Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Wenger worried by over-cautious Premier League

Arsene Wenger believes the Premier League has "lost something" with many teams now adopting a more cautious approach - but vowed to find the answer as Arsenal look to get themselves back into the title race.

The Gunners finally ended the stubborn resistance of Bolton when substitute Nicklas Bendtner struck a winner with six minutes left at the Emirates Stadium.

The visitors adopted a very deep 4-5-1 formation, which for the best part of an hour Arsenal struggled to break down.

It is an all-too familiar tactical conundrum which now greets the leading coaches as teams seek to cancel any potent attacking threat rather than attempt to stand toe to toe - which leaders Liverpool discovered to their cost in a goalless draw at Stoke.

"It is maybe one of the weaknesses of the top Premier League sides this year that teams have learned only to defend away from home, the leading clubs have all struggled with that - even Manchester United, with all their offensive force."

Wenger added: "The Premier League has definitely lost something. When I arrived here in 1996, everybody had a go at you and there was space up and down the flanks.”

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