Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro has admitted that there have been subtle differences to the way his team attack this season- but he insists they aren’t necessarily intentional changes. Prior to her knee injury, Jill Roord was given increased license to attack with back to back hat-tricks against Reading and West Ham.
Recently, Caitlin Foord has come into the team and played like a second striker at times, with Miedema, as she so often does, drifting away from the front line to create. Last season, Mead, van de Donk and Miedema were Arsenal’s de facto front three, that has changed this season with Foord coming into the team and Lisa Evans also playing on the right-wing after a season at full-back.
Foord and Roord have played like second strikers at times, holding the ball up in the final third and competing for crosses in the area. Montemurro says it’s not a deliberate strategy per se but a consequence of where Arsenal are finding space. “I’ve never been associated as a 442 coach!” he joked. “Probably one of the advanced 10s or advanced midfielders is staying closer to Viv [Miedema], that could be why it transforms into that system sometimes.
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“I think it’s more of a result of the way we defend and then how we go into the attacking phase. The starting positions of the wide players can also make it look more like it’s in that  mode and probably the starting positions of our two 6s in front of our back four.” Joe was keen to point out that fluidity is always the main intention when his teams attack.
“442, 433s etc are starting line-up formations, but we think finding overloads and finding areas where we think we can expose teams is the most important thing. We have found that central areas have been a bit more open for us this season because maybe teams are studying the fact that we have overloaded in wide areas in past years.”
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