Sam Allarydce explains blueprint for dismantling Arsenal

Crystal Palace manager's tactics went to plan to add more misery for Arsene Wenger's team

BY Raf Diallo 17:43 Tuesday 11 April 2017, 17:43 11 Apr 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, right, shakes hands with Crystal Palace's manager Sam Allardyce after the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in London, Monday April 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

On Monday night, Arsenal's already disappointing suffered its latest blow away from home as Crystal Palace outclassed them at Selhurst Park.

Those who have observed Arsenal in the Emirates Stadium era will note that manager Arsene Wenger has generally gone for the same tactics in almost every match, with only slight deviations.

The blueprint generally has been a 4-2-3-1 in which the full backs push forwards and technical midfielders of a similar ilk to each other play a short passing game and look to pick their way through opposition defences.

That of course is a stereotype and their approach is a little more nuanced than that at times, although the rule generally applies somewhat accurately.

When it works, it's easy on the eye and in terms of keeping Arsenal within the Top Four of English football and reaching the Champions League knockout stages, it has been effective prior to this season. More often than not, that is at home at the wide expanses of the Emirates.

However, frustrating the Gunners and hitting them on the break to expose their isolated centre-backs has been a tactic that has worked for a host of managers like Jose Mourinho for example over the years.

And Sam Allarydce summed it up openly in post match comments to Sky Sports last night after guiding his Crystal Palace team to a 3-0 win over his beleaguered opponents.

"They leave [Shkodran] Mustafi and Gabriel really exposed. Monreal and Bellerin play like right and left wingers. The wingers come inside with the centre forward, and [the centre backs] are just left on their own. So if you can get at them you can get into the box and make chances," said Big Sam of Arsenal's full backs who are allowed to push high up the field.

"I think we had the opportunities to score goals, and I think that tonight tactically was the players being aware of what had to happen to beat Arsenal.

"The first thing was to defend correctly as an eleven to keep them playing sideways and backwards. We won a lot of possession off them and won a lot of chances off them."


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