Arsenal need a great 'Sweeper Keeper'

06 March 2013 08:57

Tottenham against Arsenal at White Hart Lane was an interesting tactical battle between Villas-Boas and Wenger. Both teams played with a high defensive line which ran the risk of providing quick forward players free runs. However this tactic did allow the team as a unit to push up the pitch.

This choice of system arguably worked better for Arsenal as according to, Arsenal had 60% of the possession and completed nearly four times the amount of final-third passes (104 to 27). This shows that Arsene Wenger generally got his tactics correct,but perhaps made the mistake of trusting his defence to keep concentration and have a proper understanding of the system.

Thomas Vermaelen took most of the blame from the media but I feel that although the centre back was caught ball watching occasionally (including the goal from Lennon), Szczesny was extremely poor at crucial moments. To be more specific, Szczesny should have been much quicker off of his line to reduce the amount of time both Bale and Lennon had with the ball when running towards the goal. On the opposite side, Hugo Lloris performed superbly as a ‘sweeper keeper’ and when playing with a high defensive line, having a goalkeeper with that type of style is essential.

If Arsenal are going to continue playing with a high defensive line, Szczesny will need to obtain this skill otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised to see them conceding a lot more one-on-one goals.

Source: DSG

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Last updated : 08:44