All of this feels Surreal when you glance back in time to the days Pep and Arteta used to tactically plan the downfall of opponents together. Time just glides by you so quickly that you don’t even realize it. It still feels like yesterday for me, but the pupil has grown big enough to stand on his own feet now. Arteta seems ready to look at Pep eye to eye and challenge him on multiple fronts. I can’t think but wonder how this battle will end. More than the outcome, what I feel intrigued by is the tactical chess battle between both these close mates.
Does Pep have a new tactical surprise up his sleeve? This is one question that will surely keep Arteta up at nights. Let’s be fair, you are dealing with a manager who makes crazy seem like normal. This is a manager who did not play a CDM in a Champion’s League final. There cannot be an even more crazier footballing mind out there. Pep does things that we mortals cannot even fathom to imagine.
Yes, his experiments do go wrong, but many of them work wonders as well. Just imagine if that ploy of not playing a CDM in the Champions League final had worked. Pep would have been hailed as this greatest genius who has unmatched courage. The thing that would bother Arteta is the fact that if Pep’s crazy tactics work, they could potentially dismantle the opponent in a way unimaginable. The opponent will lose all of his confidence and that is the last thing Mikel would want in the gigantic clashes against City
If you want to have a glimpse on what Pep might have up his sleeve, you need to understand the strength of Arsenal. Thomas Partey is their pressing machine and everything goes through him. Pep would be thinking how to dismantle Partey. The solution for me is Rico Lewis. He seems unpressable. His decision making and positioning at such a young age is just out of this world. Now, Rico Lewis inverting inside would provide you with 2 advantages. He can carry the ball in order to link defense and attack. But, the major thing will be his defensive role beside Rodri. Rico Lewis sitting as a double Pivot beside Rodri will prevent transitions. Whatever might be Arsenal’s game play this season, i feel that Arteta will look to hit us on the break. It will be an intriguing battle between two of the sharpest minds in world football.