Arsenal should change formation to cope with our injuries


Arsenal’s fixtures, save for a self-inflicted Champions League ‘do or die’ tie with Olympiakos, up until playing Manchester City on December 21 should have been the kinder of the EPL top 5. Norwich, Sunderland and Aston Villa are all in the last quarter of the EPL standings. However, that seems not to be the case. Unfortunately things are going from bad to worse, seemly.

Injuries appear not letting up as in the match against Norwich we had to replace two players due to injury. The fearful scenario of injury on Alexis Sanchez has proven a premonition. Let’s hope it’s an Ox-Chamberlain/Walcott/Ramsey-like injury that is only short term.

To make matters worse Koscielny and Cazorla also picked up injuries during the same match. And if that’s not enough, Giroud has misplaced his shooting boots and in the last two matches Arsenal have had to rely on Sanchez-Ozil partnership to find the back of the net. Against Norwich I was kind of hopeful that this was going to be one of those days that we score five goals and catch Manchester City, but it wasn’t to be. In the end there was an argument we even survived in getting off with a point.

The prospect of another slip up against either Sunderland or Aston Villa looms large and if the unfortunate happens Arsenal will fall too far behind the leading pack in the EPL race. Maybe Norwich is an early warning that we should respond to, in order to survive a fearful December, so that come January we can seek reinforcement in the transfer window. January and after also promises to be a period where our long term casualties are expected to be returning from the sick bay, a list which includes Welbeck and Wilshere and perhaps Coquelin a bit later in February or maybe March.

I feel that since we have lost our key pairings in both attack (Sanche –Ozil) and Midfield (Coquelin-Cazorla), it is time to rethink our pattern for the time being in order to make most of what is left of our preferable first XI.
Here is how I would set up to ensure we get the goals and defensive solidity that can take through the notorious December.

Bellerin – Gabriel – Mertesacker – Monreal
Ramsey – —-Flamini – —–Campbell
Walcott—Giroud Pattern with our usual four defenders with Petr Cech in goal. Flamini plays in the only defensive role this pattern allows and sits in front of the back four. Having lost Cazorla to injury for the time being, a player whose deep midfield role has been one reason we are challenging for the title, Campbell takes over on the left wing with extra defensive duties. He is a hard worker and has proven that he can be mindful to track back as much as attack. Campbell must play on the left wing until Cazorla or Sanchez return, and then he can move to deputize on the striking role.

Ramsey continues to play on the right wing where he has had lots of playing time recently. Ozil, the Assists King keeps his attacking midfield role. For the first time this season, Walcott and Giroud will be sharing the striking duties at the same time. This pattern will utilize the pace of Walcott and hold up play duties of Giroud.

Also with this Pattern, Ozil will have lots of quick moving bodies to find as both Ramsey and Campbell could overload an attack from both wings and at opportune times Monreal and Bellerin can turn up and help in attack. I think if Flamini does not get carried away and stays closer to his back four and Campbell and Ramsey utilize their perfect skills to track back, provide crosses and cut into attack when opportunity arises, we should pull through the December crisis not just unscathed, but perhaps with the necessary wins to keep us competitive.

Should Arsene Wenger re-pattern for more effectiveness and in preparation for a tough December?

Nicholas Oyoo

Tags Alexis Ozil Walcott


      1. it looks like ..
        a bad day at disneyland…
        a virgin …touched for the very first time.
        a boyzone tribute band

    1. Cech
      Bellerin – Mertesaker – Koscielny – Monreal
      Ramsey – Flamini
      Campbell – Ozil – Ox

      Subs: Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Adelaide/Iwobi

  1. Carzola’s slowly becoming irrelevant to this team………what’s with him by the way?…is it age or form?

    1. I know, LMAO to really tell arsene to change formation.
      But, what the hell. Let’s just say, Vardy, Mahrez, and Granit Xhaka, wouldn’t be bad after all after you see this formation 4-2-3-1:






    1. Why put Campbell up front?
      He isn’t a striker or at least he isn’t much of a goal scorer
      At least Giroud scores more than a dozen a season
      Campbell scores less than a handful a season

      1. That’s because he’s on the bench, it’s quite hard to put it in from there. lol. I agree he has been more of a link up player. He can playnwith his back to goal as per the World Cup. Giroud just needs competition to motivate him.

  2. Since when did campbell start playing CM, the closest to the centre he has ever been was CF, take campbell out of this formation or may be put him in place of Giroud then Chambo can play CM, or may be even Gibbs (Alaba role). Nice tot anyway. Though article was too long.

    1. @muda
      Joel plays up front for his country, as lone striker/target man. get the ball to him and he will deliver…

  3. I’ve been reading comments in here and i’m new here. What Arsenal needs is a freshly bred technical bench. The same tactics don’t work for every match. And by the way new and experienced are needed to curb injuries and for rotation when needed.

  4. Well the season is funny and weird cause no team has taken any sort of advantage. Man city are getting the home matches and Arsenal are having to play back to back away games to opposition who really have a tactic to break the team. Wenger has said he will spend now he has to be doubly sure about the promise.

  5. I don’t know how far Theo is off from returning, but I feel he will be key to our December/ January period. He can play onnthe right or as CF and challenge Giroud for the place. Joel will be able to hold down the left for us I hope. I don’t think Ox is quite as good as Theo or Joel (sorry to those who disagree), so he an back them up, or go on the right if Jthoe plays CF..

  6. This injury is just killing the team and the level of performance to it. They just can’t keep on acclimatising to the changes in defence during the match and koscielny is injury prone and is 30. The attack seems to get blunt on each occasion which is a very bad sign. Oxlade came on did not even try to run at defenders.

  7. It’s going to be even tougher now to beat Olympiakos by two goals without Alexis, Cazorla, Theo, Coquelin and Koscielny baby please

    I’m not saying it’s impossible but we will have to do it without 3 of our 5 WC players, without our best DM and our best goal scorers

    Olympiakos is a very good team and we will play away

    Best team to face olympiakos

    1. I think I agree with you that Ox has to go right. I like Bellerin and Campbell partnership they have certainly clicked, but Ox is not so confident on the left as Joel. Perhaps a little swapping. Ironically, it was a similar set up that wooped in the Emerates Cup in 2014.
      I hope my belief in Joel comes good, and he can combine with Ozil wnich hasn’t quite happened just yet. I don’t feel however, that that line up is too bad, but I think Flamini is more dependable than Chambers.

  8. Recall Akpom, Szczesny, Jenkinson and Zelalem….crisis averted lol

    Oh and maybe even Sanogo just to have us cursing the ground Wenger walks on

  9. Its only November 30th and I’m already Pi**ed off with the Arsenal. My beloved team is making me sad.Only one man,Wenger is the cause. The sooner he goes the better. He depresses me just by looking at him sitting on the bench unable to even do his zip up.New broom required ASAP.

  10. In a certain light the recent injuries to Ramsey, Sánchez, Walcott and Cazorla all look, arguably, to have had some man-made contribution. Ramsey should have been rested against Watford just before his most recent injury, a point Wenger conceded for all his gripes with Wales. Sánchez, despite his own gung-ho spirit, was clearly in need of a rest, and not simply because he had already felt his hamstring twang. Chile’s Jorge Sampaoli admitted playing him though injury six weeks ago, since when he has played 12 more matches. Walcott strained his calf 14 minutes after coming on against Sheffield Wednesday in October. The suggestion at the time, watching him rise, cold from the bench in just the fifth minute of the game, was that he had not been able to warm up sufficiently. In a similar vein Cazorla was said to have “played on one leg” in the second half at Norwich, which can hardly have helped his recovery prospects.

    There is a suggestion here of a certain carelessness, a slightly chancy attitude towards players already “in the red zone”. Albeit, like every other theory doing the rounds, this too is simply speculation, a conclusion based on outcome. What we can say for sure is that for a decade Arsenal have played a certain way, scaling back physicality in favour of touch and speed of thought. And that in the last year there has been a refusal to pay the necessary asking price to strengthen midfield and attack, increasing the strain on that fine but fragile first team.

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