Out of all the managers in the Premier League, it could be argued that Arsene Wenger has been the one that has always concentrated on flair over physical attributes. The Gunners boss now claims that the rest of Europe is moving this way and says that those players that rely on more physical attributes are getting less of a chance to shine.
Throughout his tenure at Arsenal Wenger has been an advocate of the technically gifted players. While he has at times supplemented these players with some with more of a physical presence, there’s never been any doubt that he has always been a firm believer of flair.
Following on from the above, the Frenchman has told the press that he thinks that football has changed to such an extent over the years that more and more managers are starting to believe in these philosophies. Speaking to the media, he said, “There is less space available, so accuracy is key. Secondly, because there is a smaller space the shorter players, the very agile players, are becoming more important and the taller players in midfield less so. That could be an explanation. It’s changed in the last four or five years – the distances absorbed by players are becoming bigger and bigger, and therefore the limited space on the pitch demands more technical ability.”
Wenger also seemed to indicate that the Gunners are relying more and more on their midfield influence and less on the strikers. Few supporters will disagree with such sentiments, with summer signing Santi Cazorla generally being at the centre of all positive moods forward this term. With the likes of Mikel Arteta and eventually Jack Wilshere also relying heavily on their technical skills, Arsenal really can be described as the modern day example of what Wenger has described.