Why does Nicolas Pepe choose Arsenal

Analysis of opponents Arsenal FC: Still a top team?

Analysis │ On Saturday evening, Liverpool FC will go to Arsenal FC in London on Matchday 30 of the Premier League.

The team from the capital is now heading in the right direction again. Above all, one's own talents give hope. What are the reasons for this, an analysis:

Instead of being in the battle for the championship, the Gunners have not reached the Champions League once in the last four years, having previously qualified for the premier class twenty times in a row. So a change was needed.

Reinforced both in the tip and in the width

In the summer the Gunners strengthened themselves considerably. With Gabriel Magalhāes (23) a new central defender was brought in from Lille, with Willian (32) a winger from Chelsea FC and with Thomas Partey (27) a central midfielder from Atletico Madrid. In addition, in persona Pablo Mari (27) and Cedric Soares (29), two players remained with the team for the defensive width after their respective loan deals.

There was also William Saliba (20), a very talented central defender who was signed last season but had been loaned back to France for a year. Emiliano Martinez (28) was given up in the summer. The substitute goalkeeper went to Aston Villa. In addition, some talents were awarded, including Matteo Guendouzi (21) to Berlin or Konstantinos Mavropanos (23) to Stuttgart.

In the winter, Arsenal became very active again in the transfer market. New to the team were creative man Martin Ødegaard (22) and substitute keeper Mathew Ryan (28), both of whom came on loan. A number of players with contracts that were too high, as well as talents who were supposed to collect playing time elsewhere, were given up.

Sead Kolasinac (27) and Shkodran Mustafi (28) went to Schalke, Mesut Özil (32) to Turkey, Sokratis Papastathopoulos (32) to Greece. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (23), who went to West Brom and Joe Willock (21), who joined Newcastle, left the club on loan from Saliba, who is now playing in Nice after a more than unfortunate semicircle. All loans run for six months.

Change thanks to the blossoming talents

For much of the first half of the season, the team played in a 3-4-3. At the end of December, coach Mikel Arteta (39) switched to a 4-2-3-1. The main reason for the system change is because one's own talents have undergone an extremely strong development. Bukayo Saka (19) is probably the best player this season on the offensive flank, the Englishman has got the second most minutes of play of all outfield players so far. Emile Smith-Rowe (20) has also arrived in the first team and is showing strong performances.

And other players have also taken the next step. In the central midfield, Granit Xhaka (28) has finally become the leader that the Swiss had hoped for since moving to the island. Central defender Rob Holding (25) has developed into one of the better players in his position in the league over the course of the season. Last year's newcomers Nicolas Pepe (25) and Kieran Tierney (23) have now fully arrived. And also the emergency solution Cedric Soares plays at a level that few other right-backs have.

You have to worry a little about Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31). The Ghanaian newcomer is regularly out due to minor and major injuries, captain Aubameyang has only met poorly nine times this season for his circumstances and had to hand over his position as the leader of the offensive to Alexandre Lacazette (29) at times.

Mikel Arteta - Guardiola's student

As early as 2018, they wanted to get Mikel Arteta to succeed Arsene Wenger. At that time, however, he preferred to stay with Manchester City as an assistant to Pep Guardiola. Arteta worked under the Spaniard for a total of three and a half years. In addition to his work with Guardiola, why he was brought in is also because he played at Arsenal for five years during his playing days. During this time he was able to win the FA Cup twice and the Community Shield twice.

Arteta stands for attractive possession football, but is also pragmatic enough to see when your own team is qualitatively inferior. Then the Gunners play very defensively and rely primarily on the counterattack. It will be exciting to see what tactics Arteta choose against Liverpool.

His tactical flexibility within the system is also impressive. How he uses the pressing during a game, different types of game setup or different variations in the opposing third, all of this makes the Spaniard one of the better coaches in the league today.

Too often you deprive yourself of your wages

As already mentioned, things have been going much better since the system changeover. Right at the start, the Gunners remained unbeaten in seven games and won five of them. This said goodbye to the relegation battle into which one had slipped in December. In the past eight games, the balance sheet has been balanced. Three wins, two draws and three defeats.

Many of the point losses were more than unnecessary. Against Wolverhampton Wanderers (1: 2), for example, they completely dominated the first half and should have led higher than just 1: 0. In stoppage time, the Wolves got a penalty and David Luiz (33) the red card. The game then tipped over and Arsenal lost. Against Burnley FC (1: 1) you did not get a clear hand penalty, against Aston Villa (0: 1) Arsenal were the clearly superior team after an early shock in the 2nd minute.

In the last game before the international break, they slept through the initial phase against West Ham United and were 3-0 down after 30 minutes. The fact that the Gunners were then the dominant team and still managed to score 3: 3 clearly speaks for the team spirit.

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Arsenal has developed into a team that knows very well how to give the opponent little space and to switch strongly even after winning the ball. The central midfielders are more important defensively, while the offensive is mainly about the offensive wing defenders. Therefore, you have to avoid simple ball losses as much as possible, and sufficient protection should always be available.

On the offensive, the fine-tuning between the wing defenders and the outer central defenders is now getting better and better. The best way to get scoring chances against the Gunners is to put pressure on their build-up. Arteta's team wants to find a playful solution even under great pressure, in recent weeks this has often led to quick ball losses in their own third.

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