McLintock: Why don't Arsenal copy Europe's best in this key area?

Emirates Outside Night

Arsenal legend Frank McLintock has questioned a tactical aspect of his old side under Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal legend Frank McLintock was critical of his old side on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT.

The former Scotland international was critical of a certain aspect of Arsenal’s performance he felt was lacking as the side lost 3-1 against Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League clash last night.

“I don’t know why they don’t press high up the pitch – there doesn’t seem to be a player within ten yards of the opposition when they lose possession,” said McLintock.

“All of the top teams in Europe have made it part of their game – Barcelona try and win the ball back within six seconds.”

The advantage of a high press is that it increases the chance a team can maintain pressure over their opposition.

A team can work hard to stop a side defensively, but if they lose the ball quickly it means relentless pressure which is both physically and mentally demanding.

What Arsenal seem to do is drop off from their opposition, allowing them to move into their half and control the game that way.

Alternatively, as Monaco showed last night, the Gunners are vulnerable against the counter attack when they leave space in behind to be exploited.

It is strange as to why Arsenal don’t press more aggressively, which is the case at Barca, Real Madrid and even local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Arsenal have it all to do when they travel to Monaco for the second leg and they’ll have to dominate possession and other aspects of the game if they’re to have any chance of making it through to the next round.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch