September 21, 2019
Sokratis Papastathopoulos’s blunder against Watford is part of a recent trend that will have many sides questioning whether the adoption of this high-risk strategy is worth itL ast Sunday, when the Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos attempted to pass the ball from inside his own penalty area to Mattéo Guendouzi just outside it and in doing so gifted Watford a goal that allowed them back into the game, he joined a recent trend. Everybody wants to play out from the back, but in the past few months doing so has proved exceptionally risky: John Stones against the Netherlands, Plamen Iliev for Bulgaria against England, Michael Keane against Kosovo, Nicolás Otamendi against Norwich – the list of those who have given goals away trying to build from deep grows by the week.
Is Arsenal’s strategy of playing out from the back too great a risk? | Jonathan Wilson
Arsenal had looked suspect long before Tom Cleverley’s goal but didn’t amend their approach. They were playing it out from the back in Frankfurt on Thursday and presumably will do again against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. That’s the way they play, no matter the danger.
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