Arsenal v The Parked Bus

A guest post from Sensational Arsenal.
Three games into the premier league, we already came across two teams defending resolutely and in numbers. Pretty soon we are going to come up against the Chelsea bus too.

So, how do we crack such teams that we are no doubt going to encounter frequently throughout this season? At our devastating best, no team can stand in our way, but what about the times when we miss some personnel?  The times we are at 90%? How do we overcome defensive walls then? I thought it would be an interesting problem for us to discuss and put forth ideas during this this inter-lull. We are not privy to Wenger’s ideas so let’s just have some fun and discuss solutions that will ultimately have no bearing on how Wenger lines up the players.

My thoughts based on reading up Michael Cox, Adrian Clarke, a few blogs and my own limited views:

At times during the Leicester and Palace games, there were six to eight of their players in their back-line. Even if you have Mesut Fucking Ozil, he would not be able to thread many through balls. Especially when the opposition back-line drops back to leave a space of only about 10 yards between them and their goalkeeper. What about the chips over the top we tried? Yes, they are inventive, but that can’t be our sole answer and the goal keeper has a head start over the striker to sweep up.

Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil tried one-twos inside very crowded areas and ran into traffic. This is definitely a possible way through and if successful, it puts a player one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Though it has greater chances of failure, it is something I would encourage the players to try as we are very, very good at this. Again, this cannot be completely relied upon. How about pulling the defenders wide and putting crosses in? With Giroud out, we don’t have that kind of presence in the box for knock-downs anymore. Welbeck and Sanogo might disagree with me.

How effective is pace if there are six – eight players defending in the box? What about a front three of two wingers and one striker? Could work (personally, I like this idea), but it also leaves us with a three-man midfield. With Cazorla on the left, him and Ozil swap positions and at times the extra playmaker counts.

In conclusion, I have no idea, and can vaguely say that our best chance to score is probably to try a variety of ideas and not be one-dimensional. Also, tempo! Tempo! Tempo!

On another note: One of our wise contributors to Positively Arsenal, ZimPaul has been sick. He is one of the guys who will keep his cool when everyone else is losing their heads. We would like to wish him the best and a speedy recovery, and will miss his contributions until he comes back here.


Message from George:

I can’t begin to express the distress that Paul’s post has brought to me (see below). It seems so horribly final. I hope for once the great man has chosen his words poorly or that I am reading them wrongly.

It’s clear that I’m not alone in holding Paul in such high regard, he truly is a prince among men and should be an inspiration to us all. 

Love you Paul.

Pedantic george.


ZimPaulSeptember 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm Edit

Hi folks. I’m just writing to say hello. It is not clear whether or when I could post again. Long story, medical-related. I’ve been in intensive care unit for some weeks, now home.

I just wanted to say what a lovely experience it has always been, on PA and the earlier vintage, meeting you, chatting and engaging. I consider a number of people here my very good friends, over many years.

Wellbeck was always going to be controversial, AW and Co settled on 16m, a tidy amount so rest assured AW rates him extremely highly already. I doubt, like a few deals it was any kind of a short term damage control idea, but an idea AW has been mooting for a while, fast-forwarded by the injury. As usual, shrewd.

We haven’t played to potential, and yet, with a tricky start, we have not lost. Now a testing run to come! We look good. Theo to come, a few fitness issues here and there.

Otherwise, a team to truly admire; balanced, fast, exciting, bold. I have to say I have been impressed with Jack too, even though he has been criticized. His work rate is good, his passing and movement is better then one thinks (he makes it look easy). He is a star, and he will get better as he gets playing time.

Chambers is probably the best buy and most important decision we have made, all things considered, exceptional, immaculate, controlled (player) and clever (the manager). I tip my old hat to AW! I never heard of him. I am so impressed at his game.

Bye Arsenal friends!
Love you lots!
ZimPaul “

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136 comments on “Arsenal v The Parked Bus

  1. “No Robben No party”

    No Robben, no cheating? No Robben, no diving?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It appears Ramsey was stamped on by an Andorran bastard.


  3. Ramsey – It’s always a danger when you start showboating against players of Andorra’s level. They just give you a good kick – understandable really.


  4. Passenal:

    i agree with you that Robben dives/cheats. only a rock would deny that. but sadly it happens anyway aint it..it happens in every sport..

    i’m sure you will also agree when i say robben makes the game a lot more enjoyable to watch..he brings flar/skill/quick thinking etc..

    this is ultimately a beautiful GAME (not life), do ethics matter here?

    would the same rules of living in a society apply to a football match?

    instead of blaming the players, blame the rules. i would say stop at nothing short of punishing players retrospectively..i believe there is enough technology to do it right..even with all the subjectivity that surrounds it..they are scared it would open a Pandora’s box..i say they are just spineless..weed out the bad guys systemically. you be banned one..kills your instinct do it again…some players might take it longer..but it should be done.

    i would love to hear your thoughts on this.


  5. Arshavin 23, I just don’t like Robben, never have. Everyone knows what he is like, but I’ve given up expecting anyone to do anything about it. As for my comment it was just a poor attempt at humour as Andrew’s comment was sitting up and begging for it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Was Ramsey showboating? I didn’t ‘to watch Wales but I can’t see him doing that, especially in a tight Euro qualifier away with just a one goal lead… Not sure I understand that comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Me Pass, you don’t like Robben, never have, you don’t like Messi, never have, I won’t even ask about Christiano !!!!

    (banned winkie thing)

    you going on Saturday btw ?


  8. HOUSEKEEPING MESSAGE – in order to make Positively Arsenal’s many comments readable on mobile devices (specifically mobile phones) we’re trialling splitting pages after every 100th comment; you can navigate between pages using the small arrows at top and bottom of the page. This should make the site more accessible for those of us away from PCs/tablets etc during the day.

    The direction of the arrows is counter-intuitive I’m afraid because we elect to have our oldest comment at the top of the page rather than the bottom (it’s an option we could change if we wished but I suspect it would not find favour as we are all used to the current set up).


  9. As someone who has developed the painful manual impairment “Scroller’s finger” by going through every post each time a new contribution is added I am all in favour

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bit of kerfuffle about the Andorran 3G pitch I see in today’s media – “the worst I ever played on’ according to Bale, “if you’re a passing team forget it” according to Chris Coleman, Wales Manager.

    If only Pullis had known about 3G he would have made Stoke Champions.


  11. Cameroon hand a good 4-1 thrashing to Ivory Coast and YaYa Toure has his second heavy game in four days – that should perk him up for Saturday lunchtime

    Liked by 1 person

  12. MORE HOUSEKEEPING – as you can probably see, we are trialling a LIKE button which works in a similar way to the one on Facebook or the Favourite button on Twitter. Nothing happens beyond you ‘liking’ something but it should be a handy way to acknowledge a decent comment without necessarily adding to it with words. If we all decide we hate this function, it’s easy enough to remove – and before anyone asks, no there is no DISLIKE button.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting to see Manu’s finances are now predicated on their finishing in the top 3.

    No risk there, then.

    Also spotted that Gary Neville is struggling to see the logic in MUFC’s sale of Welbeck to AFC. Join the club Gaz.

    Speaking entirely for myself, I’m struggling to see on what basis some AFC fans are managing to find something to moan about in what could yet be seen to be THE coup of the transfer window.

    Looking forward very much to seeing young Daniel play on Saturday – roll on the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That Andorra pitch was a disgrace Andrew – to begin with I thought my tv had developed a fault, it looked like they were playing on green dust. Fingers crossed Aaron really isn’t injured …

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Witchcraft !

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Andrew A: It will not only be the signing of the summer, but very likely the signing of the decade, and if he doesn’t turn out to be an Arsenal legend I will be mightily surprised,


  17. LvG did what Maureen didn’t have the balls to….and better!
    Welbeck is like a younger, improved Demba Ba, homegrown and all.
    Hope we give Etihadshitty a shellacking @ the Ems.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. For City , Wojo, Debuchy,Per,Kos, Monreal.Arteta,Aaron,Ozil Alexis,Santi Danny.


  19. I wonder if rather than the star icon for likes we might have a smiley face.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. George: that isn’t a bad team at all, and I like the way dat guy tracks back which will give us a bit more bite down our left hand side.


  21. A professional European football club is being run by criminals, the former chief of the European Professional Football Leagues has alleged.

    Emanuel Medeiros believes the club, which he would not name, is being run by an organised crime syndicate through a front company.

    “I have evidence, but I cannot say which club or which country,” he said.

    Medeiros, now head of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), was speaking at Soccerex in Manchester.

    He added: “This is not new, we have been aware of these kinds of developments since 2003, but there is an ongoing police investigation.

    “It’s a very serious matter.”

    He is referring to the original chavs right? 2003… organised crime owned with a front man… It has to be…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVAw01G3S2Q#t=263 Good to see young Kris Olsson reeled off a hat trick yesterday evening in an Under 21 match against Turkey.


  23. more likely Monaco c/o the Prince, Dex.

    Like your team PG. Some are trying to make an issue of “what if Rambo’s missing?”.
    It’d have absolutely NO EFFECT on the squad we have available.
    CM is more than covered.

    Danny’s ready to blow.
    Hope Campbell gets some healthy minutes


  24. Not sure if Mikel will be ready to start on Saturday George? Hopefully he will be mind.

    But the options in the front 3rd are unreal! Leaving out the likes of Tomas, Diaby, Theo, Gnabry and Giroud, we can still put out;

    Ramsey Arteta
    Sanchez Mesut Santi


    Jack Flamini
    Campbell AOC Poldolski

    I am almost as excited about the Welbeck signing as I was when we signed Alexis. I think he is going to be huge for Arsenal!

    Up the Arse!


  25. That’ll be Machine Gun Stan of the Mile High Mob Dex



  26. Strictly under your wig


  27. “you going on Saturday btw ?”

    Yes, I am!

    As for Cristiano, meh! But what on earth has he done to his face? He looks like a ken doll crossed with Barbie!


  28. What the FAQ with the likes?
    It’s like listing to somebody from Cork, like.


  29. My goodness – so many changes! I like the “paged” comments. Is that a fancy new typeface for the “masthead” as well? I think the “Like” button is a good idea. To make it a little more discreet, is it possible that the default star icon could display as an outline and only display as solid when there are “Likes”?

    I would like to add my best wishes to Paul – top man.


  30. I liked the simplicity of the previous system. But I am conservative on most internet/media matters! Like button even more disturbing…

    Looking forward to this City game even if Ramsey might be out. Good early test for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Good post, SA. I agree with many of the suggestions regarding how to deal with the parked bus. Making the most of set-pieces, continuing to retain possession and stretch the opposition (eventually, they will get tired), and attacking at pace are all important. To these, may I add:

    • We should make better use of a change of pace. Slow, slow, slow – quick. Pass the ball around side to side to lull the opposition into thinking things are under control and then – bang – a quick passing move or dribble through them.

    • Lure the opposition out. Using the old Ali rope-a-dope tactics, let the opposition think that the team is off-form. As the opposition grows in confidence, they will not sit so deep, and, as they advance, they become exposed to incisive counter-attacks. Obviously, this tactic is harder and riskier to implement – there is a danger the home supporters may lose patience, and the opposition may actually start to play better if they get a bit of confidence.

    • Pressing. This is a safer, and probably more effective, version of the previous point. When we lose the ball in the opposition half, press them like mad to win the ball back. The opposition is denied the rest they might expect when they have possession, and this should contribute to them getting tired more quickly. When we press, particularly against poorer teams, we stand a good chance of winning the ball back in a dangerous area and with the opposition less likely to be in a solid defensive position. We can rest when we have the ball.

    It would certainly be interesting to hear the actual instructions the coaching staff gives the players.


  32. The LIKE button doesn’t have to stay if we don’t want it to – let’s try it for a few days; I just think anything that aids interaction in a good way is worth a look-see.


  33. Chelsea Syndicate.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. So he was like, do you like the like button and I was like, I don’t like it and he was like, what’s not to like? and I was like, it’s like if we like it we can say we like it and he was like, what if you can’t spell like, like? and I was like, if you can’t spell words like like, like, you won’t like to read stuff so, like, you won’t know if you like it or don’t like it, like, and even if you do like it it’s like you won’t be able to read the like button, like, and he was like, I like your thinking and I was like, don’t you start.

    Please lose it!

    Splitting comments after 100, on the other hand, is very helpful.


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