39 Comments

Balance.

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We constantly hear pundits commenting on the “balance” of a team. But how does this state of balance come about? How is it developed, nurtured and maintained?

Where is the centre of balance in a team, and what is the perfect balance? I suspect Pep sees the balance of a team very differently to Jose, and yet both have produced very balanced teams in the past.  Arsene, Klopp and Pep favour an attacking style, whereas Jose and Conte favour a defensive setup (despite Jose’s protestations to the contrary) and  Pochettino seems to have found a very good spot in the middle.

Guardiola point blank refuses to compromise his attacking style. Why should he? It’s brought about unprecedented success and made him the most sought after manager in the world. Yet as soon as it doesn’t work, expert are suggesting he should?

Arsene is the same, achieved the impossible, playing with a style and panache never witness before, and yet he should change? I can understand if people don’t like a managers style, but to ask him to change? Do me a favour.

I see three ways of finding a good balance. It can be developed, bought or stumbled across. It think Arsene developed the Arteta/Ramsey partnership,has bought Xhaka to recreate it and stumbled across the Santi/Coquelin pairing. It would be lovely if he could just nip out to the CM shop and buy a Vieira/Gilberto pairing, but that ain’t happening.

We saw last week that the team looked better without Sanchez (and perhaps Ozil too?) but surely the answer is to find a balance that can include our star players. But its not inconceivable that the best balance does not include the best players.

The easiest way of building a balanced team is to identify what and who you need, and go out and buy that player. However, if you are Arsenal, rather than United or City, this is not a realistic option. So we can buy second shelf players and accept being second best, or we buy the best players we can, and try to find a balance with them. We have to accept though that this is a more difficult way.

Then there are players like Theo, that on the face of it don’t fit into the overall playing style of a possession team, yet his skill set brings a balance to the team. His constant runs off the ball are mostly unseen and unappreciated, but he gives a balance that isn’t quantifiable.

What seems easy for fans is in fact the most difficult of tasks in football.What we do know for certain is that when Arsene gets the right players, he can put out a balanced team, getting those players in today’s market place may prove impossible, but then again……..????

39 comments on “Balance.

  1. Nicely done George. Quiet day for the Positives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As for the right players, I went on record on this site by saying Sterling would have been an excellent swap (plus cash) for Alexis Sanchez. 2 goals today and hooked early by Pep so he is fresh for the Champs League.

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  3. I think the balance of the team depends on what you actually want it to do on any given day. In the mechanical sense the lever you use (the players) and the pivot or fulcrum on which you rely to shift the load will never be the same in any two games.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There is also the physiological element of balance – you can’t have a team of short-arsed dwarves (unless they are all Lionel Messi).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arsenal u18’s 4-0 Reading u18’s

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And the minds of the players have to be both balanced individually and ballanced with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have been all over the place teaching martial arts, and the courses I do are on? Yes, B-A-L-A-N-C-E

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Left winger, left winger, left winger, Balance final piece of the Jigsaw Marwood Overmars whatever you want to call it just get it

    Liked by 1 person

  9. it is true that football being a team sport requires balance. as it is useless having great players who distorts the balance of a team, it is also not right to keep your better players out of the team bacause their presence affect the balance. to become a great team, the balance has to include your best player/s and if that can not be acheived, the right thing is to sell the player to a club who needs him and buy another of his standard that can slot in into the team. at arsenal for instance, we will do better with player of the quality sanchez but he has to pass the ball better as well as reduce loss of possession. same with ozil, he helps a lot in final third and he is one of the best creators around but he has to improve his work rate and marking. iwobi reminds us of what we expect from mesut against chelsea, but he isnt consistent enough to replicate that every game. we need this two in the team. they need to improve on their weaknesses in order for us to compete with the best in the league.

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  10. all results today in the BPL went against AFC

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  11. Seem to remember a succession of days of results like that last season as well Ed. annoying.

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  12. I don’t think any of the results yesterday were a surprise Mandy – perhaps the biggest shock was the Ammers getting it back from 3-0 down to 3-2 rather than succumbing to. 6-0 hiding. For us WBA at home has to be a winnable game. Pulis has a poor record at the Ems and it is a long time since I can remember since they caused an upset. So I want no mucking about as occurred against Donny. Straight into them 1-2-3 up by the half hour mark then foot off the gas.

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  13. I was at service this morning and the message really made me think of the Arsenal ASB

    “Those that are not thankful for what they have, will never be satisfied no matter what they get”

    Liked by 3 people

  14. North Bank Nadim‏ @NorthBankNadim

    Next 4 rounds of fixtures include Chelsea vs City, Lpool vs Utd, Spurs vs Lpool & Utd vs Spurs.

    They can’t all win.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joe Willock has been added to Arsenal’s Europa League squad as it’s 2 years since he signed scholarship. Available for BATE game if chosen

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  16. Arsenal Women 3-2 Birmingham Ladies

    A good comeback win for the Arsenal Women’s team, after going behind twice and then with the score 2-1 to brum Arsenal had sub Quinn sent off with ten minutes to go, but fought back with goals from Evans, and a Penalty by Taylor, her second goal of the game, to win it for Arsenal.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. A win for Brighton would be helpful – and tbh I quite like them – c’mon you Seagulls

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  18. Indeed Andy, we don’t want to be finishing behind the bar-codes ,com May.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Good game from the Amex and Brighton worked hard for the 3 points. A win for us and we slip into 7th spot. Brighton’s best attacking player Hemed helpfully stamped on an opponent just before the end – although the referee missed it the cameras did not.

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  20. AFCPressWatch‏ @AFCPressWatch2 5h5 hours ago

    Alexis Sanchez has started 99 Premier League matches. Gilberto Silva is the only South American to reach a century of PL starts for Arsenal.

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  21. I don’t like this at all, only started his first game for AFC last week, and is already getting the rewards that should only come after he is established.

    ACL Soccer‏ @ACL_Soccer Sep 23
    Reiss Nelson has just taken delivery of a new Mercedes with Black Chrome wrap detailing, absolutely stunning #AFC #Arsenal

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  22. Sam‏ @samuelJayC 1h1 hour ago

    Wenger says Gibbs was not offered a new deal at #afc & had severe fitness issues which is why he was allowed to leave.

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  23. It is his money and he can do what he wants with it eddy – there is no point in pretending these youngsters are not very well paid and, like everyone else in that position, entitled to enjoy the benefits.

    The important thing is not to deny the young player the fruits of their early success – it is to use these early baubles to inspire them to greater footballing heights.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. When and where did Arsene ever say Kieran Gibbs had “severe fitness issues”

    ……. And that is why AFC sold him !

    Have you a link ?

    Wtf would Arsene or any club manager say a thing like that

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  25. I’m not saying he is not entitled to spend his money any way he see fit, I am just not happy that players are getting star wages before they have even made their league debuts.
    Its one of the things Liam Brady bemoans, he says its causing a lot of young players problems, where they stop developing as they already have the wealth, and the trappings of wealth, without having actually achieved anything in the game. Also that a lot of these lads have problems with hanger ons, sometimes these hanger ons are family members. Brady said he seen many talented players career go awry due to the excess money they get too soon. Not only at AFC but right across the league.
    He does not claim they should not get the big contracts.
    Brady has suggested that a different arrangement for these large payments could be made, where the vast majority of the money is held in trust for them by the FA, or BPL and the player actually does not get this money till they retire.

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  26. I don’t know if samueljayc is quoating or paraphrasing Wenger but in the Wenger interview on .com about Gibbs AW says that KG was first choice many times but fitness problems stopped him at Arsenal

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  27. Andrew, Wenger did allude to Kieran being held back by getting injuries at the wrong time, which even a casual observer of Arsenal could agree with, but he certainly never said anything about severe injury problems.

    Eduardo, I totally see where you are coming from and I agree with you, but the genie is already out of the bottle. Arsenal have to pay the going rate to these youngsters in order to hold on to their potential and can only hope that the player and they people they listen to have their best interests at heart and that the money does not go to their head before their full potential is realised. Unfortunately, we have seen it happen with a few in the recent past and can only hope the current youngsters in and around the first team do not fall victim to the same malaise.

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  28. So what are the offences from the flag and the anthem? Therein lies my challenge! By all means, protest or react or whatever… but the anthem? or Flag? I don’t get it

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  29. TS did you know that the USA government began paying the NFL to get its players to stand for the Anthem only as recently as 2009, it was a marketing ploy, paid patriotism if you like.

    It is something I’ve seen happen in English football too, a massive deal about Service day, the poppy etc, might only be a matter of time before God Save the Queen is played before each game, well as soon as the govt copy the USA and pay for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Jon West

    September 25 2017 8:13 AM

    Arsene Wenger has taken issue with Kieran Gibbs’ claim he will become a better player now he has left Arsenal, insisting that few players go on to bigger and better things once they leave the club.

    Gibbs, 27, joined the Gunners as a teenager but his lengthy association with the north London club was brought to an end this summer when he left to join West Bromwich Albion. Like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who claimed his £40 million move to Liverpool would help him take his game “to the next level”, Gibbs believes his switch to the midlands club will inject fresh momentum into his career.

    Wenger, though, has questioned how often his former players prosper ahead of Gibbs’ return to the Emirates Stadium tonight with his new club.

    “Once someone takes the decision to leave I wish them well and focus on my squad, but just look at the performances of the players who left us and then come back to me about it,” said Wenger.

    Learning is an attitude in life. It doesn’t depend on your geographical status, but more of the attitude in your brain. Are you ready to question yourself every day to see if you can improve? Kieran Gibbs became an England international here. He was a regular player many times but he had some fitness worries so we didn’t offer him a new deal and that’s why he decided to go.

    “You should ask him what he means about being a better defender at West Brom. He will certainly have to defend more because we are a team that goes forward and they are a team who focus more on defending.”

    Gibbs was earmarked as the successor to Ashley Cole but Wenger concedes a succession of injury problems stalled those plans. “Kieran had more health problems than Ashley Cole, who had a frail aspect but a tough body,” added the manager. “Sometimes Ashley had ankle problems but he still played. He played 50 games a year and Kieran had more injury problems than him. It will seem strange to see Kieran in a different shirt because he was educated here from a very young age so I am sure he will have great motivation for this game.”

    Mesut Ozil is set to return following a knee problem.

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  31. Arsenal U23’s are away to Everton U23’s this evening, kick off at 7.
    Reports suggest that Akpom will not be involved, he might be in the first team squad, he trained with the first team yesterday, as did Willock, seemingly they were the only reserves involved.

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  32. team spirit
    What exactly is your question @:September 24, 2017 at 10:50 pm ?
    I’m not sure what you mean to ask

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  33. I’ll put this out there The Military and The First Reponders do not own the flag.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ed, then that is the more reason why they should stand… if they are being paid to, why should the payer not ask why no value for the pay?

    I thought they were playing the anthem as respect for the military so why use it as the protest point? Seems like disrespect to me.

    Hold a press conference, do any other thing

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  35. WWWB does it have anything to do with who owns the flag?
    So the whole nation owns it which simply means they are disrespecting the whole nation, even worse then!

    It is symbolic of the nation and the military fight to defend the nation, hence they seem to be the ones feeling bad…. I think citizens general look at the anthem and flag as symbols to which respect is due.

    find other things to centre your protest around, it’s not that hard

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  36. As it has never affected you,it would not come to your awarness,but there have been many press conferences and no one wants to talk about it or face the fact there is a problem .
    Now one guy is brave enough to ‘take a knee’ it makes it all the way on to Positivily Arsenal as a talking point.
    Do not forget this was a Peaceful and Respectful protest ,he did not Burn ,spit run around the field, jog on the spot, whistle a tune or visibly play pocket billards.

    He ‘Took a Knee’ for people who can’t be heard, where best it could be heard.

    Liked by 2 people

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