zaha is no less muscular nor is Adama Traore(he terrorised Mendy to the point of tears after his introduction).
I think he’s taking time to have the confidence to push his body during the game after his ankle and knee injuries. He was second only to Aubameyang in the recently released sprint tests but during a game he doesn’t look so fast.


I think the appearance of a speed issue on the pitch comes down more to mental and maybe reaction time. His speed is there, but when you get turned you lose no matter who you are.

He does need 1v1 work for sure, especially for when we’re in the defensive phase.

But when we’re in the attacking phase and he’s asked to make by-line runs and cutbacks, which he did very very well, someone else is responsible for covering counters.


It’s a game of opinions, whilst I thought Bellerin stepping out from the back yesterday was very poor, I like the aggressive positioning going forward, and think the problem was a lack of cover from midfield.

We’re actually getting players in the box under Emery, which certainly wasn’t a tactic used under the last manager.
I think Bellerin will have a cracking season, wouldn’t surprise me if he bagged double figure assists


Well put. It appears if I had scrolled down a touch I could have saved some typing.

David Hillier's luggage

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Bellerin’s side gets left exposed due to a lack of cover from midfield coupled with the responsibility of being the team’s ONLY source of width on the right. Mkhitaryan offers zero support (nor should he be judged on that, he’s here to create), but he has to either show more width for the team (so Bellerin isn’t always having to bomb on to provide it) or we have to play someone further back who is willing to plug gaps. Neither Guendouzi nor Xhaka seem to instinctively drop back in and cover the… Read more »


The “gesticulating, pointing and shouting” sometimes were used as an excuse for players that seemed not to make themselves playable.

It is important for the player with the ball to have several passing options. With only one, and the others hiding behind opponents, Arsenal are too easy to defend against.

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