Does Arsenal losing 5-1 today to Liverpool say something about which direction soccer is going? I think it does. Barcelona is the extreme example of possession soccer especially when Pep Guardiola was coaching them. It almost didn’t matter what the opposition did tactically against them. They were so good they just broke the other team down. If they lost they probably had more than enough chances to win the game but the percentages or luck didn’t go their way on the day. The Spanish national team was the same as Barcelona in their dominance. However, when they won the World Cup they actually lost to Switzerland in the first game. The Swiss had literally one chance to score and did. Much like when Chelsea beat Barcelona. Those two teams proved possession soccer at the highest level beat teams who sat deep and counter attacked. The problem is how many Barcelona’s are out their and can they keep up the focus, determination, mental toughness and intensity to play tiki-taka non-stop and keep winning trophy after trophy? The teams like a modern day arsenal are flat out not as good as Barcelona. Period. When you can not hold the ball and create chances like Barca than the all out possession style is very vulnerable to teams with quality counter attacks. It is much easier to build a team to counter than to build a possession team. Liverpool is exceptional in the speed and quality of their counter and that is not easy to do. However, I still say they are not a great over all team. If you sit and counter against Liverpool they will struggle. Just like when teams sit against Portugal. Ronaldo with little space to run into is much less effective. Arsenal are not built to play well against Liverpool or City at all. I knew if Arsenal gave up the early goals they would be finished. I expected them to win but Liverpool exploited them early and Arsenal is not a come from behind team against the likes of a dangerous counter team like Liverpool. I feel that City allows the other teams to possess at midfield a lot then they hit off the break just like Liverpool. Chelsea are interesting exception because they can adjust and do both. It all depends on who they are playing. Jose is such a great defensive coach but now he has supreme attacking skill to work worth as well. I believe Chelsea will win it if they continue to improve and find that delicate balance between attack and defend. Commit to many forward in a possession style and you are vulnerable. Commit to few and you are predictable and not as dangerous. Unless you hit them with crazy speed on the attack. AVB didn’t get this concept at all at Spurs. Thats why his team couldn’t create chances even though they won the possession % in games they would lose. Arsenal out possessed Liverpool today. How much good did that do them? Let’s see what happens the rest of the way. The point is soccer is evolving everyday and its important to try and figure out how. Chelsea win the League this season. Liverpool drop points against average teams who sit and work hard, Arsenal do what they do and finish top four with no trophies, City finish second and United start to improve but very slowly.