Posted on September 18, 2014 by ADMIN

Arsenal tactics – Time to go back to basic 4-4-2 system

Forget 4-1-4-1 and 4-2-3-1 We Need to Play 4-4-2 by ES

A lot has been made of the fact that Wenger is playing the 4-1-4-1 formation this season and it has been offered up as the cause of Arsenal’s bad start. Of course there are other factors, players who are simply not good enough, zero tactical nous displayed by the manager and a thin squad but for the purpose of this article I will look at the formation.

The 4-2-3-1 we used last season worked reasonably well against lower table teams when it would give us wins, not by a significant goal margin but by 1-0 or 2-1 results. These results owed far more to the fitness levels of the team and the talent of some of the players.
This formation had glaring weaknesses, notably an exposed striker left freezing his gonads off at the head of the formation as we endlessly back…side…back… passed the ball and lacked direct attack and a high line when we were counter attacked.

4-2-3-1 was the formation that we used when we were humiliated by Chelsea, City and Liverpool, it simply didn’t work against fast opposition when we played such a high line. Against such fast opposition we were badly caught out with fullbacks ahead of our forwards on counter attacks and slow players, (no need to mention them by name – we all know who they are) being targeted by managers with a grasp of tactics.

This high line dictated by the 4-2-3-1 which on the counter was actually a 2-2-5-1 left Arteta as the closest thing to a DM shielding what was in effect the back 2, recipe for disaster when one of the back 2 and the stand in DM are the slowest players on the team and have some of the fastest most talented midfielders and forwards in the world running past them as if they weren’t there.

Even in the FA Cup final when playing Hull, Steve Bruce set up his team to expose the weaknesses in this formation and it was paying off for him big time. Arsenal got nothing but 2 goals behind by playing the 4-2-3-1 system and didn’t make any headway in the game until we switched to 4-4-2 when we suddenly became a danger to Hull and came back from behind to win the game.

4-4-2 was the system that worked so well for Arsenal through the glory years, it had the balance of attack and defense and allowed the team to counter attack and defend without exposing our goal.

Of course the 4-1-4-1 has seen Ozil pushed out to the wing as Wenger experiments in live games again instead of the training ground. This is a waste of a physically light player in the very physical Premier League; the 4-4-2 formationwould surround Ozil with 5 fast players to run onto his through balls, giving our midfield and forward players the opportunity to be where they need to be both to score goals and to benefit from the silky passes we know Ozil is capable of.

People appear to be forgetting the weaknesses of the 4-2-3-1 because of the terrible start to this season while Wenger experiments with 4-1-4-1 but remember the sting of those big defeats at Chelsea, City and Liverpool when we played that system. I think 4-4-2 and a grasp of tactics from a manager is what we need to save this season.

Ed

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34 thoughts on “Arsenal tactics – Time to go back to basic 4-4-2 system

  1. Skandalouz

    4-4-2 leaves absolutely no space for Ozil, because it will only work when all 4 midfielders have a decent workrate. If you line up Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Ox (Sanchez and Welbeck upfront) it might be a good formation. Still feel 4-2-3-1 is the best suitable to our player material by some distance.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

    1. Budd

      Put Ozil next to Welbeck and forget about him for the rest of the game. Pack the midfield with motivated players who can do a tackle (Diaby,Wilshere,Ramsey,Rosicky) and then we may look like City.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

    2. MrGunThemDown

      Wenger is too busy commentating on french TV’S, seems like he want to have a go at being a ref on transfer deadline day, when he should be sorting out the team. he has become indispensable with no little threat of loosing his job thats why he’s so laid back and does whatever he likes. he needs to give 100%. its because of his poor decision making we are having a Bad start to the season.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  2. InWengerImlosingTrust

    ………………………..Szczesny
    Debuchy…Koscielny…Mertsacker..Gibbs
    Walcott.Ramsey.Ozil..Welbeck/Campbell/Sanchez
    ……………Sanchez/Welbeck…….Giroud/Welbeck

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

    1. InWengerImlosingTrust

      I’d go for

      Szczesny
      Debuchy…Koscielny…Mertsacker…Gibbs
      Walcott……..Ramsey….Ozil…….Sanchez
      Welbeck….Giroud

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  3. muffdiver

    ON TOPIC 100%…

    if a girls overweight but has a nice face. an huge melons…would u?

    new girl in the office

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 6

    1. Budd

      What does it mean overweight? 20 stones? That’s overweight and could end up bad, even fatal. If you mean something like 12-15 stones I’d say go for it. Make sure she’s not lesbian though.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

      1. muffdiver

        shes like 13 stone and like 5’5 so its noticeable lol.
        but i have a shot. im not diving though…theres limits

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

        1. Gunner Gyzinermouth

          jesus wept—5′ 5 and 13 stone, don’t have a roll with her but read my name and repeat this action with her mate

          Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    1. jobho

      the 4-4-2 will not even work on playstation. motion to dismiss the 4-4-2. we need at least 2 good strikers which we don’t have.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  4. SirKnight

    No matter what formation we use the midfield will still be a weak point because of that missing link which we all know what it is. Repeating what has been said a million times take Ozil off the wings and put him where he belongs so if he fails to deliver it would solely be on him and not everyone else. As for the formations, if we’re trying to accomodate Ozil, Wilshere and Ramsey then 4-4-2 is best with no wingers and Alexis and Welbeck up top. If wingers are utilized then it’s either 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 but whatever it is we need to figure it out fast as I’m expecting nothing less than a win against Villa…

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    1. jaweant

      Why were we so good at the beginning of last season? What has changed? I think teams know our weaknesses. You guys blame players like Giroud, Ozil, Merr, but all quality and can or hopefully will perform. We need to be able to change players and tactics to win games. Wenger has been slow to do that and Ozil needs a break or something to get back in the game. A formation change depends on the team we’re playing. Just like other teams playing to our weaknesses. If we can’t change, results won’t. Teams will be defensive with countering options to exploit our open midfield and the good teams will beat us. I try to stay positive by thinking about the beginning of last season and the January window;)

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. SirKnight

    Funny how not too long ago folks were singing praises for the Germans now after reading a few blogs it’s Mertesacker is a p***y and too slow, Ozil is a flop and Podolski is just collecting a paycheck. LOL how quick emotions can change…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  6. Moreno

    Doesn’t matter what formation you play what matters is what style of play you ploy. We need to play an uptempo game and i’ve said it many times (wilshere/ramsay) cannot play together, but let’s wait for a pundit to say it before we start believing it. It has to be one or the other with OX and at this point i would use either diaby or coquelin instead of arteta or flamini.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  7. SirKnight

    At this point with our early injury concerns, Nastasic isn’t looking to bad and even though I haven’t seen Carvalho play besides the World Cup I would have swapped him for Arteta and or Flamini in a heartbeat, also since we barely play Podolski anyways we should have strengthen the LW as well by selling him and going all out for Di Maria (didn’t take long for him to adapt did it?)…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  8. Ks-Gunner

    Talent and brain will always top muscels and hard work.

    Wenger needs to play like last year if he wants to end up in the 4th place. We have to many similar players wanting to play in the same pozition. Wengers obsession with the trio of Ozil, Ramsey and Ozil is costing us, its simple not working.

    The 4th place is the best we cane hope for. Chelsea, $hity, Liverpool, ( Arsenal or Manure).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    1. 007

      Totally agree with you there. With the set of players we have, that’s the best way we can set up.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. InWengerImlosingTrust

    For Chelsea and United go for the “Park the Bus” formation or we will have another massacre like 8-2, like the famous 6-4-0 formation

    Szczesny
    Debuchy.chambers..Koscielny..Mertsacker.monreal…Gibbs
    Arteta….Flamini…Wilshere..Diaby

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  10. 007

    OT: I haven’t been here for a while now so aint sure whether people have discussed this yet. There are rumors Lassana Diara is a free agent n his been linked to Arsenal.

    Your mission should you accept to take it, kindly advice what are your thoughts on this fellow Gunners.

    His about 29 or so now and I have no idea on his form.

    Agent in need!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. morfin443

    Wenger is not listening…the old man is probably thinking of trying ozil as the striker

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. braa ekow

    @ Muff!! If u like her, go for it. Ppl will always talk. But seriously, the 442 can help. We only need Flamini and Ramsey in the middle. Use Ox on the right wing till Theo is fit. Then play Podi behind Danny till 75 mins (Wenger time) or Rosicky. Use the wings and pace. Wenger!! Where u @??

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  13. Cashleycol

    Las… No-one has said anything yet, but stubborn Wenger won’t act because he’s been exposed…. I think something has to be done to get his attention…. But to think he will buy a DM coz of Dortmund defeat…? SORRY.. Forget… Wenger will wait to brin KK in January….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Shah of Arsenal

    What we need is to go back to the formation we had last year

    sanchez—-Welbeck—-walcott/ox—-
    ————-ozil——
    –ramsey——Wilshere (either could be substituted if we had a DM… but we don’t lmao)
    –gibbs–kosc–mert—chambers(until debuchy is back, then move chambers to CB and replace Per)
    ——szczesny——–

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    1. JohnieB

      There’s the lineup I was looking for! Nicely done.

      Ramsey and Wilshere are both box to
      box and can handle things if held accountable on defense (though should still buy a cdm in january…of last year).

      Ozil has to play in that hole behind our pacey wingers / striker. You can sub off Ozil, move ramsey forward, and throw on a CDM when we’re 3-0 up!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  15. Justsoccerfan

    Did you expect your father or grand father to listen to you. He will tell straight in your face, don’t teach me how to f**k, I make you.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. nikkogunners

    There is a 4.4.2 that can work for what AW is cracking his head about. It a 4.4(diamond).2. Here is how it would be executed
    ———-Welbeck———-Sanchez
    ————————Ozil——————-
    ———–Wilshere————Ramsey
    ————–Diaby/Arteta/Flamini
    Debuchy, Mertersacker, Konsienly, Gibbs
    ———————-Szczesny

    When Walcott is available he takes the place of Sanchez and Sanchez takes Wilshere’s place and Wilshere move to the Bench. Now when you have the Ox, Podolski, Carzola, Campbell, Sanogo on the bench, you can give then gametime in their favourite roles in the diamond. The Forwards will be wingforwards…they can use their pace in the wings every time the opportunity arises. Ramsey and Wilshere to can explore the wings to expand the game. one thing Wenger must ask his fullbacks, only of them can overlap at a time in such a system as there will be players (wingers and forwards) who can explore the wings so that we have 3 defenders everytime in case of a counter. Ozil will have speedy people to aim at especially in Ox and Sanchez started at the the sides of this diamond and Walcott/Campbell was brought to help Welbeck. In this side you need to rest the wingforwards after some 60 minutes so that the speed does not tire them so much and Wenger has the squad to give roles at the 60th mark to keep up the pace!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  17. mehmoud

    ARSEN PLEASE PLEASE FOR GOD SAKE,KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT.
    NOW U GOT THE GUT TO SAY THAT U REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING
    RONALDO.WELL LET ME TELL U THAT YOU SOULD HAVE MANY REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING QUALITY PLAYERS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO SLOW IN YOUR THINKING AND ATTACKING POINT.NO WONDER ALL YR PLAYERS BEHAVE LIKE YOU DO.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING DROGBA.AVAILABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR SIGNING P.CHEZCH AVAILABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING HAZARD,AVAILABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING MATTA,AVALABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING HUGUAIN, AVAILABE TO YOU.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING DIEGO COSTA,AVAILABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING YAYA TOURE,AVALABLE TO U.
    YOU REGRET FOR NOT SIGNING REMY,AVALABLE TO U LOW PRICE.
    THERE ARE MANY OTHER PLAYERS WERE AVAILABLE AND YET HE SNIFF AROUND,NEVER PUT MONEY ON TABLE.THEN U HAVE PEOPLE LIKE MORINHO WALK BEHIND HIS BACK AND SNATCH THE PLAYER WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM.
    TODAY ARSENAL IS IN A MESS SIMPLY HIS FAULT, TRYING TO PLAY AN INEXPERIENCE PLAYER LIKE SANAGO IN CL.
    POOR OZILL HE HAS BEEN BATTERED BY OUR FANS.
    THIS BOY NEED TO PLAY IN THE MIDDLE BEHIND WELLBECK,HE IS NOT A WINGER WENGER. LAST SEASON HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE AND SCORE THREE GOALS.
    THE PROBLEM IS WENGER, BECAUSE HE IS GOD IN THE EYES OF SHARE HOLDERS. HE BRING THEM LOT OF PROFIT.IF BAYERN COME WITH FOURTY MILLION FOR OZILL ,HE WILL SELL TO HAVE MONEY,THEN HE WILL TELL FANS IAM VERY ACTIVE IN TH MARKET.
    LOOK NOW ON THE WEBHE IS INVOLVE WITH EVERY PLAYERS.
    BUT THE TRUTH HE HAS NO INTENTION OF BUYING.
    IT WAS A PAIN WATCHING ARSENAL AGAINST DORYMAN . THE AFC PLAYERS WERE ALL CONFUSED AND LETHARIC.

    NOT SIGNING

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

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