Defensive shambles overshadows Arsenal preparations
Sunday, 2nd Oct 2011 11:36
Wojciech Szczesny has admitted that Arsenal have already abandoned the defensive strategy that had been worked on all summer.
The impressive young goalkeeper told the Guardian:
"We have decided to change it since Blackburn. It really doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it correctly and it works. I think zonal works better for us. We have worked on it during pre-season where we never conceded from a set piece and it looked like it was working.
"We did concede a stupid goal at Blackburn and I hope the man-marking will work for us now."
Zonal marking has always been a controversial tactic in the Premier League because when a mistake is made it can create much more dramatic consequences than when a defender simply loses their man. An error in the zonal marking system can make your whole defence look like a total shambles which is what has happened to Arsenal on a number of occasions at the start of the season.
The fact that Wenger has decided to revert to the man marking system that has served him well for his whole career at Arsenal is probably a positive but you have to question why he opted to work on a zonal marking system for the entire pre-season.
We are now left in a situation where the players will not have a clear plan in their minds and it is another indication that the preparation for this season has been completely inadequate.
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