Arsenal Tactics: 4-4-2 is Boring but Effective!

There are very few Arsenal fans that were impressed with the 2-0 away win at Sunderland this weekend, but the fact that we came away with all three points should alert us to the fact that we kept a clean sheet and capitalised on Sunderland’s defensive errors.

Mikel Arteta worked alongside Matthieu Flamini in central midfield to protect the defence and he thinks it was good for the team. He told “We wanted to give a bit more freedom to Alexis, playing a bit behind Danny [Welbeck], more like a 4-4-2, which we haven’t played for a while. It worked – I think Alexis did very well today so we’re happy for him.”

It may not have been pretty but it was only Arsenal’s second clean sheet of the season so far. A fact which didn’t escape Arsene Wenger’s attention. He remarked: “If you’re not capable of keeping clean sheets, you don’t move forward because if you always have to score three goals to win a game, at some stage it doesn’t work, so I’m happy,”

Perhaps Wenger has finally realised that the defence needs more protection this season so will keep this formation for the next few games at least. And if this more defensive setup allows Alexis to act as a number 10 as well as roaming the pitch at will, then surely that can’t be a bad thing for Arsenal?

Tags Alexis Arteta Wenger


  1. I dont have a problem with this formation! Why not adapt a style that could prove to be fruitful for us! Coyg!

  2. A 4-4-2 favours the likes of Ramsey, Arteta and Flamini but not Ozil, unless if he’ll be played as the second of the 2 strikers. Cazorla has an edge over Ozil in a 4-4-2 as he’s more willing to occupy the wide midfield role. Any formation that allows Sanchez free to express himself is fine with me 🙂

  3. If we go for a 4-4-2, we could just copy Man City’s offensive lineup.
    Big target man – Dzeko = Giroud
    Skilful little goalscorer – Aguero = Alexis
    Creative wide midfielder – Silva = Cazorla
    Pacey Winger – Navas = Walcott
    Midfield goalscorer – Touré = Ramsey
    Holding midfielder – Fernandinho = Flamini

    Though that’s not to say Man City have a perfect lineup, they’ve failed to beat smaller teams too this season – West Ham, Stoke, CSKA Moscow and Roma all held out for some points.

  4. We should not go with this boring 4411 at all. Rewatch the first half of the last game and watch how much offense we created. It was horrid to watch. We literally gave Alexis the ball and everyone stood and watched to see what he might create. Arteta and Flamini went square or negative with the ball every time they got it. Welbz and ox stood and watched. Santi being a Spaniard is the only creative player Alexis trusted linking with.

    For me, some games will require Giroud up top, some Welbz, some maybe Theo or Alexis. Mesut as the 10. Alexis/Theo/Campbell in the wide roles. Always the 4231 though, with Jack or Aaron, splitting the CM role AND A POWERFUL BALLWINNING GROUND-COVERING CDM

  5. Doubt that it makes any difference
    what our formation is. Ramsey just
    played his own game at the
    start of last season. Now Sanchez
    attacks constantly.
    Good players can play any where

  6. You do realise that the Invincibles played 4-4-2 and it was definitely not boring football.
    4-4-2 was the formation with which Wenger had all of his successful years and we definitely didn’t play ‘boring’ football then.
    4-4-2 was the formation Wenger switched to in an unheard of, for him, formation change which allowed us to come back against Hull and win the FA Cup.

    Wenger’s constant tampering with formations that push players out of their natural positions has and is costing the team dearly.

  7. Honestly does it really matter what formation we play??

    The only players I know that really follow the formation are OX, Arteta, and maybe Wilshere. Aside from the defenders, every player is all over the pitch. Cazorla/Ozil start on the wing and end up drifting inside and hovering around the box. Sanchez goes everywhere and doesn’t really need a “position.” Even Welbeck plays through midfield and on the wings a lot of the time. We just need more effort and creativity to have cohesive play.

  8. the 4-4-2 is just what arsenal need at the moment, for defensive purpose, to continue building confidence, all incorporate coquelin and hayden as the defensive pair

  9. When we play Chelski we should play the park the bus formation 6-3-1


    Or 3-5-3


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