Saturday, June 15, 2024

Tactics Video: How Kiwior and Jorginho improved Arsenal’s attack

All of this article is better shown and communicated by video, so I put together a 12-minute video to showcase it. Have a watch below and like and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you enjoyed it.

For those of you who still prefer a good read, I’ve summarised the video in written content below.

Below, a graphic of how Arsenal planned to / did line-up for much of 2023. Arsenal lent heavily on the inversion of Zinchenko and that meant Gabriel playing as LCB, White sitting a bit deeper and a box midfield forming.

As Rice adjusted to a new team a position, the early stages of this season saw Odegaard dropping a bit deeper than he’d like and a bit more central than previously. Arsenal at their best saw Odegaard combining with Saka on the right. Jesus was also isolated and this saw Havertz push further forward as he also tried to satisfy the request of more goals.

As a result of these naturals shifts, Arsenal’s most dangerous players and top scorers last season in Martinelli, Saka and Odegaard were all not in positions where they could be as effective. The two wide men were now isolated and finding themselves 1 v 3 in attacking scenarios, whilst Odegaard was further from the box.

So, partly through necessity (injuries) and partly through tactics, Arteta introduced Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho for Zinchenko and Jesus / Nketiah. On the face of it, those are more defensive changes, but the subsequent shift in shape allowed Arsenal to be more effective in attack.

Jorginho actually took Zinchenko’s role, his experience here allowed Rice to push forward and Rice and White’s athleticism allow for them to help both in attacking and defensive transitions. Saliba and Gabriel shifted one across to allow for Kiwior to come in at LCB.

This allowed for White to get forward and create a dangerous attacking triangle on the right that has seen lots of goals and dangerous chances created. It also gives Arsenal a really nice shape and web of combinations across the pitch!

For in-game examples, and heatmaps that show how Jorginho is doing Zinchenko’s job, watch the video in full below.

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