FIELDING a 3-CB DEFENSE RESPONSIBLY CAN SAVE ARSENAL’S SEASON BY WIN IN EUROPA
This season, Arsenal have been poor defensively and Arsene Wenger has admitted that getting the ‘attack vis-à-vis defense’ balance right is a challenge. I think Arsenal can become solid enough to see off their challengers in the Europa League and win the trophy if they can deploy their squad more effectively. That would be defending with three in the back instead of four. Four at the back often counts for two on the bustle of the game which often includes counter attacks that Arsenal become more susceptible as the fullbacks move forward to help out in the wing duties as the match proceeds. Under pressure, even serious defenders would crack with some fanciful effort by the opposition.
With a three man at the back setup, the defending players do not need to venture too far into the centre of the game and can make those inspired efforts going out but mostly stay ‘home’ and defend. However, the temptation to have 5 defenders rather than three with dedicated wingers who can operate the entire wings but are more accomplished midfielders and only came back to defend when there is pressure as well as to start off attacks.
Arsenal will not have a problem to assemble three players to play powerful centre back of three from the list of players in the defensive unit. I think Bellerin, Koscielny and Monreal would provide a solid and inspired 3 centre back outing that can shut out any team any day on their good day. This is something that the next premier league match could be a test ground for.
On the solid winger duties, I believe on the left right now in the squad that is fit, Welbeck would play greatly in the Europa from that position. On the right with Mkhitaryan injured Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson should get each a half in that position so that we can weigh who is best in terms of solid output from that point. Solid wingers such as Ljungberg, Pires and Overmars have spurred Arsenal forward and instead of staying back and inviting pressure. By playing defensive minded players in these positions rather than attack minded ones has caused Arsenal to invite too many mistakes in their own backyard leading to them getting punished severely this season. Training young wing attack specialists would be beneficial to Arsenal.
The Wingers will provide support to the three-man midfield of Elneny or Xhaka (I would go with Elneny right now) in the defensive midfield role; Ramsey in the Vieira role – Yes, our Vieira, if well motivated, is Ramsey – and Ozil in the attacking midfield role.
In attack, we need our two-man attacking formation and in the Europa at this moment we can have Lacazette leading the attack and supported by Iwobi, Nkatiah and Akpom. Even Wilshere can be told to try his luck in supporting forward functions until we can transfer him out.
The Pattern is 3.5.2. Europa Squad
The Pattern is 3.5.2. EPL Squad
What do you think?