Arsenal embark on their first hectic week of the new season with a return to Champions League football and, of course, the North London Derby on the weekend. Mikel Arteta needs to plan meticulously how to overcome two tough games.
Although fans might have had their eyes on Sevilla as the toughest game of the group, the poor form of the Spanish side in comparison to high-flying PSV might give people food for thought and it certainly will for Arteta. The tactics behind navigating the week in addition to the team selection will be critical to maximise output in both fixtures.
Arsenal finally ended a poor run at Everton after failing to win since 2017 with a victory at Goodison Park, many thanks to a stunning display from Oleksandr Zinchenko who shone throughout the game. He was a menace for the opposition with his unpredictable positioning, slick movement and quick passing.
However, it was a number of passes in-behind to the likes of Fabio Vieira and Leandro Trossard in both halves that caught the attention of onlookers. First-time lofted switches over the Toffees’ defensive line completely ambushed the home side and had both the Portuguese and Belgian attackers through on goal.
Speaking to Zinchenko after the game, football.london asked if this was something the Ukrainian would be adding more to his game. The full-back’s answer however provided far more context to what the plan behind the passes actually was.
“Well, to play against teams which are sitting so deep in the back you need to try to find these types of moments, to play the runs in behind,” Zinchenko said. “If you play too much short with each other, they’re going to jump and they’re going to use their counterattacks.
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