The Gunners picked up a fine 2-0 victory after switching to a more defensive system.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his tactical switch to a more defensive, solid system for the visit to Manchester City last weekend was as a result of pleas from his players to adopt a different approach, report the Mail, with the Gunners’ new found pragmatism leading them to a shock 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
The Gunners have endured a terrible record in games against fellow contenders for the top four positions in the Premier League in recent seasons, particularly away from home, with many onlookers putting their woes down to a lack of solidity and a naivety in playing with an open style.
It would appear that Wenger’s players agreed with the general consensus, with the Frenchman admitting that he chose to alter his tactics for the 2-0 win in Manchester as as a result of wanting to keep his squad happy:
“At some stage you cannot go against the feelings of the team because it’s detrimental to the result,” he said.
The team sometimes needs to be reassured and reassurance comes first from feeling solid and strong and then you can express your talent and our confidence in the big games had been damaged by these big results.”
The resilience of Arsenal seemed to catch Manchester City by surprise and the reigning Premier League champions were unable to break down their stubborn visitors, with the performance of defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin in particular catching the eye.