Watch + Learn: Overlapping Defenders
The Big Game: Arsenal v Chelsea
A big London derby means massive pressure on Mr. Arteta - 15th in the league – no wins in their last 7 league games – out of the Carabao Cup - some of the players clearly not giving their best. Mr. Lampard has had to be patient after back-to-back defeats – but he got his rewards against West Ham – a solid 3-0 win. Chelsea has a better squad and is looking dangerous. Arsenal will try to hang on for a result.
The Gunners are currently enduring their worst start to a season since 1974-75. The 2-1 loss to Everton last weekend has left them 15th in the Premier League. And now the 1-4 defeat to Man City – out of the Carabao Cup.
Premier League legend Alan Shearer has tipped them for relegation. Asked if the club will stay up, Shearer said:
"I wouldn't be so sure. Not with that starting team and the attitude of some of those players. Awful, no creativity, players going through the motions, not working hard enough, and not closing down. Mikel Arteta should be a worried man relying on that group of players trying to save his job."
Despite fears Arsenal is slipping into a barely-believable relegation battle, Arteta is set to be backed with a cash injection in January. Thomas Partey was brought in from Atletico Madrid in the summer and performed admirably before getting injured. Arteta will have to work magic in the transfer window if the club is to escape their relegation battle.
Match Edge Predicts: – Over 1.5 Goals + Away Win or Draw
Get Match Edge every Friday morning in your Inbox - sign up FREE
Watch & Learn – Overlapping Defenders
In modern soccer, defenders are no longer restricted to pure defensive roles, rather a focal point of a team’s attacking structure. It’s a pleasure to watch the fast over-laps result in a cross fizzed across the 6-yard box for a striker to get a shot on goal. Both teams have fantastic overlapping defenders. Watch out for James (if he recovers from his knee injury) or Azpilicueta and Chilwell for Chelsea – and 2 young stars for Arsenal - Sake, and Tierney.
Set up your own over-lapping defenders training session. Play starts with the goalkeeper passing out to the defenders in space – who must then make fast progress over the half-way line – before finding a mid-field player in space. Make sure your session includes a pass back to the goalkeeper – it’s important to stress the importance of the goalkeeper as a member of the defensive line and a pass option when playing out from the back. It’s up to your mid-field players to find space and to look for a fast-passes to break the defensive line. You want to see players switching play to make use of space and looking for the opportunity for the over-lapping defenders to sprint past the defensive line.