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Grant Got It Wrong


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'Grant got it wrong'

Tony Cascarino felt Avram Grant's tactics cost Chelsea a point against Arsenal on Grand Slam Sunday.

William Gallas' first-half header proved to be the difference in a 1-0 victory for the Gunners, but Cascarino thought Grant's decision to play Andriy Shevchenko up front on his own was costly for Chelsea.

Middlesbrough ended Arsenal's unbeaten run last weekend by playing two up front at the Riverside, while Newcastle and Aston Villa also caused the Gunners problems in the last fornight by taking the game to Arsene Wenger's side.

And Cascarino felt Grant should have replicated those tactics at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"I was disappointed with Avram Grant's tactics yesterday," he told Sky Sports News.

"If you look at the evidence, Arsenal murdered Aston Villa off the pitch in the first half at Villa Park two weeks ago. But Villa threw the kitchen sink at them in the second half, threw forwards on and pressed high up against them and did well.

"After that, Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate both played two forwards, closed Arsenal down in high areas and denied them the chance to get the ball down and play - because that is what you have to do against Arsenal or they'll outplay you.

"But Chelsea had Shevchenko up on his own and they didn't close down the Arsenal back four. They made it a bit of a footballing competition and if you're going to try that tactic then Arsenal will beat you.

"I don't know why Claude Makelele was there in a holding midfield role because that's the worst thing you can do against Arsenal.

"But once they changed their tactics and got Claudio Pizarro on alongside Shevchenko, they looked like they were going to cause Arsenal problems.

"But they gave away the first half and that's when Arsenal scored."

I said that in the match thread.

We should have had 2 up front instead of having Sheva as a lone striker. Play to your strrengths. We didnt have Drogba so we should have adapted our style to what we had available to get the best out of the side.

Edited by Tri-Blue
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well its obvious Shevchenko can't play on his own, we definitely looked better when pizarro came on and caused arsenal trouble. But saying that, we still almost got away with it, missed a few chances but just wasnt to be.

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That goal was a lucky one,mistake by Petr and they got the winner.We played quite well considering those bastards were constantly trying to injure our players.Maybe Grant should have started with 2 forwards,but we can't expect Chelsea to win every game until the rest of the season.I don't recall you all talking crap about Jose when we lost a game.We did have bad matches under his reign aswell.

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Think we should have started with Kalou and Pizarro upfront. Always when Pizarro comes on we seem more dangerous in attack and Pizarro capable of playing football whilst Sheva is only in turns. I think the pressure got to Grant (playing at the mighty Emirates and all) and he went with Makelele in midfield and generally cautiously. But I think we shouldn't be afraid to play without a holding midfielder yet still do good in holding out attacks. From now on it will be easy to criticize Grant's tactics when we lose :P

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I think playing Andrei Shevchenko as a lone striker in this league is futile. Why Grant does not experiment with him and Pizarro, I will never know. We only threatened Arsenal's defence when Pizarro came on to hold up the ball. Its not that difficult to understand.

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I think playing Andrei Shevchenko as a lone striker in this league is futile. Why Grant does not experiment with him and Pizarro, I will never know. We only threatened Arsenal's defence when Pizarro came on to hold up the ball. Its not that difficult to understand.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with that, i think we threatened enough and had some very good chances before Pizarro came on. Playing away from home against Arsenal it was never going to be a game of lots of chances and at every stage of the game our number of chances was greater than theirs. The more chances came once we opened the game wide open to force the issue, which we would never have done from the start because it leaves you wide open at the back, which did happen.

Sheva isn't ideal as the lone striker, but i don't totally agree that you need to be a Drogba type player to play with 1 striker, it depends how you utilise your wingers and what style of play your team is using. If we want to lump it up to a striker to hold up and bring others in then you are not going to get that from a Sheva type player, but if you are going to play through the middle then it doesn't really matter as long as the player is good.

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Sheva isn't ideal as the lone striker, but i don't totally agree that you need to be a Drogba type player to play with 1 striker, it depends how you utilise your wingers and what style of play your team is using. If we want to lump it up to a striker to hold up and bring others in then you are not going to get that from a Sheva type player, but if you are going to play through the middle then it doesn't really matter as long as the player is good.

I noticed a lot of balls were going high to SWP....the smallest player on the pitch. Thats a great way of utilising the wingers :P

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I noticed a lot of balls were going high to SWP....the smallest player on the pitch. Thats a great way of utilising the wingers :P

Are you saying that the players were instructed to hit high balls to SWP??

SWP was struggling to get out of Clichys pocket the whole game and should have come off earlier.

Tactically had we not conceeded somewhat of a freak goal we would have contained the Arse for at least a 0 - 0 draw, until we went all out they never came close.

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