Predictable Arsenal lose midfield battle

“Recent Arsenal teams are damned by comparisons with their predecessors. Arguably Arsene Wenger’s greatest side were endearingly revolutionary in their movement. As Villa halted the modern-day outfit, perhaps they were too predictable in their shape. Wenger’s finest front four contained Thierry Henry, a striker who drifted to the left wing; Dennis Bergkamp, the No. 10 who would wander deeper into midfield; and ostensible wide men in Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg who avoided the touchline to veer infield. As neither was a winger, they can’t be called inverted wingers, but Pires was a right-footed left-sided player who headed for the penalty box. Even last season, Robin van Persie called himself a nine-and-a-half; neither a No. 9 nor a No. 10, but a hybrid, who could lead the line and drop off.” ESPN

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