News that Arsenal have triggered Jamie Vardy’s release clause was met a mixed response from Gooners but what would it mean in term of tactical changes for Arsene Wenger’s side?
It is quite clear that Leicester’s winning formula was defend quite deep, wait for the opposition to make a mistake and pounce on it like a snake, then send Vardy to run behind the opposition defence with his pace.
The big question is, should he sign, would he change his style of play or would Arsenal have to cater for it and change theirs?
Playing on the break from deep has always been an option for Wenger’s successful sides. We all remember Henry, Pires, Ljunberg, Vieira or Wiltord breaking at full speed and scoring many goals from deep positions at Highbury.
In the meantime, the Arsenal way of playing with a slow build up from the back and going through midfield to the attacking third before (hopefully) finding an opening in a packed defence does not always seem to bring a lot of joy, especially at home.
The lack of penetration in the final third is a well know problem, but I am not sure Vardy is the right solution to that problem. The one positive I can see from having him in that set-up is he would win a lot of penalty with his ‘clever’ diving tricks.
So with Vardy as a first choice centre forward in the usual 4-3-3 configuration, Arsenal would be better off leaving the ball to the opposition more often and trying to win the ball in their own half.
Thinking about having Vardy, Alexis Sanchez, Iwobi and possibly Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain (if they are both still around and fit) running at defenders is an interesting prospect.
I really cannot see Arsene Wenger changing his attacking football philosophy for one player unless Jamie Vardy is the new Thierry Henry, but we all know this is not the case, so it would be more of a question of Vardy changing his run patterns and thinking to suit Arsenal ball possession football style.
This does not look like a marriage made in heaven, far from it.