'Arsenal are capable of coping with the pressure in times of adversity': Former Gunners defender Lauren confident in title win
Lauren believes Arsenal's tactical plan under Mikel Arteta will allow them to go all the way and claim the Premier League title
Former Arsenal defender Lauren believes that Mikel Arteta’s tactical flexibility has been key to Arsenal’s Premier League title charge, and he is confident they can claim the title come May.
The Gunners legend explained that the Spaniard’s willingness to change formations is helping to utilise the immense talent at his disposal.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, in association with Bet365 Freebets, he said: “He’s changed tactically from 4-2-3-1, which sometimes becomes 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1. We have seen the introduction of (Oleksandr) Zinchenko as an extra man in the middle of the park, and Ben White play in that position too, but sometimes in the back as part of a three.
“We see how the team is pressing high up and winning the ball back in the opposition half. Sometimes they play as well in the low block and defend well. They’ve got good transitions, and the speed in the movement of the ball is amazing, which was shown perfectly in the Fulham game.
“White has been brilliant so far and gives you a lot in terms of how to come out with the ball from the back, which is the kind of possession that sums up Arsenal’s identity. Tactically, he can be a centre-back too, so when Zinchenko comes inside, the system changes and you have three centre-backs: Ben White, Gabriel and Saliba. Tactically, he does a lot.
“Takehiro Tomiyasu is also a good player who gives you a different option. It’s not easy to come from Italian football to the Premier League. You need time to get used to the Premier League and I believe he’s done well.”
Arsenal’s charge towards the Premier League title has caught many by surprise, but Lauren stressed he always had belief in this group of players.
“I’m not surprised by how much they’ve improved, because I always knew the talent was there,” he explained.
“What surprised me most, is the team has shown that they can dominate teams throughout the 90 minutes in many games this season.
“They dominate their opponents with possession and good transitions. Tactically they are able to isolate opponents in their own half, put them under pressure and utilise the speed of the ball.
“The intensity to do that for 90 minutes consistently is very difficult. What Mikel Arteta insists on, is that the team performs well every single week and they’ve done that throughout this season.
“One of my big questions about this Arsenal team was whether they could cope with the pressure that comes with challenging for the title. There was no question about their talent or the tactics because they were doing very well.
“It was more about how they cope with the pressure and in times of adversity. They are capable of doing that, which gave me a lot of belief in that squad.”
Lauren was speaking to FourFourTwo in association with Bet365 Freebets.
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