So far this season Arsenal have struggled to produce the kind of attacking numbers necessary if we’re going to win enough games to finish in the top four.

In small part it’s because we had two difficult games away at Liverpool and Man City, but Sunday’s defeat to Leicester saw Mikel Arteta’s side produce just one attempt on goal in the second half, and in general the team has been a bit shot-shy.

It has led to plenty of analysis, and suggestions that the manager’s structures/systems are too rigid, which don’t allow players to express themselves.

It’s something Arteta spoke about ahead of Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, calling for more aggression and for players to take responsibility in the opposition half.

“That structure is just to limit our opponents to certain things when we lose the ball,” he said.

“The other structure can flow. We have so many different patterns to try to attack these situations, depending on the formation that they play, and the value of spaces.

“That will be in different things. It’s more about our aggression, when we have the ball, our purpose, our aggression, our runs in behind. When do players take someone on and think, ‘I have to make something happen’?

“We want them to think about themselves, not him or him, we want them to take accountability.

“They need to want to put the ball in the box more often, because this is what top teams do. If the other team want to defend the box, make sure they’re defending the box all the team, and that we’re being very aggressive in the final third.

“It’s something we haven’t faced so much since I arrived here, but I think it’ll happen more and more.”

Nevertheless, Arteta admits he’ll have to find a way to make his team more effective, especially against sides which sit deep.

“Now we have to try to change our strategy a little bit and try to train against more certain blocks that I think are going to happen a bit more often,” he said.

“We have made teams think, ‘If we do that, we’ll be in trouble so we have to try to do something else’.

“We’re going to work on that and the moment we improve that, we’ll become even better.”

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BuckNasty

Think we only had one attempt on goal is wrong. Did you mean second half ?

Jackstoneygunner

ATTACK is still the best form of DEFENSE. We don’t have a great defense at least not yet so why do we sit back and let teams attack us??? We should be Attacking even more to protect or weak defense. Players NEED to move in the final 3rd. I watched Pepe yesterday and on the left he was so static he doesn’t run behind likes to come to the ball why??? I honestly have no idea how he thinks as a player doesn’t seem like a very bright footballer to me. He plays in the same position as Salah and… Read more »

Biggles

Surely, you need both don’t you? Almost all, if not all, successful teams have both. Most opposition teams are bound to get some chances over 90 minutes – even Dundalk had a couple, I think. No matter how much attacking you do if, when you need to, you can’t defend properly you will be in trouble. Arsenal’s weakness over several seasons now has been/is in defence – attacking hasn’t prevented unnecessary draws, or defeats.

Johnny 4 Hats

The thing that I don’t see enough of from an attacking view is our midfield providing an attacking threat by getting into positions to score themselves.

I can’t remember the last time I saw Ceballos or Xhaka get anywhere near the goal or even have a shot.

It seems the only players that link with the attackers are the wingbacks and that makes us pretty predictable.

Sparkyrowe

^^^
Exactly this. I’m an Arsenal fan 31 years now. I’ve read Arseblog 11 years and only commented for the 1st time ever yesterday saying we need the midfield to help the attack, aswell if not obviously more so than the bleeding defence.

Johnny 4 Hats

Great to have you on board Sparkyrowe!

Thank you for your service.

I worry that Arteta is just so afraid of what the opponent has the capacity to do. Even last night, he was using Xhaka as an extra CB.

If only we could have a manager that was Wenger at home and Arteta away. Sometimes we are allowed to just chuck the big boys on and throw caution to the wind.

Futsboller

We miss Wenger’s technical and highly skilled players, too; those one-touch movements as they tic-tac-toe up the pitch and into the opposition box (often that was the end of it, but …). Some of the youngsters like Nelson and Willock and ESR look ready for that kind of football, but I think Arteta can’t go wrong by starting with one of them playing in behind the forward line to link up play and give our attack another route to goal.

Artetas Assistant

Saw your post too haha . Cheers

db10s

I am hopeful that Partey will solve this to a degree. Previously I have commented that our current crop of midfielders are not dynamic enough to support the attack AND race back into shape if we lose the ball. Arteta immediately addressed this when he came in and steadied the ship. However he only addressed the sticking to shape aspect and didn’t have midfielders joining the attack. Which is why most of our goals come from pressing the opponents into errors or playing it out quick from the backline. It doesn’t help that out of the 3 midfielders that would… Read more »

fmikael

Yup yup yup…

Richard

This is poor we had eleven attempts in first half alone and six on target at end of the game with about 13 shots in total. At least get your facts right or checked before writing an article please.

Johnny 4 Hats

Blogs – Hi I’m Andrew and I run a completely free Arsenal website.

Us – Fuck you prick, get your facts right.

Turan Yilmazgul

Us – No one would pay if charged…

Blog – I make my money from this website by advertisements….

arsepedant

Blogs, you are not the one who needs to apologize here.

Biggles

Let’s not kid ourselves, we must start to score a lot more goals, and stop conceding in almost every game. If not, it will almost certainly be a disappointing season – unless we can arrange to play Dundalk all the time, of course.

Grymelock

Well, can’t argue with that. I think that is pretty much everything people have suggested. Partey has started one game, so I’m sure that will improve. A little worried about Ceballos, though. When he came on last night I’m not sure he played a single pass forward 😕

johnnycash

Dont worry dani dolitlle will be gone next season hopefully

LEFT08

If he started with Good Ebening this would be perfect Emery lingo. It sounds like his thinking is muddled, a bit confused.

Matthinc

It really doesn’t. It’s reassuring to see he’s aware of the problem, and has a plan for addressing it. Obviously we do need to see it on the pitch, too. But the words. They’re good words.

T.A.

I think Arteta is refreshingly articulate and clear. But: “the moment we’ll improve, we’ll become even better”?

Artetas Assistant

*that

No foot Norbert

To be fair the fact teams are looking to defend against us more is a good sign. It shows that at least they’re wary of our attack. We just have to figure out a way to bulldoze down compact defences or bypass it with a master locksmith. That will come I’m sure.

fmikael

Nope, they are just confident that our attack wouldnt be able to break them sitting that way. I hope Arteta can pull out a game plan soon that prove them wrong and make them sorry for thinking that. Leicester took a leaf out of Arteta game plan and used it against us and was successful. More and more teams will be thinking the same way after this.

fmikael

I think we need to play a compact, control, and patient game this week instead of an attacking game. MU can be quite devastating on a counter and can punish us if we leave too much spaces at the back. I hope we can score first…or we can at least got a draw from this game.

Philip Visser

An analogy for fun – If Arsenal right now is a creative writing project, then players have just learned a new ABC. Now they are beginning to make words with their newly learned alphabet. They still some ways of writing that Booker prize novel. And some learn faster than others, so the writing project is moving forward unevenly. Ultimately the prize winning novel is a collective effort which require a shared structure, ways where players can complete each others sentences, creating acclaimed, award winning poem and prose. As fans we read along, we want to see that beautiful, perfect ending,… Read more »

Santori

Did not see us with sufficient hunger second half. The third goal went in and we were lulled into complacency again kicking ball around and taking foot off the peddle. Would have preferred to see us go at them (Never mind if people called us a flat track bully) bc we needed to perform and work on quicker transitions, sharper movement movement beyond the next player off the ball… Did not see anything substantial and we have to bear in mind our opponents were several levels below us. So no room for complacency which we all too often fall into.… Read more »

Frog

Well boss, the first step to building a potent attack is to PLAY YOUR PLAYERS IN THEIR BEST POSITIONS. I’m quickly growing tired of hearing this nonsense when we have one of the best strikers in the world and we refuse to play him as a striker. Let me spell it out one more time for you boss :
Auba
Saka. Pepe

No false 9 willian. No out of form Laca.

Turan Yilmazgul

Arteta talking again… Talking ain’t going to keep you in the job ! Results will !

le caiman

a

le caiman

xhaka doesnt do shit. ceballos just turns and turns. partey is a b2b so those 3 are basically the same type of players. willock has to get a run of games.

johnnycash

Xhaka and Ceballos are both slow and weak. play partey at the base of a 3 and start being a bit more positive with 2 attacking midfielders.
Garath Southgate gets slaughtered for playing a back 5 and 2 defenfensive midfielders.
Some of you think the sun shines out of artetas arse the football we are playing is dreadful to watch. And not exactly effective either.

Qwaliteee

Accountability.

What a great word.

Just don’t expect that from Mustafi.

If he thought he could have gotten away with it, he’d have blamed your Granny for his latest mistake that saw us concede yet another costly goal and yet another three points.

Accountability. Much needed in this side.

Jamiet

It wasn’t really all on him. Gabriel should have covered vardy. Xhaka had 5-10 yards on the runner hardly mustafis fault xhaka has the pace of a sloth.

karl

Passing around the back in an arc seems ingrained before Arteta arrived. It is so frustrating to see a player arriving at the box and 10 seconds later they have passed all the way back to their own half.

Jamiet

The problem with arteta is he won’t let the midfield get forward. He’s always telling them.to drop back into the space vacated by the wing backs. You would think 3 CB would be able to cover that space. Far too negative

karl

We would be better off putting attacking players in the midfield than constantly running fullbacks from end to end.

If the problem is still personnel, why waste so much money on Soares, Mari, Willian and even Runarssen? Is this goalkeeper considerably better Macey or Iliev?

johnnycash

yes very strange signings to add to an already bloated squad.