Arsenal Tactics – How to get the best from Giroud and Ramsey


The French good run in the Euro 2016 Tournament exposes one thing that some of us have suspected for a long time, that Giroud can become world class if he plays alongside other strikers in the side. France looked out of sorts until coach Didier Deschamps changed the system to 4.4.2 and Giroud was partnered with Griezmann upfront, suddenly Giroud was the world class attacker we have always hoped he should be.

The other player who has set the tournament alight happens to be Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey too has had too many hot-cold moments in his Arsenal career. Playing for Wales in the more advanced role in midfield. With that position Ramsey has shown that the Ramsey we have always longed for at Arsenal is still there but we must find a way to get that Ramsey out.

The question therefore becomes, are Arsenal playing their best possible system? If so why is it that we have too many players playing outside their best roles? Which brings me to simple, frightening remedy for Arsenal next season when teams have revitalized themselves the best possible way they know how to ensure that they will be competitive. Arsenal should also do the same and we should play at our best.

Let me start with a pattern that I think Wenger should not fear embracing if he wants the best and the players he should go for based on the latest rumours out there about the people we are chasing to sign.
Pattern 3.4.3

The first XI


The players: I know we are linked to Lacazette, Morata, Lukaku and Higuain for striker’s role. Straight out, it will be pleasantly shocking if Wenger were to sign Higuain 72Million. We know he is worth it and we also know that scares Arsenal FC out of any running to sign such a player. I would have suggested we go for Morata but with Giroud in the team, we may be setting ourselves up for a French first striker role fight within our dressing room, therefore let’s not risk such trouble. Between Lukaku and Morata, well Morata wins out for me because the Everton are attaching silly money to Lukaku…at above 60M he is not worth going for.

We are also linked with Gabriel Barbosa, a 19-year old from Santos. Well, watching his play you can tell he is well worth a role in the first team even at the age. He plays like Douglas Costa but tampers his games with goals.

The pattern resolves our needs for a centre back by leaving only one place available and with three senior players in Koscielny, Gabriel and Mertesacker we would be full house. It allows Ramsey a position in the center of the field in the areas where his best runs into attack can be very useful. The other player is Cazorla who again has similar attributes and he will be useful from there. Granit Xhaka staying in front of the defenders will help resolve the situation of defender exposure, especially if both Ramsey and Cazorla are encouraged to man the areas allocated to them from the box all the way to the other box. Sanchez, Morata and Barbosa are the three front players. Sanchez and Barbosa would play as front wingers. These allows Cazorla and Ramsey to cut inside from the wings and enough freedom to the two front wing strikers to start their attacks from midfield all the way to the centre forward areas. Giroud (if he gets to play) will now get supported and should be scoring more frequently.

Arsenal are a team bursting in the seams with talent in the centre of the pitch with the likes of Coquelin, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Iwobi, Ox-Chamberlain waiting to steal any of these roles from the First XI named here… 6 roles rather than the traditional 5 with the 2 wing fronts available makes for better opportunities to allow them game time. For the front wing areas, Iwobi, Walcott and Ox-Chamberlain would be able to fill in adequately.

What pattern and what other players would you ask Wenger to adopt for next season?

Nicholas Oyoo


    1. I swear this same article has come up before- the whole 3-4-3 which we won’t play. and Bellerin a centre back??!?!!? lol.

      I do agree however that we should try two strikers up front from time to time.

      Lacazette – Alexis
      Cazorla Ramsey
      Monreal – Kos – Mert – Bellerin

  1. Unlike most arsenal fans I rate players like Ramsey,Wilshere,Szczesny,Wellington and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.But for Giroud it seems like most fans haven’t learnt ther lessons.Trust me if you like play this formation with all these mentioned players of which Giroud is part.He will still do what he knows how to do best.Gosh!!! I wonder for how long and how many seasons can we go for people and Arsene to get over this naivety.I really pity some of us.You know why?Because we refuse to open our eyes to see the light.He is average at best and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of watching him.But why boo him when he’s on the pitch playing for your team.The best is to support him.But he needs replacing.

  2. The formation even shows how delusional we are as fans.Here’s hoping that Arsene makes the right signings this time.What people haven’t realized is that Arsenal have not won the Premier league or major titles for so long due to terrible signings.If only people were to see what am saying.Now we have another chance so am praying Wenger does what is right.

    1. It began when we went the youth route, then developed the tika taka, neither were suited best for this league. It’s like he forgot what was successful. He probably only recalls the Bergkamp flicks, the Henry dazzlers, and The Pires shimmy. He must of blocked out the height factor, forgotten the hard graft.

  3. There is so much wrong about that line up. Where do I start. Three CBs yet you have Bellerin as one of them, or do you want him and Monreal pushing forward. Three at the back but you go with three attacking midfielders and only the new boy watching out for danger. Suicide, seriously man, be serious.

    1. OP is complicating things when they can be much simpler. When Ramsey was on form him and Ozil showed very good chemistry, I say keep him on RW and allow him to drift in centre as long as he remains behind Ozil and the forwards, with Cazorla and Xhaka there should be enough stability to prevent him from leaving holes for the opposition to exploit. The 4-2-3-1 formation is our best line-up.

      1. But if we intend on using pace with either Walcott or a new signing I suggest 4-1-3-2 with Xhaka as the shield of the back four, Ozil in the centre, Cazorla on his left and Ramsey on the right with Sanchez and the new signing as the front 2. Either that or we could do 4-3-1-2 which works best for a counter attacking style.

  4. A: make it clear to both that they are not starter quality …which they aren’t …and see how they respond from the bench …. Buy draxler and take a punt on the Brazilian … The jap kid is not serious football management … Buy Rodriguez and subotic … Sell Walcott Gibbs Campbell …farm out ox for one last chance on loan

    Bellerin subotic/Gabriel kos Rodriguez
    Santi xhaka
    Barbossa Sanchez draxler

  5. Let’s be honest here, Wenger isn’t going to change jack ?!
    It will be the same old formation, non – tactics, non – gameplans and the same old late controversial substitutions.
    My only hopes are that Ozil, Sanchez, Koscielny and Bellerin are still Arsenal players for the 2016/17 season and that the likes of Walcott and the Ox have better season than last one! ?
    And of course…Having Lacazette as our striker, is better than a kick in the nuts!….. Right? ? ?

    1. Let’s be honest here, Wenger isn’t going to change jack ?!

      Awww, I know Wilshere had a bad Euros but no need to call him names 😛 (j/k)

  6. so we are aware mkhitarayan was No 1 in assists last year
    Ibra is and will always be better than Giroud
    Ibra/Rashford/Martial/Mkhitaryan is better than any front 4 we can play
    Pogba we couldn’t afford his boots
    and wenger thinks we are better

  7. 4141 is a formation I think could get the best out of OG & Ramsey while also working towards the Arsenal way.


  8. Czech for Cech, Ballerin for Bellerin, Montreal for monreal, oil for ozil.l!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. While I agree we would need to change to get the best out of Ramsey, Giroud simply needs someone to fight for his place, rather than running him into the ground each season because we have no other real strikers.
    As for playing 3 at the back, that seems like suicide and means we would not get the best out of Bellerin or Monreal for that matter.
    I am not sure what would work best but our best form last term was when we had Ramsey on the right wing and cutting in. His ability and willingness to chase the ball down freed up Santi and Bellerin to push forward. It’s no coincidence Bellerin’s form dropped off when Ramsey dropped deep to replace Santi. The trouble is Ramsey is not really a winger and doesn’t score enough. For me I think he’d flourish behind the striker but not at the expense of Ozil. The line up we had at the beginning of October was looking very good except that again our strikers were not consistent enough. The problems really arose when we lost Santi and Coq and we had no decent replacements. I’d be happy with that line up but with a new striker and hopefully someone a bit more mobile than Per at the back.
    Bellerin, Per (other), Kos, Monreal
    Santi, Xhaka
    Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez
    Higuain (I can dream)

    if we are going to change things up then a kind of 4-2-2-2 and encourage the full backs to be even more adventurous, while keeping Santi/Xhaka deeper.
    Same at the back
    Santi, Xhaka
    Ramsey, Ozil
    Higuan, Sanchez

  10. whatever formation anyone puts forward here without one name – Aaron Ramsey – is a fake formation.

    He is number one on Wenger mind and list. Believe me, Wenger will put him among back 4 if the midfield is filled up without him.

  11. I am so sick of seeing Ramsey on the right
    For a few matches he even started on the right when Theo and Ox were healthy
    With us getting Xhaka and also having Coquelin and Cazorla
    Im scared Ramsey will have the right side permanently

    I wish we had gone for Mktharyan and I know Aubemeyang, Reus, Greizmann are out of the question but we should at least go for Mahrez or Draxler

    Keep Ramsey as backup to Xhaka and Cazorla
    I still think we should sell Theo to fund a new winger

    1. Did you watch Arsenal at all these last 2 years ? Theo and Ox have always been inconsistent, in fact Ramsey had more goals than them this season. Also, playing on the right doesn’t mean he’s stuck on the wing, the manager gives him the freedom to drift in the centre in order to help Ozil and Giroud, the problem is without Cazorla we lacked the defensive stability that allowed him to attack freely.

      1. 1. I think the Ramsey experiment began and continued because Arsene didn’t entirely trust Bellerin as a defender. He often does this with players in their first season and adds responsibility later on. Hopefully Bellerin has proven himself capable enough now to play with other wingers, like Walcott, who I think Arsene was especially reluctant to play him with (and think back to those games Walcott played in and how deep Arsene had him playing). This also applies to our centerback issue, as we seemed to be trying to throw a lot of players toward that side of the field to cover for both Bellerin and whichever other CB was there.

        2. I think a lot of people are being very unfair to Walcott. When he was on the wing, he was asked to play quite defensive and wasn’t able to use his speed effectively to get behind the defense. When played through the middle, Arsene clearly wants him to play the same style as Giroud. It’s laughable watching him try to hold the ball up and for the team to not put more than 1 or 2 balls for him to chase behind the defense in an entire game. He also got very little time on the field to play back to match fitness after another injury, so I really think a lot of the criticism is unfair.

        3. I’m close to finished with Ox. He is such a strong runner, and I like his direct play as a change of style coming off the bench or in some matchups. However, his passing is awful. He overhits almost every pass and makes some bad decisions on the ball as well to lose a lot of possession. We still can’t even decide what position he will play in. Is he still a winger or is he going to play as a CM? If he wants to play on the wing, he has to be able to put in a decent cross and score occasionally. He can do neither.

        4. While I have no problem with wingers drifting in, there has to be some balance to it. If there is no threat to go outside, the defense can cover that side of the field so much easier. Ramsey is clearly not comfortable taking a defender on the dribble, and never punishes the defense for cheating toward the middle. We need a winger that can vary the point of attack, which we haven’t had since Walcott decided he can’t be a winger anymore.

        5. Defensive stability isn’t exactly the issue without Cazorla. It’s possessional stability when Ramsey is played as a CM. As I have said before, he is extremely aggressive going forward to the point of making a risky pass or run on nearly every play. He causes defenses problems. Unfortunately, our own defense is caused as many problems as the others because he loses the ball in poor areas just as often as the risks pay off on the other end. If he can pick and choose his moments better, he will be a world class CM or close to it.

        6. Arsene’s tactics still leave a lot to be desired. If Ramsey is in the midfield, we need at least one fullback to stay back at all times and the CB’s need to sit back deeper than they usually do to prevent those issues discussed above. There has to be better communication between the midfield and back line as to who covers what on counters. If the DM covers the ballhandler and they pass it off to someone who is being covered by Kos, the DM has to stick with the original player or cover the space behind Kos. While Coq was fantastic breaking up counters and stopping plays from developing early, he did not cover well tracking back when he got beat. He tended to follow the ball, leaving Per/Gabriel in an iffy situation trying to cover Kos’s vacated space and following the runner at the same time. This is compounded with Bellerin, who is still not great positionally, though I expect him to improve.

        5. I’m tired. This is a long post.

  12. From watching the Euros it’s quite clear that Giroud thrives with a supporting striker who is quick and has good movement around the box. I feel as though Sanchez would be a great partner for giroud up front, as Sanchez has a great work ethic and will get into fantastic positions for knock-downs and flicks.

    As for our possible formations, I feel as though if we play a 3-5-2 with Giroud and Sanchez up top, we could play bellerin as a wingback with 3 centerbacks. On the other side of the pitch we could play Rodriguez as the other wingback. In the middle of the park would be Xhaka, Cazorla/Ramsey, and Ozil.

    Any thoughts?

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