So Arsene Wenger has been sticking to his new formation since Arsenal’s awful run of 5 defeats in 8 games and it seemed to have given the team some new confidence until last weeks devastating defeat to Tottenham, but it is highly likely that Wenger will continue with the same setup this afternoon.
In this fixture last season, the Gunners over-ran United with a scintillating attacking display to go 3-0 up before half-time, but Wenger was asked if our new formation seems to have weakened our attacking options. “Yes, you can say that [it means we aren’t as fluid in attack],” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “But we conceded too many goals before and I tried to restore a bit of confidence and defensive solidity by having a bit more of a protective system.
“I feel as well that in the games where we played well, the system didn’t stop us from scoring or creating chances so it would be a bit too easy to put all the offensive inefficiency just on the system.
“We analyse a bit of everything [when judging how 3-4-3 is working]. It depends as well, it’s not especially the system that makes you defensive, it’s the number of players who have more offensive or defensive qualities that makes the system more or less offensive.
“Overall, I believe that you need longer experience in the system to judge completely [whether] it suits your players or your team, or not? One game is always difficult to change it all again.”
One player who seems to have benefitted from the new system is Petr Cech, who was truly world-class in last week’s game. “I feel that basically this system should help Petr Cech because he should get better protection,” the Boss continued. “I feel he is focused and sharp in recent games, so he is in a good period.
“He is a player who is very professional, very concentrated and it is true that at Tottenham he made some good saves.
“He is a positive character who wants to do well. He’s first in, last out [of training] – he’s this type of player. But when a player gets to have such a long career, it’s never a coincidence.
“The guys who come in when they are 20 years old and you have to tell them to be on time and after training he goes out quickly, you can forget about after 30. These type of players don’t last. So he has a real passion about the game.”
So does it look like Arsenal will be sitting back and be careful not to conceded today against today’s weakened United side? Or will he aim to go into blitz mode like last season?