Arsenal tactics – Has Wenger decided to stick to 4-4-2 at last?

Arsenal seemed to have experimented with many formations this season, but it is interesting to note that we have finally kept two clean sheets in a row now that Wenger has has decided to go back to basics with a bog standard defensive 4-4-2 setup.

Wenger noted after yesterdays win against Burnley: “We played 4-4-2 and we played like that against Sunderland. It works because he [Alexis] works very hard so we can afford to do it. We have to balance the midfield and defence.”

With Debuchy and Koscielny out of action (and no real beast of a DM), it certainly makes sense to have both Mikel Arteta AND Matthieu Flamini in the centre to protect our inexperienced back four.

Wenger has also now recognised that Sanchez’s best position is as a roaming Number 10: “Since he’s played through the middle he looks more goal dangerous.” Wenger said about Alexis. “Now it looks to me that he’s really dangerous through the centre of the pitch because he’s in full confidence, he’s physically strong, he likes to take people on as well and he makes perfect runs. Through the centre of the pitch maybe he’s more dangerous.”

There is no maybe about it, Alexis is absolutely brilliant in the centre and surely he must play there every time he is on the pitch. But does that mean that poor Mesut Ozil will be unhappy back on the wing when he returns from injury?

Tags Arteta Flamini Sanchez


  1. fred cowardly says:

    I suspect that if he does it is because Giroud is coming back next Month. Wenger has already stated that Giroud and Welbeck can play together, so I suspect thsat it will be Giroud and Welbeck up front. In the same press conference Wenger also said that Welbeck can play on the wing as he did at United, so another option Wenger may be thinking of is Welbeck on the wing and Giroudi and Sanchez up front. Remember Wenger is a huge Giroud fanboy.

    Regardless, at least this means enough of this Ozil on the LW nonsense. Ozil should play in his best position in the middle. It’s ridiculous that he and Cazorla have been playing on the wing when we have Campbell, Ox, Podolski and now Walcott has come back. We will see how talented Ozil is when he plays in the middle. Assists galore

    1. almostawinner says:

      could we have 2 in the center?
      ozil fixed at CAM 10.
      but sanchez floating around: could be counted as a striker but allowed to
      move all around (does anyway) ?
      CF: welbeck OR giroud (not both)
      LW: prefer a real LW, but wenger will prob play caz.
      CAM: ozil in the center
      floating#10: sanchez
      RW: walcott or ox
      BUT.. that means we’d have only have 1 spot left at DM

      1. SaveArsenal says:

        Where does Ramsey play in that team?
        Attacking is good but our midfield would be thin as butter and out defense is in pieces.
        We need to shield the back 4.
        Remember we have only won against bottom 6 teams this season, no wins above that.
        Wenger needs to rotate and stop running them all into the ground.

  2. Hafiz Rahman says:

    ozil has to go….he will definitely be unhappy and he cant perform on the wings

    1. almostawinner says:

      ozil at cam passing to sanchez at “floating” CF (but with another striker) would be amazing.
      not ready to give up on ozil yet, esp since he’s not been played in his proper position.
      esp since he’s not had a bunch of games at CAM with sanchez.
      ozil/CAM + sanchez/”floating CF” will be great.

  3. Greg says:

    Its the better formation for us to stick with, so far it has proved to be effective! Coyg!

  4. davidnz says:

    There are no set Arsenal plans.
    1342, 2323, 3421, 271, 19,
    it makes no difference at all.
    Players are all over the field responding to the
    games many changes. Besides without Sanchez
    Arsenal would be in the Cr#p. Still 4th place looks safe.
    Now to beak into the ECL quarters and retain the FA cup.

  5. Greg says:

    Calum chambers and nacho monreal was great at the back yesterday, hats off to them for putting in a good shift! Coyg!

  6. red14 says:

    Alexis Sánchez

  7. Greg says:

    Alexis sanchez workrate is just amazing! Just love the guy for his effort and the hard work he puts in! Coyg!

  8. iamvia says:

    I told ya’ll that 442 will be a good formation now it looks like we are in it and we gonna win it.
    Welbeck. Sanchez
    Carzola. Walcott
    Arteta. Flamini
    Gibbs. Monreal. Per. mertz. Chambers
    When debuchy and koscielny returns we will have a more balanced team and if we are able to get a good DM in january I will bet winning the league with anybody because I can see our trying times is over. COYG

  9. Usmanov says:

    If he is gonna use the 4-4-2 because it seems to be effective, then yes we should stick with it. However, if he changing formation only just so that he can accommodate a certain player. (Giroud, Wilshere, Ozil or whoever) in the starting line-up, then I will say he is preping himself for failure.

    1. Ks-Gunner says:

      I am afraid that he is doing it for the second reason you mentioned. How is the 4-4-2 about to work if we do have to many Cm and no room whatsoever for them all. Again we do also need a Strong Dm to make that 4-4-2 somehow work.

  10. Mick The Gooner says:

    In his press conference Wenger said he played Arteta and Flamini to boost the defensive side of the team as a result of the 4-4-2. I think in January he’ll buy a solid DM so he can play Ramsey or Wilshere in midfield instead.

  11. Twig says:

    I don’t care about formations. Just use the right formation, against the right opposition and as when required during the game. That’s all. Formations should be dynamic and tweaked in order to win you the game.

    1. Andrew AFC says:

      How about 4-3-3 now that Theo is back, with a front three of Welbeck Sanchez Theo

      1. Twig says:

        That would be the likely front three with everyone fit, although I would also like to see

        Podolski Welbeck Walcott

        …. With Sanchez right behind them pulling the strings. Don’t count out Giroud though, he’s better than Welbeck against teams that sit deep I believe.

        1. Andrew AFC says:

          The only reason I didn’t put Sanchez behind them is we need cover for our defence and width.

          Cazorla——-New DM——Ramsey

  12. Popeye786Sailor says:

    Many reasons add up to the 4-4-2 formation, such as no consistent performance from the so called best bunch of midfielders in EPL. Also defence’s weak due to injuries and hence extra two cushion to safeguard our goal. And of course to accommodate that Wenger’s blue eyed boy – Giroud.

  13. Zulu-boy-SA says:

    People been unfair to the BFG, yes he’s slow but he’s intelligent, he reads the game well, he makes good interceptions and on one on one situations if you notice, nothing gets pass him when he puts those long legs on the way.

  14. ruelando says:

    It has been successful so far an even can be better with the right players added, the Arteta/ Flamini combo has done a decent job protecting our back four.

    The team looks like its starting to clicking, we can do the same against the anderlecht should even be a better test using the same formation.

    The only problem i have with wenger is if he will be willing to alter is formation when its not working, players are starting to return from injury and momentum is building, the team can be freshen up with the same or different formation to get the needed result

  15. Andrew AFC says:

    I don’t carry what system we play as long as we start winning more games.

  16. Andrew AFC says:

    Admin: I don’t mind the adds at the side of the page but you are taking the p-ss with the netflix add.

    1. Andrew AFC says:

      Thank you admin if you have sorted it out.

      1. Andrew AFC says:

        PPS I don’t mind the Russians 🙂

        1. Andrew AFC says:

          They would look a lot better in Arsenal shirts 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. Ig says:

    It’s AMAIZING how many attacking options we have. wow!

    against the smaller teams we will do a “liverpool” of last year with 4-4-2, and against the bigger tesms we will play 4-1-4-1 not to get humiliate as always.

    this year we can maybe get something in the champions league. chelsea will take the league.

    wenger has 2 FINAL transfer windows to make it right defensively and we will destroy the league.

  18. Chafchaouniy says:

    Our best team, when everybody is fit is like this (My personal point of view)
    Debuchy -Per -Kos- Gibbs
    Walcott- Ramsey- Flamini -Sanchez
    Ozil- Giroud
    Substitutes : Ospina- Chambers- Monreal- Wilshere- Cazorla- Ox- Welbeck
    My concern is the DM position since neither Flamini nor Arteta are good and Wilshere is not a true DM, so we really need to get this fixed by January.
    Ozil and Sanchez can exchange positions since they are both world class players.
    and the bench is just unbelievable.
    and we still can’t see : Rosicky, Arteta, Podolski, Campbell, Bellerin, Sanogo and Diaby.
    Damn on he paper our squad is just beautifull… but injuries are not doing us any favor…

  19. Ronny331 says:

    Not keen on 442 whilst our defense is so unsettled, could be a good option when kos is back and certainly debuchy as well. I prefer 4132. If we want to be ultra defense minded flamini can sit in front of the back 4, I feel he offers little in attack though. I’d prefer a defensively minded ramsey there spraying balls forward as per Gerrard. He can link with rhe front players but from deep. Walcott and sanchez can work the flanks and ozil/cazorla at #10. Up front and staying there giroud, welbeck floating freely and linking with rhe wingers and giroud. I’d expect welbeck to keep an eye on runners and track back when were countered, (ozil wont do it and should be left up the pitch in case we break baxk ourselves quickly). I think this would be exciting to see but ramsey would have to be fit and on form. No jack at rhe back on his own please. I see jack as a bench impact sub when everyone else is on point.

  20. butters says:

    Kinda miss the old Arsenal kit, it was a very historic design. but time for a new era

  21. Big Gun says:

    The only thing we need to change right now is accomodating Theo, otherwise I think this formation and player selection is by far the most rewarding, in both defense and attack. Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey and Jack can rotate in that central area, I don’t think playing any of them wide is a good idea as we have more dedicated players for those positions.

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