Holding Midfield: Case Study: Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City 2/4/2017

Holding Midfield

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Apr 6, 2011

Despite the FA Cup victories in recent years, Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal has grown increasingly stale if only due to the uncanny feeling of deja vu that accompanies them. At first this was justified as limited finances in the wake of building the Emirates Stadium saw them slip behind those with more resources, yet year after year they never quite made it back to the peak. While they never face disaster, they never quite have anything to look forward to either: easing their way through the Champions League group stages, but then crashing out in the last sixteen; making a title challenge, but not sustaining it when the going gets tough. That feeling must have only been aggravated by Leicester City tearing up the accepted wisdom last season and, as Arsenal’s season settles into that now familiar pattern, the atmosphere has turned decidedly toxic in North London. On the back of two losses, another visit from one of the league’s better teams didn’t come at a welcome time for Wenger. Both managers opted for a 4-2-3-1, which would typically make for a tight congested game but instead it was rather open. Part of this was due to the way […]

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