Posted on September 05, 2014 by ADMIN

Arsenal Tactics – Does a lack of defenders signal a change of formation?

After The Window Shuts, Will a System Change Work for Arsenal by NO

There we are – The transfer disruptions are now over until January unless of course we can some players who are out of contract and we offer them contracts (very few of this nature are available). The result of this transfer window for Arsenal (being an upgrade or downgrade) is a subject of arguments and counter arguments whose verdict is still out there but people agree on a few things – That we have 6 senior defenders 12 senior midfielders and 4 senior forwards.

The names are as follows: Defenders are Debuchy, Mertersacker, Konsienly, Gibbs, Monreal and Chambers
The Midfielders are – Arteta, Flamini, Sanchez, Diaby, Wilshere, Ox, Walcott, Ozil, Carzola, Rosicky, Ramsey, Podolski (A few such as Sanchez Walcott and Podolski can be useful in filling up for strikers when there is dire need)

The Strikers are Welbeck, Campbell, Sanogo and Giroud.
Currently we utilize the squad at four defenders – (Risky at only six available); five Midfielders – Not fully utilized and one Striker out of four which is workable. Of course I know we can promote the players in the youth side to cover some of the places we are lacking in but for a championship tilt in at least four fronts, may need a more tried and tested squad.

Looking at what we now possess, maybe a three man defense would be a wise move to make. I know many will not be comfortable with the change of system (in mid season especially) but hear me out…..

First, in this situation and looking at the players we have, the three man defense would be to ensure utility in the area that we are truly endowed in – the midfield.

Secondly, I also happen to believe that a football match is won or lost at the midfield. This in my opinion is where a potent attack begins and also the place where effective defending is mounted.

Thirdly, a well worked out pattern that involves perhaps three CBs and Wingbacks is truly a very mobile system which under our current squad would be enabling us play at our best elements.

One of those elements is speed. The current Arsenal squad has Ozil, Welbeck, Sanchez, Ox, Walcott and Even Hector Bellerin in its ranks. These are players who are very quick and would move the ball very fast leaving an opposing defense confused and left for the dead in our good day, forcing errors and opportunities for us to score goals.
The second of those elements is technical ability. Again, the current Arsenal side has some of the most apt players in the EPL in terms of technical capacity. What with a side that boasts players like Sanchez, Welbeck, Ozil, Carzola, Ox, Rosicky, Diaby, Wilshere etc.

In my view the pattern that would best represent utility of the current squad and best compliment the squad we have today would be: 3 Man defense, 2 wingbacks, 1 defensive midfielder, 1 Central midfielder, 2 Central Attacking midfielders (who I will call Right Wing Centre Forward and Left Wing center Forwards) and a Center Forward.

For instance, facing Manchester City (at Home) on the September of 13th, I would play the following
————————–Welbeck (CF)
—————Sanchez (LCAM), ——Ozil (RCAM)
——————————–Ramsey (CM)
———————–Flamini (DMF)
Monreal (LWB) ———————————OX (RWB)
———Mertesacker, Konsielny, Chambers (CBs)
————————-Szczesny(GK)
Key: CF – Centre Forward, LCAM – Left Center Attacking Midfield, RCAM- Right Center Attacking Midfield, CM – Central Midfield, DMF – Defensive Midfield, LWB – Left Wing Back, RWB – Right Wing Back, CB – Center Backs, GK – Goal Keeper

Rationale of pick
First, we have to be cautious as we transition into the three man defensive unit. Monreal (who should be asked to be cautious as he ventures forward) and hopefully with his defensive bias, should be able to track back and help out in the defense when we are short at the back, and OX on the right side who, from evidence of his having played there and performed in the shortness of this season games, and with enough pace to track back when necessary – but with a bias for going forward – would be a good mix to start with. In the second half, we can bring in Debuchy – on the RWB and Podolski/Carzola on the LWB role (I would pick Podolski).

In this pattern, the ‘Bergkamp hole’ is a shared duty with Sanchez doing the left side of the role and Ozil doing the right side meaning they are both in the centre of the field where they are very capable and will harass any defense. The three would form a spear attack capable of terrifying any defense in the EPL today. Consider the fact that Sanchez and Welbeck can rotate roles make for even more intrigue that can unlock defenses with lightening efficiency.

Ozil will have his day in the Centre and next to his a competent partner too. The two will be receiving the ball from the wingbacks, the midfield and the CBs and spraying passes to each other, to Welbeck or to Ramsey who will be popping up in places where defenders of the opposing side have been forced to exit. Indeed, if the system is executed to perfection. You could get the game being decided by one of the centre backs who takes an advanced position in concert with the wingbacks and the other CBs taking turns to aid in attack in those rare moments.

I know, a change of system mid season is a scary prospect and also looking at what is happening at Old Trafford, for instance, where the system has been implemented with below par outcomes and fear that the system may not be the best for our cause. However, I feel we have the players much more capable to play this system than any other team in the EPL today – and we should fear not to put our squad to its best possible utilization.

In fact Old Trafford, having started the shift and we following them in the change should be a comfort we can take. Their implementation of this system can help us see the pros and cons beforehand and allow us to strengthen our own version before we roll it out. Players like Debuchy and Gibbs can slowly be eased into the new pattern (worried if they can really adapt and Walcott to play wingback.) Monreal has played Center Back before and can quickly adapt as well…

What do you think of this formation Gooners?

NikkoGunners

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42 thoughts on “Arsenal Tactics – Does a lack of defenders signal a change of formation?

  1. DanielC1989

    what are you for real? risk our 3 CB’s every game? I rate Hayden and Ajayi but they aren’t ready for the prem yet, and they’ll be the ones to fill in for any injuries or suspensions. plus look how awful United are doing with 3 at the back. it doesn’t work unless you’re playing in Italy

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 2

    1. DanielC1989

      we already don’t turn up in the first half as it is. imagine doing that with 3 CB’s we would get smashed

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

      1. Arsenal Fan

        What’s all this new thinking about 3 defenders. My thinking is Wenger didn’t buy a CDM because he wants to max out Flamini and Arteta as he has them for 1 year. If worst case they are both crook, I think he wants to give the chance to Chambers. Buying a CB and a CDM would hinder Chambers chances. Wenger feels, in my opinion that he can use Chambers in 3 positions, which means we don’t need to make 3 signing.

        Does a lack of defenders mean a chance to formation?
        No, it means he is utilising Chambers in his graduation year.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. Cartman

    Rumor is Wenger may try to sign Mario Yepes who is a 38 years old defender. Imagine him and Mertsacker playing together at CB. Probably would be the PLs slowest CB pairing.

    But we are short at the back so even squillaci would be welcome

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

    1. DanielC1989

      Metro’s rumours are about as reliable as caughtoffsides. his experience would be good but I can’t see him playing

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

      1. nikkogunners

        Guys, you did not really read the article fully. someone even said it will utilize 5 defenders in 6! No and no this is 3 defenders out of six and the only time we may have 5 in the field will be depend on the game…where we are defending a slim lead and need to shut out an opponent (mostly that happens about 30 closing minutes in the game…The issue about Man United’s LvG trial should not scare anyone from looking at our own strengths and playing through them – We are faster, we are younger, we are more technically adept and maybe we can implement this best…Remember guys a wingback is also a defender when the need arises and the questions we should be asking is if Walcott, Ox, Podolski and Carzola can really learn to track back when played in the wing back roles…

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        1. nikkogunners

          The idea am calling for is to ease in Debuchy and Gibbs into the three man defensive unit so that within 2 or three matches, we will have to use just three of our 6 defenders in a typical game and rotating so that they can carry us he whole hog…the wingers will typically occupy the Wingbacks unless of course there is need to protect a lead in a very tight game against a very dangerous side (You may have 5 players defenders in the field then). So the squad suggested here was Man City designed. it may play another two games and soon our entire defensive unit will have gotten used to the new system. 3 players from six and with the possibility of fielding any of the three per game is workable. That’s what this is about…WHY is anyone not talking about the speed upgrade such a pattern will unveil? How about Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck forming the spear upfront? Both Sanchez and Ozil getting a central role and their partnership there?…You all focused on one aspect of the system. Someone said that it will utilize 5 Defender in four…i have clarified – this system when typically deployed will take up 6 Midfielders, 3 defenders and 1 attacker…5 defender may come in when the game we are playing is against a tough opponent and we have the slim lead…occasionally…

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  3. Archangel

    Untill mert or kos get seriously injured nothing will change..

    Us playing 3 in zhe back would probably kill us

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    1. Colin

      But I believe Kos’ Achilles could flair at any time, especially if he is overplayed.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. phelyx

    Not in epl. Even if we are using this formation with no backup CB. We must atleast have upto 5 to 6 CBs, just take a look at juventus and see the number of quality CBs they got. It can never happen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Colin

    I think the defensive situation shows that Wenger needs a top class assistant to take over a lot of his duties. I hope DB10 is becoming a great coach, coz that is who I would go for. He knew when to have a go a Wenger and sometimes that is what Wenger needs.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

    1. 007

      Spot on mate!!!! Av been advocating for this aswell for a while now.

      As much as I appreciate Bould for bringing sanity to our defense, we also need a tactician on the bench who could challenge Wenger and potentially take over him when he moves up the ladder at our club.

      Coaching staff: Wenger – new assistant manager (tactical genius) – Bould

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

      1. Colin

        I love the guy who has red ticked this idea. How about this then.. Wenger’s crowning glory are his “invisibles”, in fact you could make an argument that is it were not for this group of players Wenger’s record vis-a-vis George Graham’s is that much better. But if you look at the invisibles line up, then look at ours and then to ManC, don’t you feel that ManC has more of the invincible look to it. Then you realise the Patrick Vieira is an assistant there. Coincidence?

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        1. jonestown1

          So if we erase the “Invincibles” from history then GG has a better record than AW….huhhhh? If Man City look like the Invincibles 2.0 because of PV then fair play to PV for copying Wenger’s blueprint but it is not suggestive of “tactical genius” – took them a couple of hundred million to replicate it in any event. Losing at home to Stoke sort of dents the tag anyway – at least for this season. May be we should start Joel Campbell in every game – that will sort us out. Did you know some bloke told me he is up for the Balon d’Or in a couple of years and Falcao is following him on twitter? Mate, you have a couple of bees in your bonnet and invent stuff to pad out and validate your theories/conspiracies. It makes for gibberish when you read it.

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. ahmad

    offtopic
    against city we must pay attention to city right side of the field were zabaleta and nasri will
    combine , we must use a left winger that can track back and support monreal ,then starting with ozil , cazorla or wilshire as left midfielders will see us get exposed down the left , i would go for chamberleine or welbeck to play that role especially that welbeck was playing that role in the world cup and with united

    szezney

    debuchy mert koss monreal

    chambers ramsey

    cazorla rosiscky welbeck

    sanchez

    otherwise ox on the left sanchez on the right and welbeck as a striker and rosisky/cazorla amf

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. seatofthesoul

    Are you serious? We have adequate cover for full backs (Bellerin inc) so all we really need is a CB, and you want to play all 3 to ‘utilise our lack of defenders’. I appreciate you’ve taken a long time to write this article but if the stupidity of this idea was not prevelant in your mind then I feel for you. You also point out we have a lot of midfielders, which is true, do you not see that playing 3 CB and 2 WB is playing even less midifelders. You suggest Ox as RWB which to be fair is viable, however playing our most promising young player in a position he has never played before is crazy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    1. Colin

      There was a comment yesterday about how ManC would chew us up, and that he would use Ramsey and Jack to protect Arteta, with a back 4 behind that. I like Ox’s defensive abilities and his willingness to track back and fight for a lost ball, and this lead me to think about using Ramsy, Flamini and Ox in the middle. I thought he played well in the central role for us and quickly turned defence into attack. Just a thought how about:

      Szchesny
      Debuchy Per Kos Monreal

      Flamini
      Ox Ramsey

      Ozil or Cazorla

      Alexis Welbeck

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      1. Colin

        Sorry it didn’t come out as I had hoped, but it’s a diamond 4 in the middle, with Alexis playing off Welbeck

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  8. 007

    3 center backs, are you kidding me!!!

    We’ve so far seen LVG’s experiment in the EPL and how its faired. Our players are not displined enough either for this set up and this may hinder the type of football we play. Plus considering we only have “3” center backs at the moment, it would be foolish playing them all at the same time.

    I don’t think Wenger brought in Debuchy who was playing regularly at toons to come and warm our bench either.

    Am happy with the 4-2-3-1 set up as long as the right players are diploid on there right positions.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    1. Colin

      Bang on – Looks like LVG will change his experiment, but not so sure about Wenger and his.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    2. nikkogunners

      The idea am calling for is to ease in Debuchy and Gibbs into the three man defensive unit so that within 2 or three matches, we will have to use just three of our 6 defenders in a typical game and rotating so that they can carry us he whole hog…the wingers will typically occupy the Wingbacks unless of course there is need to protect a lead in a very tight game against a very dangerous side (You may have 5 players defenders in the field then). So the squad suggested here was Man City designed. it may play another two games and soon our entire defensive unit will have gotten used to the new system. 3 players from six and with the possibility of fielding any of the three per game is workable. That’s what this is about…WHY is anyone not talking about the speed upgrade such a pattern will unveil? How about Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck forming the spear upfront? Both Sanchez and Ozil getting a central role and their partnership there?…You all focused on one aspect of the system. Someone said that it will utilize 5 Defender in four…i have clarified – this system when typically deployed will take up 6 Midfielders, 3 defenders and 1 attacker…5 defender may come in when the game we are playing is against a tough opponent and we have the slim lead…occasionally…The issue about Man United’s LvG trial should not scare anyone from looking at our own strengths and playing through them – We are faster, we are younger, we are more technically adept and maybe we can implement this best…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Ronny331

    It doesn’t signal a formation change, that suggests there was forward thought and planning.
    What it does suggest is that Wenger and his transfer team were incompetent and fuc*ed up between the period of us securing CL football and the window closing. I find this inexcusable! All the while Wenger went to Rome, Nice!
    An injury to one CB, (particularly Kos) and we are in trouble.
    People talking about Yepes, I heard Gallas mentioned this morning, lmao!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Twig

    Welbeck_________Walcott
    ________Sanchez
    Ramsey_________Wilshere
    ________Carvalho
    Gibbs Koscielny Chambers Debuchy
    ________Szczesny

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  11. MDOwn

    Wait so your idea to solve the lack of defenders is to play ALL our CBs at once!? Who will we rotate if they look tired!? Also have you not watched some of the results in the EPL where teams have played 3 at back. Look at liverpool early last year where they were conceding crazy goals, and Man Utd this year!? 3CBs requires fresh legs and very disciplined players, and works better on the Counter attack, bt we have a slow midfield approach. We need four at back and a CDM to sit in front of the CBs.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    1. nikkogunners

      The idea am calling for is to ease in Debuchy and Gibbs into the three man defensive unit so that within 2 or three matches, we will have to use just three of our 6 defenders in a typical game and rotating so that they can carry us he whole hog…the wingers will typically occupy the Wingbacks unless of course there is need to protect a lead in a very tight game against a very dangerous side (You may have 5 players defenders in the field then). So the squad suggested here was Man City designed. it may play another two games and soon our entire defensive unit will have gotten used to the new system. 3 players from six and with the possibility of fielding any of the three per game is workable. That’s what this is about…WHY is anyone not talking about the speed upgrade such a pattern will unveil? How about Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck forming the spear upfront? Both Sanchez and Ozil getting a central role and their partnership there?…You all focused on one aspect of the system. Someone said that it will utilize 5 Defender in four…i have clarified – this system when typically deployed will take up 6 Midfielders, 3 defenders and 1 attacker…5 defender may come in when the game we are playing is against a tough opponent and we have the slim lead…occasionally…The issue about Man United’s LvG trial should not scare anyone from looking at our own strengths and playing through them – We are faster, we are younger, we are more technically adept and maybe we can implement this best…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. sayn18

    Since we didn’t buy another central defender you are suggesting that Arsene Wenger chose to start the season with one less central defender because he plans to play a formation that has 3 CBs instead of 2? Excellent observation.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    1. mohawk

      I nominate Sanogo – obvious choice. He is big and he cannot finish. He is perfect.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. goonerwineverything

    wenger will sort out the d/m and c/b in jan window loans to mend and make do till then as he was trying to get those players on the last day just to late to acquire the quality of player he wanted then he will probably going early in window tie up signings quickly and then move on to next game then it will be the “BIG SHOWDOWN NEXT SUMMER FOR REUS” LOL come on arsenal come on arsenal!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    1. mohawk

      Yes, but I checked and Arsenal actually must play many games before this magical Jan window. Looking forward to Jan does not solve the defender shortage that exists NOW.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Ronny331

    Yes it’s Alou Diarra for me.
    French, 33, 1.90, has PL experience with West Ham, Plays as a DM and also CB.
    Go get him Arsene!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  15. mohawk

    Lack of defenders signals eventual trouble when the games come hot and heavy and players start getting injured, suspended or worn-out.

    It may also signal that Wenger is desperately searching for a free-agent to cover his failure to acquire a backup CB.

    Formation change? Seriously?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Ronny331

    #Loan window on the 9th.
    #Alou Diarra for Arsenal.

    Have a read on Wikipedia, he’s described as a powerful combative player in a similar mould to Patrick Viera!

    Go get him Arsene, loan move until Jan, he’ll probably come to us for 30/40K week?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  17. nikkogunners

    Guys, you ran to critic and criticize and did not take the information in full. effectively what the pattern you have seen is for Man City game…The idea am calling for is to ease in Debuchy and Gibbs into the three man defensive unit so that within 2 or three matches, we will have to use just three of our 6 defenders in a typical game and rotating so that they can carry us he whole hog…the wingers will typically occupy the Wingbacks unless of course there is need to protect a lead in a very tight game against a very dangerous side (You may have 5 players defenders in the field then). So the squad suggested here was Man City designed. it may play another two games and soon our entire defensive unit will have gotten used to the new system. 3 players from six and with the possibility of fielding any of the three per game is workable. That’s what this is about…WHY is anyone not talking about the speed upgrade such a pattern will unveil? How about Sanchez, Ozil and Welbeck forming the spear upfront? Both Sanchez and Ozil getting a central role and their partnership there?…You all focused on one aspect of the system. Someone said that it will utilize 5 Defender in four…i have clarified – this system when typically deployed will take up 6 Midfielders, 3 defenders and 1 attacker…% defender may come in when the game we are playing is against a tough opponent and we have the slim lead…occasionally…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    1. nikkogunners

      I meant someone said it will utilize 5 defenders in 6! No and no this is 3 defenders out of six and the only time we may have 5 in the field will be depend on the game…where we are defending a slim lead and need to shut out an opponent (mostly that happens about 30 closing minutes in the game…The issue about Man United’s LvG trial should not scare anyone from looking at our own strengths and playing through them – We are faster, we are younger, we are more technically adept and maybe we can implement this best…Remember guys a wingback is also a defender when the need arises and the questions we should be asking is if Walcott, Ox, Podolski and Carzola can really learn to track back when played in the wing back roles…

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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