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McParland: Arsenal's High Line Key to Town's Tactics
McParland: Arsenal's High Line Key to Town's Tactics
Thursday, 13th Jan 2011 12:37

Departing caretaker-manager Ian McParland says Arsenal’s high defensive line was key to the Blues’ 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final first leg victory over the Gunners at Portman Road last night. The coach, who cleared his desk at the club before last night’s game, is expected to be told he is no longer required at the club with new boss Paul Jewell taking charge from this morning.

McParland, who switched the Blues to a 4-5-1 formation with Mark Kennedy in the midfield holding role after Sunday's mauling at Chelsea, said: “We looked Arsenal on the DVDs and was saw that they hold a high line, a very high line. We wanted to hit diagonal balls in behind the full-backs for Carlos and Connor to get down the sides and turn them and get them going towards their own goal.

“We knew we’d have to hit them on the counter-attack as we knew we weren’t going to keep the ball because they are a fantastic team. To be fair, our boys did fantastically.”

The man known universally as Charlie says the squad he’s leaving behind are better than their current position of 19th in the Championship. Citing the Coventry, Swansea and Nottingham Forest matches, the 49-year-old believes that had only a few more results gone in the Blues’ favour Roy Keane would still be at the club.

“There are small dividing lines in football. Another two or three wins and the gaffer would still be in a job and we’d be in touching distance of the play-offs,” he said.

“But that’s football nowadays. Fans get edgy, owners get edgy. On the phone-ins, the first thing is, ‘What about the manager?’ People give them a call, ‘Roy’s crap…’. Let’s go.

“They’re a good bunch of lads, a nice bunch, too nice sometimes,” he continued, echoing a familiar theme from Keane’s press conferences. “They need a few characters in there to mingle with the boys that are here and then they’ll kick on and they’ll be fine.”

Asked whether he’ll be at the second leg at the Emirates, the Scot says he might have other things on his mind: “Hopefully, I’ll have another job by then!”

Meanwhile, Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has somewhat bizarrely suggested Town won due to playing tactics more akin to the oval ball game: “I don't know if it is long ball or it is a rugby kick but it worked for them.

“In England, a lot of teams play like that and it works for them, they create chances like that and it is their football. We just have to put the ball on the floor and try to play football.

“Credit to them because they played well but Arsenal played the football, the other team refused to play football, they were lucky to score with a long ball.

“Still, we played well. We were good enough but just did not put the ball in the back of the net. I can remember only two opportunities for them but it was from a long, long ball because when they were playing football they could not really get in behind us.

“It is a disappointing because we were the much better team but it was one of those nights.”


Photo: Action Images



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trulyblue added 12:49 - Jan 13
It's suprising that any reporter managed to get a comment from Fabregas..... I thought he was still in Healy's pocket !
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LincsBluebelly added 12:50 - Jan 13
Sour grapes Cesc, sour grapes. The best team won, get over it!
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legoman added 12:51 - Jan 13
The end. Let the show begin.
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RamseyRobson added 12:51 - Jan 13
Sorry Mr Fabregas..... quality footballer you may be but you've got it completely wrong......
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MVBlue added 12:52 - Jan 13
Roy Keane would not still be here as a given if those 3 matches had been different. He scorned the type of fans at the Barnsley match and openly shouted at fans at the Forest match. He got given time at the start of his first full season to achieve winning a match. He was not very good.
The squad however, are good when using the right tactics and encouragement. Best football i've seen at Portman road since before the Keane era, thats no coincidence.
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PablosRightBoot added 12:53 - Jan 13
Just because you lost. Sour grapes. We outdone you tactically. Well done Charlie. Well done lads. You done the town and club proud!
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Smithy added 12:53 - Jan 13
Fabregas lost alot of credibility with me in my book, very ungracious, sore loser.
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jaydee added 12:54 - Jan 13
Didnt even know you were there last night Fabregas !!!!!!!!
As for not getting behind you,i suggest you look at your dvd sometime re:priskins first goal that was ruled offside.
Now shut the f@'# up & get ready for the return leg.

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Mark added 12:54 - Jan 13
At least McParland goes out on a high, presuming he leaves, with one of the best results in the club's history. Well done to him for getting the tactics spot on, and for seemingly motivating the players and directing them well throughout the match.

I totally disagree with him about Roy Keane though. He talks about if two or three results had have gone differently, but if we had won two more games we would be 14th in the table and even three extra wins would have us 9th, short of the play-offs when promotion was Keane's objective. That is not to mention the awful brand of football Keane was dishing out, or the irrational exclusion of the likes of Delaney, Peters and Priskin who were all fantastic last night.

Great result yesterday. Thanks Charlie.
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Vic added 12:55 - Jan 13
Well if passing the ball forwards 20 yards to the player to score represents a long ball - give me long ball football!
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brogansnose added 12:59 - Jan 13
Sorry Fabregas that we didnt roll over and let you win. Your arrogance is breathtaking and its going to take a lot of surgery to remove your head from your backside. Chelsea beat us 7 nil you didnt, what does that tell you. Mind you perhaps like your manager says you were tired from drawing with another championship side on Saturday.

Charlie got it totally right and any sensible club at any level would have lobbed that ball over the two defenders. They left themselves wide open with that and Tamas could have had had three the same way.
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abidallah added 13:04 - Jan 13
Wiltshire was anonymous and Fabregas only appeared briefly in the last 20 mins. Most of Town's attacks were started by slide-rule balls into the channels, pretty similar to those played into Arshavin and Walcott. A defensive performance, yes, but all five midfielders breaking on the counter at different times... Seem to remember Arshavin and Walcott scoring a fair few counter-attack (which obviously don't count as long-ball ;-) ) goals this season...
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HighgateBlue added 13:06 - Jan 13
I don't really take issue with the rugby comment, as McParland has admitted that his plan involved diagonal balls into the corners.

Three cheers and best wishes for McParland for masterminding a terrific result, especially after the (understandable) disappointment against Chelsea.
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bluelady added 13:11 - Jan 13
thought first half we played long ball then second half came out with heads high and actually started to play them at there own game and had a good mix of long ball and passing and we won, so keep your sour grapes......
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BlueMoolay added 13:13 - Jan 13
Oooooh....you don't like losing do ya Cesc..!! Thanks again Charlie, you were spot on last night. Good Luck for the future mate.
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BYRNE_16 added 13:13 - Jan 13
Cesc who????you sir are a class 1 pr1ck!

I like mcparland shame your leaving! Good luck and all the best
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Titters added 13:17 - Jan 13
Now we can see why Fabregas is Captain. He takes the whingeing and moaning attitude from his manager on to the field of play for him. The constant tantrums we have to listen to every week when Arsenal drop points and the excuses in TV interviews from "The whingeing one" about Blackburn, Bolton, Stoke, Ipswich, Leeds and many more that beat those overpaid prima donna's through 100% effort because they do not have the same financial clout. No Wenger, some teams will not roll over and die so grow a pair and give credit where credit is due. We are getting bored of your childish behaviour.
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Bluroo added 13:18 - Jan 13
Your right Charlie, small things in football.
Had the Arsenal and Chelsea matches been the other way around in the calendar, you'd be leaving here having been beaten 7-0 and I wonder how many fans would want you to stay then...
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La_Paz added 13:24 - Jan 13
Right then, let's examine the Arsenal tactical masterplan shall we?

1. Approach opposition box down the middle with a few pointless tippy-tap passes.

2. Throw yourself to the floor with double twist and pike.

That isn't football either, it's cheating. When you leave yourself so wide open at the back it is obvious people are going to play the ball over the top. It's too easy. We have been passed off the park by Barnsley this season, unfortunately you and your overpaid mates couldn't manage it last night. Diddums.
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JewellintheTown added 13:24 - Jan 13
lol to Fabre(full of hot)gas! Did he turn up to a different game? Well considering he had a sleep through most of the game, I dont blame him for only noticing what he did. What a n*b head!

Cheers Charlie for the memories. Hope to see you back again some day.
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trueblue added 13:27 - Jan 13
Mr Wenger claims the games played previous for there downfall, they played saturday, we didn't play till sunday. thats 1 whole days extra rest for you then !
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Back_The_Boss added 13:46 - Jan 13
Losing won't do you any harm Cesc, I am sure you will turn it around the Emirates!
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bluepeter added 13:52 - Jan 13
Mr mcParland, respect for being so gracious regarding your position. I could tell from the emotion in your voice how dedicated you were to fans and players and can only guess that life under Mr Keane probably was not always easy.

I genuinely wish you well and would love to see you return one day. THANK YOU
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itfc1981 added 14:25 - Jan 13
Great thing is Arsenal will have to play the same way in the second leg! Fabrigas is a disgrace, we outplayed you on the deck and in the air!
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itfc1981 added 14:27 - Jan 13
Thats two more chances then than you Cesc! git!
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