Arsene Wenger has been experimenting with a slightly different system for Arsenal this season, with the Frenchman’s favoured 4-3-3 system sometimes being dropped in some games for the similar but slightly different 4-1-4-1 formation. And although it has not always looked the right way forward for the Gunners, I think that this Premier League game away to Chelsea could be the ideal one for the new style.
With Mathieu Flamini sitting in front of the defensive line, the four midfielders should have more chance of being able to control the centre of the pitch and stop the talented and powerful Chelae players from getting too much pressure and pushing the Gunners back towards our own penalty area.
This system does mean that the central striker will be a bit more isolated, but with Danny Welbeck’s work rate, pace and movement, it means that the ball over the top and the counter attack from us will come more into play and give Chelsea another problem.
Also, hopefully, it could take the home side somewhat by surprise and give them some unexpected problems to deal with. To make it work, though, Arsene Wenger needs those Arsenal midfielders to play well and put in a proper shift. Normally you would say that Mesut Ozil, but I assume that Wenger would want his class on the ball to come into play as well, because we don’t want to just be chasing for the whole 90 minutes.
But if you put the energy and ability of Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and the Ox around him, the German’s lack of tackling should not be decisive. Is it games like this that Wenger had in mind when he started to use the new formation.