Will Wenger go with two upfront over the course of this season? by SE
For the exquisite brand of football that Arsenal play, and retain possession of the ball for long periods in the game, Wenger’s wizards don’t score the number of goals you expect of them. This season the trend hasn’t been any different, with Arsenal managing just 11 goals from the first 7 Premier League games and 4 goals (all of them against Galatasaray) in their 2 Champions League fixtures. Days ago, Wenger was referring to Giroud’s return from his ankle injury, and the prospect of the Frenchman combining with Welbeck to make it a two-prone Arsenal frontline. Will the long-serving Arsenal manager take a more flamboyant route, for once, and deploy two strikers any time during this season?
One of the fundamental reasons why Wenger shifted from his long favored 4-2-3-1 system to a more economical 4-5-1, 4-1-4-1 or the 4-3-3 (however you want to look at it), was primarily to accommodate three of his best players – Ozil, Sanchez and Walcott – in the same team. Walcott’s absence has meant that Ozil occupied one of the two flanks, notwithstanding the lack of a No.10 role in the system adopted by Wenger, with Sanchez playing on the flank opposite to the German’s. And if Wenger were to shift to another system during the same season, it will automatically handicap him and Arsenal from fielding one of their best players; it could be Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott or Giroud.
Also, playing two men upfront would create an imbalance in the midfield, and you doubt whether Wenger would ever do something as aberrational. However, with Ramsey’s industry potentially marrying Wilshere’s guile, Arsenal can always catch up in the midfield. Sanchez’s propensity to track back – and committing to the dirty work that one of the two strikers would have to – can be considered, as well, if Wenger, in a bid to score more goals, decides to play two upfront, and is prepared to be a bit open at the back and light in the midfield.
Albeit it would be a huge step in the right direction, I am very cynical of Wenger coming out of his defensive mentality and totally revamping Arsenal’s style that, despite bringing them just 1 trophy in nine long years, has served them reasonably well. However, it would not be delusional on the part of the Frenchman to play two up front in domestic competitions, and ensuring safety-first formations while lining up in Europe.