Team Chemistry – what is it, how do you make it

Arsenal and Team Chemistry – Something that money cant buy.

By Dark Prince

Team Chemistry – What is it?? It’s something we cannot touch, something we cannot artificially make and most importantly, something which teams like Man C or Real Mad cannot buy. It cannot be quantified or be measured by any man-made machine. But still it exists. So what exactly is Team Chemistry?

Team Chemistry is an understanding between players. It’s how players combine and act together to achieve the desired result. It’s like when Cesc looks at Van Persie and he knows where Van Persie will be in the next few seconds and accordingly he passes at the desired place. It is like a sixth sense flowing through our players. A sort of telepathy which cannot be expressed, but can be felt.

Team Chemistry depends not only on the quality of individual players but also on the experience a player has with his team-mates. Ever wondered why a quality player like Kaka flourished at AC Milan but could not show the same quality in Real Mad?? I can give you countless examples in case for Real Mad- Robben, Snijder, Van Der Vaart, Robinho, etc.

This has been one of the biggest reasons why Real Mad is having a hard time to win the Spanish league. Undoubtedly proving that even buying the world’s best players wont guarantee you winning anything.

If we have a look at Chelsea, we too have seen some examples like Shevchenko, Crespo and many other high profile players. Surely these players were quality, but were not given enough opportunity to gel into the team to see their true potential. You cannot expect a player to instantly gel into the team and the tactics applied by the team.

The next best example being Man City. They bought a truckload of superstar players last year. So what?? They couldn’t even achieve 4th place. Surely, even football pundits expected them to challenge for the title. So what exactly happened? Was it a lack of proper players? Or lack of proper Manager? Or was it something called ‘Team Chemistry’. Believe me, i doubt they still have found the right reason.

For a team like Arsenal, Team Chemistry is vital for their gameplay. The number of passes we make and the way we create goals shows the abundance of Chemistry within the team. We are not like other teams that go for a lucky bang-bang-bang shots to get a goal. How many times how you seen an Arsenal player going in for the long shot?? Not too often, isn’t it??

And that has a reason, a style of play built by Lord Wenger himself, which doesn’t rely on lucky 30 yard shots but on beautifully synchronised game play which truly bamboozles the opposition. Everytime we create a goal scoring opportunity, we can see our gameplay going through the ground like musical notes which soothes the eyes of the viewer. You can sometimes catch yourself staring frozen solid while Arsenal are building up towards the goal. Believe me, it has the same effect on our opponents.

All this possible only because of the enormous amount of Team Chemistry. We can see this Chemistry oozing out from our team with every pass. Something which is created by lots of hard work and training during training sessions which normally goes unnoticed.

A player, no matter how brilliant, requires a certain amount of time to gel into this Team Chemistry. A player like Song looks composed into our team since last season. This is the same player whom most of us wanted to dispose off few years back. Today he is one the best defensive midfielders in EPL. Same goes for many other players. Some may easily gel into this Chemistry while some others will take some time.

This same logic applies to Managers. Every manager has his own style of playing. They too should be given enough time to build up their own Team Chemistry within the squad.  It wouldn’t have been surprising if Carlo Ancelloti was sacked if he hadn’t won the league last season. How many managers have Chelsea changed in the last 5 years?? Better still, would they sack Ancelloti if didn’t win a trophy this season?? Unfortunately, some owners as well as managers just don’t realise the quantity of patience required to build a Team Chemistry within a squad.

Fortunately, at Arsenal, with Lord Wenger at the helm, we are blessed to have our own Team Chemistry within our team. He has given each of our players the time and opportunity to gel into the team. He has created his own Team Chemistry which we can relate Arsenal to. And it has taken a lot of patience and hard work from Lord Wenger to create this Team Chemistry amongst the present generation of the Young Gunners.

As a die-hard Arsenal fan, I’m be proud of this Team Chemistry that we have. This Chemistry which is unique to us. And believe me, most other teams don’t even possess any type of chemistry. It cant be bought during transfer markets and It certainly cant be created overnight. And with all the youngsters coming through the Youth Academy learning the Arsenal Chemistry, I’m more proud to say that our future squad too will be playing with the same flair and Chemistry 🙂

Gunners for Life!!

This week’s match preview is here

14 Replies to “Team Chemistry – what is it, how do you make it”

  1. Great article! Now if Lord Wenger could go into his laboratory and concoct us some bloody trophies! lol

  2. @dutchgunner- thanx mate 🙂 the Professor is working hard in his laboratory. Sooner or later, Silverware will be produced.

  3. And this is also why the academy is so important. We aren’t just producing fantastic, talented young players – we are producing fantastic young players who have played together for many years, and have that fantastic team chemistry.

    Aneke and Afobe are the best example of this, they have a telepathic understanding of one another, something that any of us who have watched the U18s, and now the Reserve side, have witnessed. Aneke knows where Afobe will run, and Afobe knows where Aneke will put the ball. It’s a partnership that has yielded dozens of goals at all levels.

    And because we use the same formation and playing style at all levels of the club, these youngsters can now begin to come into the first team and perform with almost no need to adapt. They have almost ‘inherited’ that team chemistry – the players might be different, but the movement, passing and thought processes are very similar. Wilshere and Frimpong proved this during pre-season, as they settled immediately into the first team and the “Arsenal way” of playing.

    Think of the amount of players Arsenal have bought over the years who have taken several months, sometimes over a year, just to learn and adapt into our playing style and philosophy. It’s an incredible resource to have all these young players already versed into playing this way.

  4. Nice article dark P.
    I suppose that what has endeared us to the club is their ethos of allowing the players to express themselves of the pitch in a creative manner and when they do this collectively, this chemistry produces the magical moments that have endeared them not just to us but to the footballing world in general, many of whom have taken Arsenal into the “favoured second team” spot in their hearts.

  5. Wrenny – have you seen many of the U18/Reserve matches? I have been keeping up with the likes of Aneke and Afobe via websites but have never seen them play. I get the feeling Afobe might turn into Kevin Campbell II but Aneke looks to be an absolutely incredible prospect.

  6. I actually think if we shot from outside the box occasionally, we will be able to cause more problems and open up defenses that park the bus. Besides that, i totally agree.

  7. DP,

    Well written and compelling…

    Devil’s advocate though has anyone reproduced the antithesis and succeeded?

    Of course you have proved that lack of team chemistry in the case of citeh “weather” it be by players or manager charted less than top four in this case.. What is the case for the Arsenal in regards to trophies? Is absolute “Team Chemistry” inclusive of the manager enough to secure trophies? Or are there other things that will help or supercede that?

  8. @Arsene Apprentice- I doubt there are any teams who have won a league without Team Chemistry. Even the likes of United and Chelsea have Chemistry between their players to a level. Arsenal looks to have the best Chemistry in EPL. But for Arsenal, winning trophies now depends highly on the injury list. I think u will agree with me when i say that Arsenal can win any trophy if they hav their 1st team fit for atleast 90% of the season. Though we always have lots of replacements for the injured players but it affects the Team Chemistry to a certain point. Although our youngsters have beautiful Chemistry between them, they still are not as accustomed to the Chemistry with the 1st team if they are thrown into the mix all of a sudden.

    Is Team Chemistry enough to win trophies?? I’d say yes. We won trophies a decade ago on this chemistry which was created by Wenger. But now a days, its been a struggle to avoid bad luck in injuries which we didn’t use to have those days. To feel the true essence of our Chemistry, we should have our 1st team fully fit. Now there can be lots of debate on who constitutes our 1st team. But in my opinion, our 1st team looks more like this-Van Persie as lone striker, Arshavin and Walcott on both sides, Cesc, Rosicky and Nasri in the middle, Song as our defensive midfielder, then Sagna,Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy at the back, and Almunia as gk…now when was the last time when we saw saw such a starting 11? If we have this starting 11 fit for the entire season then, their Team Chemistry alone is sufficient enough to win the league. But we always have 2 or 3 of these guys injured.

  9. @Jonathan- maybe it can open up defences, but it always is a sign of desperation. We’ve seen that through the years, we have are composed even if we are 1-0 down in the 90th minute. But still we had come out with points in such matches. Its bcoz of the patience level that our Team Chemistry has.

  10. @terrance mcgovern- i think its our gameplay that most of the non-arsenal fans are attracted towards. Arsenal is always respected for the type of football it plays all around the world. They know we are true footballers to the core. And our flair and chemistry is unmatched in the world.

  11. Great article DP. It’s definitely an aspect that is too often over-looked or perhaps misinterpreted in search of success. I’d point out that this may also explain to a degree why so many ex-arsenal players have failed at their subsequent clubs where the cognitive connection needs to be rewired over time. It’s surprising then that quite a few bought in players such as Vermaelen, Arshavin & possibly Koscielny have had such an impressive start to their Arsenal careers. I could only suggest then that this is because the boss always looks at the mental aspect of a player before bidding and knows who is more likely to suit the team. What a Genius! He does this SO much better than any other manager i can think of, even red nose.

    @Arsenal apprentice, I think Barcaloanus would be a prime example of success from team chemistry.

  12. @anders- thanx 🙂 Chemistry is the most important factor when players change club. Thats why even Thierry Henry too had a hard time at Barca in early years. It happens with every player. But fortunately in our case, Wenger has a good eye for quality unknown players who easily fit perfectly into our Chemistry.

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