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Giroud vs Tottenham 01/09/13 – Tactical Analysis

Here is a tactical analysis of Olivier Giroud’s goal against Tottenham on Sunday 1st September 2013. Enjoy!

Here is the build up to the goal. Rosicky is the player inside the box with the ball, he is facing towards three Tottenham defenders who are all circled in red. Prior to this Giroud (at the top of the screen has pulled away from them bringing a defender with him). Theo Walcott is the man behind the three defenders and he is circled in green. The arrow in-front of him shows where he is running. What is wrong with this defensive lay out, is that there are three players on Rosicky,. What should be happening is two should be covering Rosicky, and one marking Walcott and his run. What Rosicky now does is play the ball out to the end of the Walcott’s run and Walcott has no problem with receiving the ball.
At the top of the screen is Giroud. In-front of him is a defender. Keep that in your head.
Now we see Walcott with the ball. Behind him is the blue line of where he has come from, just to give you a sense of the change. The three Tottenham players are circled once again. All three are looking towards Walcott yet none are closing him down. There is no logical reason for this what soever, so clearly, they had made the mistake earlier and it wasn’t a clever move and they are now not communicating. What should happen,, is that the defender closest to Walcott, should be closing him down in the next picture. We’ll see soon.
At the top of the picture, once again, is Giroud being marked, however, here the defender – Michael Dawson – is in a box, if you look at where his head is, he is looking towards the ball and hasn’t once checked to see where Giroud is. Giroud is circled in Green and is now starting to run past the idle defender.
Here we see an arrow coming from Walcott, this is the path of his cross, about a foot in front of Giroud and his marker. Now, we can see that Giroud has caught up with Dawson and the Englishman has only just realised his error. Now, he is panicking and trying to use his strength to block Giroud from the ball.
The three defenders are circled yet again, and if you look at every single one of them, they are all in a useless position. The player closest to Walcott should have closed him down by now, if he had not got there in time, he still would have been able to stick his leg out and hope that it would go out for a corner. The one to the left of him, is copying the others run, he is looking the same way and running in the same direction. There is no way to fix their mistake once the ball has been crossed in.
The move is complete. Giroud has got in front of Dawson after the defender tried to slide him. This is a big mistake as it means he can no longer get in the way of his finish. Should he have stood his ground, there would only be a slight possibility that Giroud could have scored. Even if he had got his shot away, Dawson could have deflected it wide with an outstretched foot.
It was a shocking piece of defending, while being a nice move by Arsenal. What really lacked in this goal was communication between the defenders.
Written by Harry Robinson – @HRFootball – Visit the original article at