As Arsenal took on Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley, the thought on everyone’s mind was whether the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger would stick to the back-three system that worked against Middlesbrough or revert to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation. The Frenchman stuck to his new system and the move paid dividends as the Gunners beat Manchester City 2-1, and stand-in captain Laurent Koscielny believes the new system has given the team more confidence.
As quoted by the Daily Mirror, the Frenchman said: “There was a tactical turnaround but we have been working on it for 15 days. The system suits certain players but it’s also good for the whole team. I think we have also found more confidence in this system with three defenders. We are more solid.”
I have to say, Laurent has got it spot on here. The benefit of this system is that the team will have more bodies at the back to deal with danger and hence the defence becomes more solid. In addition, I think a lot of our players are better suited to playing in this kind of system, as we have seen Rob Holding, Gabriel and wing-back Oxlade-Chamberlain all excel in their roles under the new formation.
Offensively, it gives more freedom to our creative players who play behind the striker as they can float around in pockets of space and pick a pass or try and penetrate the opposition themselves. In my opinion, Arsenal’s change in form is a direct result of Wenger finally moving with the times and going for a back-three. While the team certainly have to go a long way before perfecting the implementation of the new formation, it certainly is a positive sign to see Le Prof being open to new ideas. Let’s hope that the new system has given the Gunners enough confidence to push for a top-four finish and an FA Cup.