We have long been known for our possession football, but we showed on Sunday that we don’t require the lion’s share of the ball to win a game.
These alarming stats suggest in fact, that we actually perform better without the ball. The figures show that we are unbeaten away from home since 2003 when our possession drops below 44%, suggesting perhaps that when we concede the ball and focus on defence we are extremely difficult to break down.
Incredible Arsenal statistic – Unbeaten since 2003 every time possession drops below 45%. Worth changing philosophy? pic.twitter.com/viS50VKd90
— Gary Curneen (@GaryCurneen) January 20, 2015
Our disciplined and defensive performance against the Premier League champions on Sunday was somewhat out of the norm, but showed exactly what we are capable of when our tactics are adapted to suit the opposition.
We sat far deeper against Manchester City, crowding out their flair players in the final third of the pitch; happy to concede possession to their centre-backs and less creative stars.
It was obvious that Manchester City posed far less of a threat when the likes of David Silva were kept off the ball. Our willingness to pack the midfield and keep men behind the ball ensured that the Spaniard was starved of possession, despite his side seeing plenty of it.