Is there only one way to play football? Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would definitely agree to that hypothesis. Over the years, Wengera s team have continued to play attacking football despite suffering from some shock defeats from time to time.
Wenger has come under severe criticism over the years, but Wenger has stuck to his guns and achieved reasonable success with the club.
Earlier in the year, however, something unusual happened in a game played in Manchester a at the Etihad Stadium. The Frenchman set up his team to defend deep and play on the counter attack. The Gunners conceded possession without any problems, inviting City to attack.
The tactics were spot on, yielding a famous 0-2 win for the club when most experts expected another thrashing for Wengera s side.
Nevertheless, when Arsenal go to Old Trafford for the FA Cup tie on Monday, Wenger says his side will keep possession and attack the home side.
“At Manchester City, we scored the first goal, then we were on a defensive foot because they had to come out, and that [who scores first on Monday] is not predictable,” he told reporters.
“But what is for sure is both teams will go for it, so that means we will have to attack well and defend well.
“You have to analyse it. You also have to look at ways of possession – is it in your own half or is it in the opponents’ half? If it is in your half, it can be a bit illusionary possession.
“I still think possession is an important part of the game – you cannot go into a game and say you do not want the ball.
“Sometimes you do not have the ball because your opponent is better, sometimes you are leading 1-0 or 2-0 and your team is focused on defending the advantage.
“But overall I still think it is very important that the sport rewards people and teams who take initiative.”
The Gunners are in a rich vein of form at the moment, winning 10 out of their last 12 matches in all competitions, but tend to struggle if an opposing team put on a resolute defensive display.
The Frenchmana s side suffered a shock 1-3 defeat at home in the Champions League to Monaco last week as they looked to take control and attack the French side. Monaco took advantage of the same, slotting three goals past David Ospina.