International football may bore us all to the point of tears, but it also provides an ideal window to reflect on Arsenal and our fledgling 2023/24 campaign.
The Gunners have begun the season in a more muted fashion compared to last year, replacing their once blistering brand of ‘Artetaball’ with a stodgy approach that has, so far, left many fans decidedly uninspired.
However, Mikel Arteta would remind us that his men are still racking up the points and remain unbeaten at this admittedly early stage, while a statement win over Manchester United offers the team a huge platform to build on when domestic action finally returns.
Arsenal and the 2023/24 campaign: 3 things we have learned
There is plenty to dissect from the Arsenal camp even after just four weeks, and here are three pertinent lessons we have learned.
1. Arsenal are now a less aggressive team
Perhaps another ‘crazy idea’ that will simultaneously fix our red card issues.
As mentioned before, Arsenal have slightly changed their methods this season and now seem less inclined to try ‘aggressive’, vertical passes through opposition blocks, instead electing to move the ball out wide when in attack.
These adjustments are partly forced by extreme midfield congestion, with wary opposition desperate to keep us away from dangerous central areas.
But they also protect Arsenal from transitions as we are less likely to sloppily lose possession in uncrowded channels, which consequently keeps the number of chances we concede to a minimum.
Our conservatism might represent an antidote for our ‘emotional’ squad and help us to better control games, although wing confinement could likewise kill any offensive momentum.
It is Arteta’s job to find the perfect balance.
Continued on the next slide…