Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's 'tactical genius' highlighted in 2-0 Man Utd win


Mikel Arteta has experienced every emotion during his first three games as Arsenal manager.

The 1-1 draw at Bournemouth left him shrugging his shoulders, the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea showed him heartbreak and the 2-0 win over Manchester United gave him pure joy.

And while United opened the door for victory with a dire display at the Emirates, it remained a watershed moment for the Gunners who hadn't won at home in the league since October.

Perhaps the most promising thing about the result, however, was the manner in which Arsenal secured it.

We're pretty sure Gooners would take victories at any cost right now, but there's also a thirst for the style of football that shimmered off the pitch during Arsene Wenger's tenure.

Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd

And considering Arteta's education under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, looking forward to that philosophy of possession is by no means unrealistic.

Did Arsenal pass United off the pitch? By no means at all, but there we signs of change that show the club's hierarchy could well be vindicated for rolling the dice on Arteta.

And that's exactly what YouTuber 'Nouman' has sort to highlight in his latest tactical analysis video, titled: 'Mikel Arteta - The New Tactical Genius' and with 250,000 views in just two days.



You can check out the full video here, but keep scrolling for our breakdown of the analysis.


Arsenal operated in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which evolved into a 3-2-4-1 during possession with Granit Xhaka slotting into left-back and Sead Kolasinac bombing forward.

Arteta called upon Guardiola's famous utilisation of 'inverted full-backs', which Arsenal haven't shown all season, and allowed the Gunners to gain a numerical advantage in midfield.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moved centrally to pull Aaron Wan-Bissaka out of position, allowing Kolasinac to cause an overload, and inverting Ainsley Maitland-Niles into the midfield.


The benefits of Guardiola's tactic

So what were the benefits of this?

1. With both Xhaka and Kolasinac moving to the left, Daniel James was left in no man's land, meaning Arsenal had the option to either go long or get behind United on the flanks.

2. Maitland-Niles in the centre not only makes the most of his attacking attributes, but ensures a 3v3 in the midfield and kills off the United counterattack.

3. This tactic made use of Xhaka and David Luiz's skill with long balls - they completed a total of 16 throughout the game - in order to unlock Kolasinac, who assisted the opening goal.


Learning from the Chelsea loss

Arsenal also used a more finessed version of high-pressing, deciding to flood the central passing lanes - sometimes as much as 6v2 - after they gassed out during the second-half vs Chelsea.

This either forced United to play sideways passes or to gamble with long balls, which played into Arsenal's hands considering Sokratis Papastathopoulos is so strong in the air.

And finally, Arsenal abused the fact that Marcus Rashford doesn't track back as much as James, allowing Nicolas Pepe to apply pressure on Luke Shaw with Alexandre Lacazette's support.


GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

It's easy to think we're getting a little carried away here - besides, United played shockingly - but what counts is that Arteta is already implementing clear change.

The sort of tweaks shown in the video are not only exciting because of their heritage with Guardiola, but also how seamlessly they marry to the modern, Arsenal philosophy.

There's a clear indication that Arteta is tailoring his tactics to the specific opposition and players as well as learning from what he saw from his team during previous games. 


It's starting to feel like Arteta has been itching to unleash his tactics and knowhow after three seasons in Manchester - and now the Premier League is bearing the brunt of its release.

United could be the first victim on a list of many.

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