Arsenal must play our players to their strengths – in their regular positions..

We need to put form players on their regular positions. by Konstantin Mitov

Okay, so in a week we’ll be playing Chelsea in the Community shield and I’m largely unconvinced that we’re ready. I’ll try not to mention the fact of how much we need another CB and a CM, but rather focus on the fact that we don’t play players to their strengths.

Elneny as CB? As good as he is on the ball it’s a trap card waiting to be activated. I think Koscielny is banned for the first two games and he’s 32. Who do we play? Monreal, Mertesacker and Elneny? Come on, lets be real, it’s not good enough. We’ll put players off of their positions and we’ll suffer.

Another example was the Ox played on the left. It just didn’t work for him and once he went on the right it was another story. We’ve tried Ramsey and Ozil on the wing and it hasn’t worked either. We changed the formation last season because we were a disaster.

We had to do something and Arsene, late as usual finally took the idea of a new system, but winning 9/10 games once again put the real issue in disguise. We don’t play to our players strengths. The 4-2-3-1 was introduced once we sold Adebayor and had only one striker up front.

But for the players we had at the time it did work. After Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie were sold though, we tried to use Giroud as a link up player instead of using his aerial qualities. We continue to try to pass through opponents playing for an idea of great Barcelona-esque football, when we don’t have the players for it and our best successes come when we play counter attacking football.

We have players like the Ox who’s strength comes in taking players one on one and whipping in crosses, but when you try to make us play passing football, we’re kind of losing the benefits. With the fact that Giroud is no longer a regular starter, there’s no target man to hit in the box.

We also have Ozil who’s main job at Real was to feed Ronaldo off his runs, who found himself in a situation where he has to hold the ball and try to find players who’re not making those runs and he suffers. This is where hopefully Lacazzete will help, but my point is that we have to make a choice.

Either we play the right players at the right positions and put a formation that suits them or we pick players who’ll specifically fit into the style of play we want to implement. What we are doing is getting bits of pieces from different puzzles trying to make a pretty picture at the end.

You may get lucky with some, but most of the time it just won’t work. Same here. Monreal for example was one player doing good in the WB position, now we have Kolasinac who did good in preseason and we’re still uncertain whether one would be forced to go to the back three.

If we get Lemar or Mahrez, you have to be thinking that one of the Ox, Theo or Sanchez is leaving, because where would he play with Bellerin also asking for the right WB role? I’d still get Thomas though, cause he’s an upgrade on what we already have, but what about central midfield?

Xhaka-Ramsey means two players slow on the ball with both not too eager to look for the forward pass. We really miss Santi there and the backup option of Coquelin again doesn’t fit the idea of dominating teams with possession by putting a player who’s success in the squad came from breaking the play of the opposing team.

I know it’s preseason and once again we don’t have all our players back, but we should’ve been working towards building up the system and style of play for next year. Chelsea are next and they already spanked us 3:0. We need to show we’ve learned some lessons and play with a solid game plan to counter them.

I’m really hoping we’ll do more business and turn up for the season opener against Leicester. We can’t afford a miserable start. Arsene must do it, or the fans wrath will be focusing on him like Saurons eye can focus on Frodo and the ring!



  1. John0711 says:

    Konstantin you are talking basics. At the average of 12-16 clubs play players in all positions to learn what it’s about not a ” supposed” top club. Nothing has been improved from last year same old same old. We will struggle this year
    City, Chels and Utd are head and shoulders above us
    Wenger and kronkie are betting that we do better than spurs and Liverpool

    1. Jay says:

      “Wenger and kronkie are betting that we do better than spurs and Liverpool” Yeah, I’m sure that if you asked Wenger, he would be happy with not wining the PL and just finishing in the top 4.

      What are you basing this utter nonsense on? The fact that we haven’t spent as much money as those three? We don’t have the kind of money that these clubs have, to throw away at any old player. To equate money spent, to ambition, is extremely childish and just shows a painful lack of understanding of the game.

      “Nothing has been improved” The only thing that hasn’t improved, is the same old self-entitled, childish fans. The season hasn’t even started yet and look at all the negativity already. It’s genuinely embarrassing and it is “fans” like you, that make our support a thing of ridicule.

      1. Jay says:

        And I’m not just making this up about our terrible fan-base. Everyone time I defend this club (and having to do so against OUR OWN FANS is a completely different issue), one of the main points people always use to criticise Arsenal with, is the utterly embarrassing manner in which our own “fans” constantly attack the players, manager and the board.

        1. Coldzero says:

          Well said – our fan base in some regards is toxic and horrible. An embarrassment.

          1. Kostafi says:

            I blame ArsenalFanTV. Robbie is getting minted driving a Rolls putting emotional fans on blast after each game. The negativity is amplified through that medium. Papers report on quotes from AFTV as though the entire fan base is behind them.

            Konstantin, calm down mate. Pre season is for testing. Clubs who take it too seriously pick up unnecessary injuries (Pedro) or start believing their Pre season hype ahead of the ACTUAL season. The Community Shield is a friendly we have won twice in the last 4 years. Mustafi hasn’t trained but will be ready for the actual season. Even Bellerin looked short of match fitness at the weekend after one week’s training. Holding and Chambers are in the same boat. i agree with you though, the Ox was live as soon as he was switched to the right not because it’s his preferred position (He prefers CM), but because he is right footed and been training with the team since the start of July!

            I also agree with you on El Neny, he has no business as a CB. He’s a decent holding midfielder, so keep him there.

            However, you missed the results of pre-season testing- Cohen and Nacho overlapping. Cant wait to see Monreal and Kolasinac actually do it, the opposition players will be perplexed on who to mark.

            As for up top, we were missing Sanchez’s trickery as Ozil and Welbeck were a bit flat. Sevilla slowed the tempo of the game, and the counter press is not Ozil’s game. Against Chelsea we will have to press from the front.

          2. Patrick O'Neill says:

            Fully agree

      2. John0711 says:

        We don’t have that kind of money ????so what are you basing that quote on
        The price of season tickets
        The millionaire owner the large overspending fan base
        Which one lmfao
        Childish fan base ? I’ve travelled all over the country following Arsenal and spending silly money on travel, tickets and merchandise
        Unlike you AKB I am allowed to form an opinion on what I see. It’s not your role to correct a fans opinion
        We havnt spent as much money ? Yet we earn far more than we spend

        Mark my words chels Utd and city are miles ahead let’s see who’s correct ?

    2. l says:

      “City,Chels and Utd are head and shoulders above us”

      Even before we started the season? Fans, fans.
      Le prof promised to add about 3 players that will improve the team. And already he has added 2 while we are still in the middle of the window. You guys are already writing us off based on games that are meant to give the guys fitness, hmmmn.
      My wish for our next 2 games against Chelsea: I would rather lost to them in the community shield and beat them in the premier league. If it turns the other way round, shit. If we win both games, excellent. It is too early to rate these guys. So far, I see competition for places among the players. And that is good for success.

  2. Tsusima says:

    Konstantin, well done article. Spot on just what is wrong with AW. Things will not be changed. Losing Sanches is a regret, yet it is best for his own sake.

  3. Jason best in Pes says:

    A back 3 of Holding Per Kolasinac should do against Chelsea with Monreal as lwb, Bellerin/OX as rwb, I honestly prefer Xhaka &Coq in midfield, Ozil Iwobi behind Lacazette…. this selection is based on the fitness levels so far since Alexis Mustafi and kos are not available we’ll have to make do of who we have

  4. Jay says:

    Wenger likes to play players in various positions, as it increases their ability and awareness in their most favoured position. This is one of the main reasons why he is well-known for taking players to the next level. He’s not just an idiot that doesn’t know where their ideal position is. For anyone to think that they know better than Wenger (a person that sees these players in action, practically every day), in what position a player should be deployed in, is absolutely ludicrous.

    This notion that so many Arsenal fans have, where they think they know better than one of the most successful managers in PL history, is truly mind-boggling.

    1. John0711 says:

      This should be done when they are children not seasoned expensive international lol you obviously have never worked in or played the game

      1. Jay says:

        This is such a ridiculously ignorant comment. Wenger is the one that uses this technique, so are you saying that he has never worked or played in the game? No, he is one of the most successful managers in PL history, but, sure, you know better than him right?

        Who says that this is not done when they are younger, also? But, regardless, that is a moot point. The players will not grown and develop in their main positions (as much as they otherwise would have), unless they play out of position, against the highest calibre of players, so to say that it should only be done when they are young, once again, shows a severe lack of understanding of how players fully develop.

        1. John0711 says:

          Only a fool would believe a man does everything correct.
          Having worked at a pro club with youngsters I am aware, also I’m not It arguing with wenger I’m arguing with someone who blindly follows him
          Managers get things wrong as he did last season my evidence of that” he will say himself he failed to achieve in the league”

          And I see no evidence of anything different do you ?

        2. Jan says:

          Sorry mate…Jay, how old are you?

      2. steph says:

        Let me guess! It is your type who’d think that ox’s best position is CM…

  5. Janssen says:

    I was disappointed that Ramsey and Xhaka didn’t start together this weekend. I was expecting them to get a chance to play together as a midfield pair after their decent performances late last year. But to my surprise, it seems Wenger either didn’t give them a final rehearsal chance before the community shield because he doesn’t think they could benefit from that, or he doesn’t view them as his best midfield pairing.

    But if it is not Ramsey who will Xhaka get paired with?

  6. Sandeep says:

    Ox can take on players and can drive the team forward.recent games and last season he showed his dribbling runs.i personally feel that he should be gradually introduce in mid field along with defensive mid.

  7. Milton John says:

    He’s a man of experiments without any any idea and end. For years and years he tried Ramsey, Wilshere, Theo and ended up wasting their talent. Now they don’t know what they are doing and even Wenger. Look at Chamberlain how many positions has been tried out. Finally he’s fed up and wanted to leave the club for playing in his favourite position. So Wenger bought an 16 year old Chamberlain from Southampton for a higher value and kept on trying and trying in many positions and once he’s ready we don’t have a contract enough to keep him nor he’s not interested to sign up because he’s hunger for play rather than getting a huge wages. On the other hand we’ve Ramsey, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Gibbs all decided to make the most of earnings without much work and one the contract is expired they’ll move some other clubs and those clubs are lucky to have a better players with zero fees so they can afford to pay a slightly huge wages compared to their other players.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Without any any idea and end?
      I think Wenger knew the end goal with Henry when Wenger played Henry as a LW for Monaco and later converted him to a CF for AFC.
      I think Wenger knew the end goal when he converted Cashley Cole from an attacker to LB.
      I think Wenger had the end goal of Cesc being more than a DM.

      The end goal for the Ox was to get experience at going past players as a RW and now experience in defending as a RWB, as a CM he will need to be able to do both consistently.

      Oh and to say that Coquelin is making the most of his earnings without much work… STFU you moron. Coquelin isn’t the best CM in the world but he puts 110% effort in at a minimum! Effort and working hard is not faults that should be linked to him, he is a hard working CM!

      Go watch some games.

  8. Raoh says:

    Can’t agree more. I understand the thinkering as Wenger wants to see as many players as possible get some minutes. But at the same the emirates cup should have been the perfect time to play as close as possible as to what will be the usual starting XI and give them more minutes in order to see how the real thing gel together. Also playing players out of position doesn’t exactly make the player feel good and look good: Elneny at CB or Maitland-Niles at CB as well as Ox on as a LWB…Please Wenger one thing you can at least do is put the players in there natural position as much as you can to give them confidence, make them confortable and give them the proper platform to shine.

    1. Midkemma says:

      How about Ox as RWB? We bought the Ox as a CM.
      Play in natural pos? PMSL! Stop talking BS, play them in the role they best perform, even if it wasn’t a natural role for them to start with.

      I can list a bunch of players Wenger converted and done better since converted roles, it isn’t bad that Wenger tried it in PRE SEASON!

      1. Abel says:

        All those whining about Wenger playing Elneny in CB either have short term memories or are just whining for the sake of it.
        Kolo Toure (elder brother to Yaya Toure) was bought by Wenger a a CF. Had pace to burn as well as raw strength but was not very prolific upfront.
        Wenger converted him to CB where he excelled and even earned a #28 million pound move to Manchester City and later Liverpool.
        If Wenger can convert a striker to a damn good CB, what makes you think he can’t convert an already defensive minded player like Elneny?

  9. Vlad says:

    Here we go again… the “good” ‘ole Konstantin is back. The season hasn’t started yet, and he already predicts disaster for the club, and wrath of the fans for Wenger. Chill, dude. First of all, we have enough CB’s. Koscielny, Mustafi, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Holding; with Chambers, and Monreal who can also slot in there. Secondly, enough with the Ox love affair. The kid stinks, plain and simple. 7 years with Arsenal and only 2 decent months / handful of performances to show for it. His biggest strength of “taking on the opponents” is also his biggest weakness. He loses the ball constantly while trying to dribble past three defenders on his own. He’s very poor in tracking back, and he’s more times injured than he’s not. I’ll take/start Theo over Ox any day of the week. The only thing that I do agree with you (Konstantin) though is that we desperately need someone who can replace Santi. Xhaka/Ramsey combo is okay for certain games, but we definitely miss some creativity in our midfield, and for me, personally, it would be our top priority. Adding Lacazette and Kolasinic was nice, but I think we need to make another decent signing or two.

  10. Midkemma says:

    K with another questionable article.
    Please remember it was pre season, ElNeny as CB was an experiment and Wenger has since said he doesn’t think ElNeny will be a CB, he might have done well there.

    If Wenger didn’t try players in alt roles then we wouldn’t have had Kolo Toure as a CB and he was the CB along with Campbell who helped us go unbeaten!

    Henry would have most likely never had the experience as a left winger which helped him be one of the best CF in the world!

    Cazorla wouldn’t have been converted to a deep lying CM.

    I also think Monreal became a better LB after time at CB, his positioning got a bit better and it helped the defense out.

    Alexis would have stayed on the right as that is the position he played when we bought him, he has scored more from the left though and done better on the left, just look at last season!

    How about the Ox as a RWB? We bought him as a CM.
    Nelson as a RWB when he is used to RW.
    Theo was a CF when we bought him and now a winger.
    Cashley Cole was an attacker before Wenger converted him to LB and he was one of the best.

    K should stick to football manager.

  11. SynthiagoCazorla_Hvman_Machine says:

    Goretzka insists he hasn’t reached an agreement with Bayern nor any club for that matter.
    If we are serious we’d try to convince him to join us. He’d complete the puzzle for us.

  12. Akan says:

    I can never forget the look on Arshavin’s face when he was played at centre forward, how he shrugged his shoulders held out his hands and shook his head questioningly “What am I doing here” That was not an experiment. Instead of buying a striker in the transfer window he, Wenger, persisted with it for several games.
    Can anyone one of you who thinks Wenger is flawless explain “WHY” when we needed to get a striker to score a few goals to win the league, Mr Wenger goes and buys a midfield player? if that alone was not bad enough, the player he bought, paid money for, was actually injured and could not play. Does that sound like the actions of a sane human being ? To me that sounds crazy if you’re trying to win a championship

  13. Akan says:

    Wenger has been force feeding the fans mediocrity for so many years now that the majority of you have become so used to it. Don’t forget a few years ago Coquelin could not get a game at Charlton Athletic; ‘Yes, Charlton Athletic. Over the years there’s been a host of substandard mediocre players who quite frankly should have been playing for local pub teams who he has brought into the club and sold to the fans as prime steak, when in fact they were corned beef.

  14. ade says:

    For emirate cup, we played two says with two diff teams except eleny that played d two games in diff position. Some players r not back, preseason is traning. Your article is idiotic

  15. Raj says:

    We are in a vicious cycle of ignorance , denial and hopelessness at arsenal.
    If you see the past 3 or 4 yrs things have gone the same way – Beginning of June, club says we have a war chest of millions and we are linked with host of big names.In the end we end up with some good players and some panic buys.Towards the end of Transfer season , AKBs start saying we should give Wenger a chance as he is the most successful manager and all sorts of praises and fans should stick with team. Then the season unravels.We start well but towards end of December we have handful of injuries and we are struggling with our title challenge.But still great Wenger who does not believe in January transfer window does not buy anyone or buys Kallstrom and by march we have no chance of winning the league and we are looking at getting Wenger Trophy (Top 4 finish).SO when season ends the same AKBs who said fans should stick with team come out of their hiding places and start saying that we did well for top 4 and in next transfer window we will buy better players and we will improve.So the cycle again starts in June.
    This will go on as long as Arsene and board are incharge.All they want in money. Fans don’t matter to them anymore.

  16. kelleson says:

    We as a fan are not always truth to ourselves that is why we are consider among the league contender, the season that just ended we notice that we have a deficiency in some area but some of those area are not be given attention till now and we are expecting a miracle to happen. The only area being given attention to was the attack, the question what about the replacement for sanchez or do u believe every beat of words that came out of Asene wengers mouth? Look how long it take to sign Lacazette and notice the rest big team are doing in the transfer. Some time we fans are the problem of the team because we defend what is not there

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