The football style that is now synonymous with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho in big games of ‘parking the bus’ comes in very handy sometimes.
On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal may need to use the much-maligned style when the Gunners travel to Manchester City.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger loathes changing his football philosophy from attacking, passing football. However, sometimes needs must and Sunday is one of those games.
Manchester City are on fire
Manchester City are playing vibrant and exciting football at the moment. Some observers have even claimed that the Citizens are playing the best football the Premier League has ever seen.
The attacking talents of Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are simply unstoppable when on form. In the last few weeks, Pep Guardiola’s side have been on top form.
On Wednesday night, the Citizens recorded a highly impressive 4-2 win at Italian league leaders Napoli. To score that many goals against such an accomplished side takes some doing.
Arsenal can be defensively vulnerable
Arsenal have shown two sides of their defensive play this season. We have seen the solid Arsenal defence, looking assured and collected at times. However, we have also seen the defensively vulnerable Gunners this season too.
In short, the Arsenal defence needs protection against City. That means taking a cautious approach to pick-up a result at the Etihad Stadium.
Wenger has pulled it off before at the Etihad, while also gaining a goalless draw at Chelsea earlier in the season by using similar tactics. The veteran French boss has come in for criticism in his Arsenal career for not focussing on the other team’s strengths and just trying to out-play teams.
Unfortunately, for Arsenal, they cannot do that against Manchester City. Quite simply City have better players than the Gunners. If they try and outplay Guardiola’s side, then it is likely to end in defeat.
Arsenal underdogs against City
Arsenal head into Sunday’s game as underdogs at 13/2 to record a victory in Manchester. In truth, most teams would be underdogs facing Manchester City at the moment.
However, if Wenger gets his tactics right, then who knows the Gunners may just leave the north west with a positive result. Wenger will know that to go toe-to-toe with City is a mistake, so I have a hunch that the Frenchman will approach the game with caution.
Will Arsenal ‘Park the bus’ at the Etihad Stadium?