Arsenal Tactics under Unai Emery?

Match Analysis Arsenal

Most people are curious as to what approach a certain coach uses for its club or team players. Upon observing Arsenal’s new coach, Unai Emery, we will be explaining the specific set of skills and tactics he uses to coach his club Arsenal in this article.

Manager Unai Emery’s Philosophy

Unai Emery has been the head coach and manager of Arsenal since May 2018. He started his career as a coach after his retirement from football in 2004. He has loved it and absolutely enjoys it; despite the stressful times he has to face during the Premier League.

Emery believes that being a coach is very demanding, and he has to deal with all sorts of people around, making sure he’s calm and collected. Despite all that, he still enjoys coaching Arsenal’s team players and feels like a father to most of them while coaching them. Upon joining, it was a big challenge for him and his club Arsenal to adjust. But now, Emery says “My heart is 100% Arsenal”, which shows his loyalty and passion for his club and team players.

Arsenal Tactics under Unai Emery – Explained

Arsenal under went serious change last summer when their ex-coach of 22 years – Arsene Wenger – left and was replaced with Unai Emery. During successful spells as manager of Valencia, Emery earned a reputation for his obsession with details. He, unlike, Wenger, prefers structured football and is open to altering strategy depending upon the opponent. Thus, his challenge at the Emirates stadium was not only to improve results but to change a tactical culture that had been ingrained for decades.

So far, Emery has lined his side up in a 4-3-2-1 formation, though in keeping with his aforementioned flexibility, he has experimented with the back three in Europe and a 4-4-2 shape in the 5-1 away win over Fulham.

Attacking

When attacking, this 4-2-3-1 becomes more of a 2 for 4 with both fullbacks pushing high down their respective flanks, and the winger is coming inside to the join the attacking midfielder and striker. These movements are not done only to increase the number of viable passing options for the player in possession, but to undermine the opponents’ defensive structure.

When building out from the back, Arsenal centre backs have typically 3 forward options. They may go diagonally out wide to the full-back, inside to the nearest central midfielder or vertically to the winger in the inside channel.

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The number of possibilities available, as well as the staggering of players on different lines, allows for multiple passing combinations to effectively advance possession. Emery’s high positioning of the full backs, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, allows the wingers to take up more central roles, meaning at least 2 are operating between the lines of opposition defence. This causes a decisional crisis for the opposition.