Arsenal need to change tactics to allow our depleted squad to flourish

Arsenal are eager to fight for and win the league title this season after failing to do so last season, after losing our brilliance near the conclusion of the season, allowing Manchester City to clinch their third league victory in a row.

Injuries played a big part in us not being at our best in the final weeks of last season. Some key players, such as William Saliba, were injured, and we failed to find the right players to replace them. We also didn’t come up with the right formations to accommodate the players available, which resulted in us registering some poor results after conceding goals we needed to avoid to win games.

This season, injuries are also threatening to hold us back. We have already lost some crucial players to injuries, including Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trosaard, and Declan Rice (the extent of his back injury sustained in the derby is still uncertain). We’ve been employing the 4-3-3 formation, but with the list of injuries expanding by the day, Mikel Arteta will have to consider switching to a new formation that favours available players while waiting for the injured players to fully recuperate and make a comeback.

Given our goals for the season, this transfer will be vital. A 4-1-3-2 formation could be used.

Jorginho might take over at No. 6 for Declan Rice. The Italian is a terrific defensive player who can make passes in tight spaces, so he may have a big impact for us even if he blundered in the NLD, losing possession to Maddison, who set up Son for Spurs’ second goal in the 2-2 draw over the weekend.

Another important key alteration is the introduction of Emile Smith Rowe to the team to replace Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli. Smith Rowe is a good player who can score long-range goals as well as create chances for others to score; if there was ever a moment for him to break into the team, it is now. His addition to the team will have a significant impact on goal scoring, mirroring what Trossard and Martinelli have been accomplishing in the last third.

Nketiah and Jesus could continue to lead the attack, playing as a front two and scoring the goals we need to win games.

We must win the league title in 2023–24, and for that, tough calls must be made, and they need to be made very quickly….

Daniel O

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Tags Arsenal tactics


  1. The injury to Rice is a big blow and hopefully, as reported, he should be available for the City game. As for the formation, I would favor a 3-4-3 with a back 3 of Saliba, Gabriel and Tomiyasu/Kiwier with White and Zinchenko as wingbacks. Jorginho and Odegaard can occupy the central midfield with ESR, Jesus and Saka making up the front 3. Havertz can play as no.9 as a sub for Jesus with Viera as a impact sub for Odegaard, if need be. something has got to change, considering the number of goals we are conceding.

  2. Read very recently that Edu / Arteta are trying hard to get Ivan Toney (ASAP) and Osimhen (2024). That would certainly help them “Flourish” !!!

  3. You say Arsenal has been using 4-3-3 but is that really the case? Arsenal has not used that formation since the beginning of last season.With possession it’s more like 3-2-2-3,Zinchenko stepping into midfield to form a double pivot alongside Rice. There are even moments in possession where White joins the attack leaving just the two centre backs at the back-sometimes Rice slots in between the CBs to form a 3 at the back and Saliba moves wider to cover White.From what I’ve observed and from what Arteta has been saying(remember the 43 formations),Arsenal uses multiple formations during a game and in various phases of play. When defending,it’s more like 4-3-2-1,with just the striker upfront. When pressing,sometimes I see 4-1-3-2,with Odegaard joining the striker in the press.Anyway,I think Gotanidea is better at explaining the formations which tend to be fluid under Arteta,since the beginning of last season.

    1. I suppose even a 4-3-3 shape has been used when defending against certain opposition. Basically all the formations you’ve mentioned and others you haven’t are employed during any given game. That said,I agree that there may be need for formation change in various phases of play in the absence of Martinelli. He’s the only attacker in the squad with blistering pace and his absence could necessitate tweaks in formation to get the best out of whoever plays on the Left wing.

  4. I think the players we have were assembled to suit the team’s formation. Why change formation because of injury to a few players?

    The situation that may cause such a change is if players in a certain position are all injured or unavailable. Not the injured players have replacements.

  5. A point of correction to the writer, Georginho is never a terrific defender. Though he passes well when comfortable on the ball, however big teams won’t give that much comfort.
    On top of that he lack the physicality, really puts in tackles and interceptions.

      1. Well said TL.In addition to his lack of physicality he is not quick.He has been a very able intelligent central midfielder who, unfortunately is now on the decline.The need for a quality , athletic midfielder to back up Rice and Partey should be our highest priority and take precedence over the acquisition of a centre forward imo.

  6. “Nketiah and Jesus could continue to lead the attack, playing as a front two and scoring the goals we need to win games”

    What! Do you believe what you have just written? I’m speechless. I hate to say it….we are not going to win the league. Have you been watching us?

  7. Drop Nketiah, enough chances wasted by that Championship player. This ego driven Havertz inclusion is weakening the midfield, and so far we have taken 2 steps back from last year.

    As far as the striker position, it is one of the few times fans seem to know better than the manager.

    Nketiah continues to prove he isn’t good enough, and Jesus still shows he isn’t a clinical striker.

    Fans know we need a top striker WHO SCORES, and Edu and Arteta have to bring one in come January. Simply can’t depend on Jesus and Nketiah.

  8. Arsenal need a proper number 9 to score goals. Yes everyone is expected to score in the team, but when you are not sharpened to do so, opportunities are missed. I hear Ivan’s name being mentioned or talked about and the man himself spoke of Arsenal as his desired choice to be part of the squad.

  9. Playing without a centre forward can be difficult. There are players who can play as a false nine effectively (Son for instance) but even they tend to struggle against a packed defence that doesn’t allow space to run into. Then you need a physical presence. The trouble is good centre forwards are hard to find. Bayern took a lot of stick over what they paid for Kane. It hasn’t taken long to justify the expenditure. So there’s two problems. First of all you have to find a centre forward who is good enough for the premier league, then you have to find the money to pay for him.

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