Tuesday, December 6, 2022

“Tottenham only defended” – Bodo/Glimt coach wary of Conte approach

Bodo/Glimt aim to control the ball when they visit the Emirates this evening with their coach Kjetil Knutsen warning his side don’t stand a chance against Arsenal if they play like Sp*rs did in the north London derby.

The Norwegian champions made headlines last season when they twice beat Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma in the Europa Conference League and their boss is confident of an even bigger scalp after intensively scouting the Gunners.

“I started watching Arsenal against Zurich to analyse Zurich, but my concentration and my gaze went towards Arsenal because I was thinking, ‘What the hell are they actually doing?!’ Knutsen told his pre-game press conference.

“There are a lot of rotations, so you have to pick them apart and see where are the players who are fairly stable in their role and where are the players who rotate a lot.

“It’s just extremely high-level, high-intensity football with extremely high-level individual qualities. But when you get to see it over time, it’s not very complicated.

“They have a number of rotations with the left-back and central midfielder, who has a lot of freedom, but it’s a lot less on their right side.

“But the way we defend, it doesn’t matter too much where players run because we are very zone-orientated in the way we defend.

“If we played a man-to-man system we would have a huge challenge to face, but we are at the other end of the scale so that’s probably the least of my worries.”

One thing seems certain, Knutsen, who was recently linked with the Brighton job, won’t be asking his players to follow Antonio Conte’s tactics. The Sp*rs coach had his side sit in a low block and was reliant on the pace of his trio of attackers on the counter; a ploy that didn’t cause the Gunners too many issues on Saturday.

“They attack with a lot of people, they’re patient and then suddenly they have that burst in the final third but they will also leave space in behind them which we will have to exploit.

“We need to be aggressive in the low block, high intensity in the high press, and we will have to control the ball.

“Tottenham only defended, Zurich only defended – if you do that you won’t stand a chance against them.”

While the Gunners have failed to win any of our last three home games in Europe (defeat to Olympiakos and draws vs Villarreal and Slavia Prague – all in 2021), we can at least take heart from the fact Bodo/Glimt aren’t amazing on the road in Europe.

According to Opta, in all competitions they’ve won just one of their last 13 matches away from home (seven draws, five defeats), keeping just one clean sheet in the process.

Martin Odegaard says he’s looking forward to welcoming his countrymen to the Emirates. While it remains to be seen whether the Norway captain is selected, he’s been sharing his insight with manager Mikel Arteta.

“They’ve made some great signings and they have an excellent coach too in Kjetil Knutsen,” told the matchday programme. 

“They have given him the time to work there and they have a very solid team now. The way they play the game, everyone knows the system and it has been working really well for them.”

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“But when you get to see it over time, it’s not very complicated.”

Challenge accepted!

A Different George

To be fair, I don’t think he was saying it was easy to deal with, only that it was not overly complicated. For example, it’s easy to see how Martinelli and Jesus interchange on the left and centre, while Xhaka runs into the spaces that are opened by their movement. That’s not the same as preventing them from scoring.


it’s a bit like the ‘boring’ Springbok rugby team – every opponent knows Jasper Wiese is going to charge at them like a rhino with an urgent appointment at the other end of the Serengeti…
But stopping him? That’s the trick!


I was just thinking – he may well be regretting that statement tomorrow morning.
I have a sneaky feeling the ‘guns’ will be on rapid-fire tonight!


Being linked to Brighton job implies that the man is not to be taken lightly, especially if we are resting too many players.


Seriously great analysis of our system. It looks complicated because it’s different, but the players are actually filling quite defined roles, just in different and new ways. This guy seems like a smart coach. Hopefully Arteta is paying attention and pulls a few sneaky rotations that were less expected. I think one of the keys of our current approach is we’re finally working out the pressing system. Pressing is all about efficiency. When to press and when to wait. Before we used to just Auba or Eddy or just chase the ball around like headless chickens and everyone else sitting… Read more »


I feel he and Arteta are kindred coaching spirits – very analytical and thorough. Going to be an interesting tactical face-off


“It’s just extremely high-level, high-intensity football with extremely high-level individual qualities”.

Nice to see that, we’ve really come a long way under Mikel. I’ve seen my local team (Dinamo Zagreb) play them in the CL qual. last round and while they won, Bodo played really good football, they’re aggressive, fast and organised. It will not be an easy match for sure, especially the one in Norway.

Boy Bastin

I don’t think we should be complacent, and I’m sure we won’t be. These games can produce unwelcome surprises on occasion although I think we’ll win tonight.


Haha – similarly – a round before my local team (Zalgiris Vilnius) played them and got thrashed (deservedly so) in Norway – really interesting team that Bodo is with interesting coach.


It feels like football is moving a bit away from individual fancy brilliance to one of tactical brilliance and highly technical, highly fit, and highly intelligent individual that can execute advanced tactical systems. Zinchenko seems to epitomise this – it’s awesome to hear just how highly regarded he was by teammates and coaches at City. We may have nabbed one of their truly elite player, which is just incredible. That’s not all to see individual “fancy-footwork” brilliance doesn’t have a place, it’s just that you better bring some smart and a very high workrate both on and off the ball… Read more »

matt keeler

Well from this analysis alone, you can see why Knutsen is so highly rated. I’m sure we will see him in the Prem at some point.

Glenn Helder Trio

I suspect he’s working hard to give that impression which is maybe why he’s let on more than most coaches do.


I like the cut of his jib


It’s a sleek, Ragnar-esque longship type jib.


Talk the talk but he’ll get Knutsen out of this match.

Teryima Adi



Let the Bodos hit the floor!


😂 In the Immortal words of Arteta and Edu: “Chapeau” to you, sir!


Ouch… you just had to go there, dintcha?

He’s got this glint in his eye that tells me he’s not bothered by your comment.

Granit(e) hard!


Man Manny

This sounds like it won’t be a stroll in the park; but not many games are anymore. The boys – whoever plays – must approach it as the biggest game of their career. The earlier we secure top spot in the group, the better it is for everybody.
Turner, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Holding, Tierney, Lokonga, Vieira, Xhaka, Marquinhos, Nketiah and Reiss, should be enough. I know Arteta will fill the bench with the A team in case things threaten to go awry.

Arshavins left foot

Definitely not a stroll in the park and although Arteta will have one eye on Sunday, he will also know the importance of 3 points tonight. Perhaps he could start Ramsdale in goal as Turner is not very good with distribution and put Tomiyasu at right back as Cedric has not played this season and partner Holding with either Saliba or Gabriel with Tierney at LB that would be solid.




Knowing how a team plays and stopping them is two very different issues, I’m sure everyone in the Premier League knows how Man City plays…

Determination Cultured

Agree. The tactical mastermind ETH probably figured out manc’s tactics too, and decided that ronnie and casemero couldnt nullify them so he left them on the bench. To manure fans the gsme ended in a draw.. Cos… Cos… They won the 2nd half

A Different George

Haaland’s goals were pretty easy to predict.

Boy Bastin

He certainly hasn’t stopped scoring and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon (assuming he stays injury-free). Quite remarkable for such a young player at a new club in a new league.

Boy Bastin

Let’s face it, we should win this even with lots of changes to the team. They are, on paper, certainly a lot better than FC Zurich. That said we can’t afford to take Bodo/Glimt for granted. They drew away at PSV having taken the lead, which wasn’t a bad result.

Success in the EL (after coming close in earlier seasons) would be a big boost for the club so let’s hope we can progress smoothly and without having to use too many of the first choice eleven.

Determination Cultured

Dude seems very analytical, and has figured stuff out. But then he’s playing a system that mikel sums up as ‘everyone knows’.,we got them figured out too!


I love it that the rationale for beating us is currently to attack us. This plays into our hands and opens up space for us to attack them. The complete opposite of what used to happen in the winger days when teams would dig in and we’d pass the ball endlessly around their box.

A Different George

This is a pretty damning criticism of Conte. “If you do that you won’t stand a chance against them.” I hope someone asks Conte about this before Spurs’ next match. “I can teach a lot of Norwegians about football.”


I’m confused. Who are we playing Bodo or Glimt?


We are playing Bodo/Glimt.


Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

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