Arsenal: Should Arsene Wenger consider a change in formation?
Amidst the poor Arsenal performances we have seen recently, there has been some suggestions that Arsenal need a change in formation and/or system. Now I am no tactical genius but I struggle to see why Arsene Wenger (while he knows far more than me) carries on using the same formation he has used and that has failed us for the best part of 4 years (since we were agonisingly close to the title, only for the whole Clichy-Birmingham mess up).
Cazorla aside, I really don’t know who our current system benefits. I know Cazorla is our best player but Wenger first switched to this system to get the best out of Cesc, while Cazorla is brilliant, he is no Cesc Fabregas. First of all is the suggestion that has been mentioned a lot in the last couple of years – playing 2 strikers.
Podolski seems like the the kind of player who would rather be making darting runs beyond and dropping off a no.9 as oppose to getting to the byline and crossing the ball, as he does in our current 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation.
Also, we all know that Theo Walcott wants to be played through the middle, and i just can’t see him being able to lead the line on his own. There are very few players of his physical stature who can play up top, alone and effectively. Jermain Defoe is one, but that is largely down to his naturally brilliant finishing. I think Walcott would also reap the benefits of a system that accommodated two central strikers rather than one.
Our current formation relies heavily on the the two wingers/wide forwards producing the goods. But we only have one player who is natural in that position, Gervinho, and in my opinion he just doesn’t have the composure or intelligence to be a consistent starter for us. Podolski and Walcott are strikers, Chamberlain was played in midfield in pre-season and excelled there but he hasn’t been played there once so far this term and, in a way, his development has stalled. Ramsey may work hard and help out defensively but he doesn’t offer enough offensively to permanently play there.
Wenger mentioned in the summer when Podolski and Giroud signed, that he would consider fielding 2 strikers together and that is what I would like to see. I want to see us line up in a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation. That way we wouldn’t have to play any unnatural wingers in wide positions and we could also use our vast midfield options (Arteta, Coquelin, Diaby, Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Chamberlain, Rosicky). Here is how I would prefer to see the team set out:
Szczesny; Sagna-Mertesacker-Vermaelen-Gibbs; Arteta; Chamberlain-Wilshere; Cazorla, Walcott-Giroud
Another option, that Wenger has rumoured to have been considering this week is playing 5 at the back to solve our defensive problems. I would like to see us, at least try out and work on, a 5-3-2/3-5-2 formation as follows:
Szczesny; Sagna-Mertesacker-Koscielny-Vermaelen-Gibbs; Arteta-Jack; Cazorla; Walcott-Giroud
That would accommodate all three of our CBs, as well as keeping the midfield trio necessary to keep the ball effectively and also playing 2 strikers, that I mentioned earlier.
All thoughts are welcome.