Arsenal Tactics – Our most formidable formation?

Can Lining Up Under This New System Get More Consistency from Arsenal

There has been much discussion about Arsenal’s chances of securing their first Premier League trophy in a decade with the 3-0 football thrashing of Manchester United. However, Arsenal fan will be keen to see if this was one of those ‘one time’ specialities Arsenal have been able to pull up over the years. Previous victims of Arsenal ‘one time’s include Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester City. I call them ‘one time’ specialities because they never resulted in a run that picks up the trophy in question. Of course we have twice proved we can stay the course and win despite hard games with an FA Cup double in the last two seasons.

The debate remains: How can Arsenal secure the Houdini form and consistency that will declare us the victors in the most coveted tournaments? To suggest that we are very solid will be pushing it too much, as the likes of Olympiakos and Dynamo Zagreb found spaces in our shield, and explored them to the maximum. It even suggests that Arsenal are susceptible to weaker opposition in as so far this season we have lost to teams on the day you would think were the more weaker sides – including Chelsea.

Point to note, we are hosting Bayern Munich this Tuesday in a life and death Champions League clash but we were very sluggish with Watford away, though eventually we blew then away 3 to nil… but the goals took time to come and with Bayern such eventualities will possibly be punishable.

Which makes me ask the question? Does our playing pattern really deliver to us the most efficient, most advantageous utilization of our assets, the players? While I do not want to get into comparisons and I will expect the comments to deliver on that, I want to suggest that after a similar post, the comments suggested that we could have an even more formidable pattern of deployment.

That pattern is 5.4.1 pattern. This is what I would imagine would form our 5.4.1 deployment under the current playing unit.

——————-Sanchez ——–Ozil—————–
———Gabriel, Mertesacker, Koscielny —————

First, Coverage of The Pitch – You have Monreal and Bellerin with the ticket to maraud down the wings right from defense to attack. Remember these are speedy players who have shown their capabilities to deliver the ball in areas of great threat to the opposition, and are good defenders. In this pattern they have the combination of their two best utilities, defend when needed and attack furiously. Sanchez and Ozil are our hard workers and are now forming a telepathic understanding with Walcott and within themselves. Walcott, under this pattern will now be with more encouragement to look for the crosses from the wingbacks as well as the infield players who are world class in Sanchez and Ozil. The ball will be sprayed in all directions, with speed so fast that Arsenal are so comfortable with, and the result is you should expect a goals from any corner of the pitch.

Positions Covered Adequately – The only position we will be short of is in the 3 Man central defensive positions but Calum Chambers sits on the bench to deputize for any of the three players in case of suspension and injury. In case it’s a crisis Isaac Hayden may get his recall from loan. But even then Debuchy and Gibbs can put in shifts like Sagna had once to do. On the wings, Debuchy and Gibbs will be the second team from both wings, and one knows they are capable of high level fights. In the centre for Cazorla and Coquelin, we have Ramsey, Ox, Arteta and Rosicky all with room to impress. For the two attacking midfield roles played by Sanchez and Ozil, we have Ramsey, Rosicky, Ox and Cazorla all who can play and shine. Forward, Giroud deputizes Walcott and Campbell is around to ensure any crisis can be dealt with.

Scoring – With the wings now operating more actively, it frees Sanchez to roam the field, around Ozil, and appear at any spot to take advantage. Ozil too can now be more mobile and Walcott can attack from any spot. The most important thing is the fluidity of the team will be brilliant and the pace will be fast and furious…just the way Arsenal like it. The transition from defending to attacking can be super lightening fast and people are in places where they can wreak havoc by taking over spaces in the pitch previously under-utilized. The goals will become more frequent I believe with this formation.

Clean sheets – With the possibility of 7 defenders and with our 3 best men all out on the pitch at one time (It will not be either Gabriel or Mertesacker to partner with Koscielny, rather these three will all be on the pitch) and with Bellerin and Monreal coming from the flanks to assist, with Coquelin and Cazorla all appearing when needed, Arsenal will have the capacity to assemble a bus when necessary – and the bus breaks up into an attacking formation within a flash. A side like Bayern would find it hard to get into spaces without risking their own defensive breaches.

Team Spirit – With players like Ozil and Sanchez in positions that they can influence both wings of play, the team spirit in the side will spread across the pitch much easier. On a bad day, when things are not really working out, the fact that the leaders on the pitch – Mertesacker, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez and Walcott – can spread the spirit more liberally is enough to carry the day. And that’s the mark of champions.

Is the 5.4.1 our magic bullet to ensure Arsenal have a more consistent set of games playing out?

Nicholas Oyoo

Tags Bellerin Gabriel Ozil


  1. I see no reason to change what we’ve been lining up as, but not a bad idea, would be interesting at least to line up that way.

  2. 3 CB with 2 wingbacks isn’t needed, it doesn’t work in the EPL that well, too much emphasis on defenders and as such not enough to control the field like we do. 5 defenders is kinda silly! More so when you have 2 deep lying CM just infront of that 5. 7 whole freaking players to defend?
    What we gonna call that bus?

    3 attackers will not be enough for a team with an abundance of attacking quality, Arsenal dominate via possession and we force the opposition to run around and tire themselves out while we pass between our own players.

    Claiming that the wingbacks will be able to free up Alexis is kinda silly as well, the opposition isn’t so dumb as to think “Oh Monreal is out wide, he is the danger man”, any manager worthy of being in the EPL will actually appreciate Alexis being a bit less mobile and central, he can’t cut in as much and the work with Theo when theo is happy to drop into the wing causes confusion.

    Just said goodbye to that.

    Seriously, what went through the writers head when making this article? It wasn’t based on actually watching Arsenal so what did the writer base this BS on???

  3. Another thing i complain about that you dropped ramsey and i like that guy and his energetic style (even so i go mad when i see him losing a ball very easily)

  4. i said wijnaldum to newcastle was a strange one, he was a top 6 player
    he an depay tore up the league for psv
    4 good goals today, i expect more from him

    shouts out to squillaci kicking off with zlatan….made me chuckle

  5. Alt sub.
    It’s a good jjob Morinho wasn’t coach at the rugby world cup, all those medics running on the pitch to tend the injured would have given Morinho a heart attack ,if we where lucky.

  6. I think its a great idea. Bellerin already spends most of his time attacking anyway, and Monreal does now and again. Maybe we could try this out against a park-the-bus team and go all out attack. Forgetting Coquelin as a shield it would mean we had five attackers when needed and five defenders when we’re under the cosh. Sounds a brilliant strategy to me!

  7. please stop these silly articles this is a joke Wenger would die rather than play 7 defenders in his team he is no mourinho
    are u influenced by him there is no problem with this formation our past 2 seasons best performances have come playing this formation and about your one time theory this season only we beat manu that lead us to a run of fa cup and we won that so do your homework properly .other than this 4-3-3 is the appropriate formation and if you watch games carefully u would observe that sometimes we r changing to that so no need of bus parking we are arsenal and we play our way

  8. best formation is 4-5-1, high pressure and fast counter attack, something like Klopp did with BvB seasons ago, Ozil vision, Walcott speed and Sanchez class can defeat anyone, passing is good but when opponent like Watford just sit and wait its hard to pass and score, start game with high pressure and fast counters than in second half start playing pass game, so with right balance it could be done, something we did against Liverpool last year on Emirates, first half high pressure and counter while in second half passing and controling game.

  9. 4-3-3 is impossible with Mert and Ramsey in starting line up, Mert is just too slow and Ramsey is not winger, so either start Ox or Walcott on wings, plus i think Wenger is right to not use 4-3-3, unless you have attacking trio like Barca or Real its meaningless, today everyone is playing counterattacks, teams like Chelsea they sit and wait, make one mistake and you lose, we dont have players for 4-3-3

  10. Ox for Ramsey and Gabriel for mertesakher is all i can see by way of required and possible changes … Would start Walcott to see if he really can trouble serious defences but if not sub at half time for giroud

  11. Whoever wrote this article has no clue who Wenger is. The day when Wenger will play 5 defenders plus two deep lying midfielders is the day when he will say he’s quitting Arsenal.

  12. Nicholas Oyoo, the Boss is not likely to change his playing formation now, would he? Not in the upcoming Bayern game will he do that so suddenly. The tranformation from a contemporary one to a new one takes time. Usually the team that wants to transist from their current formation to a new one does so during their preseason trainings and friendlies. If they perfect the new playing style, they will then try it in 1 or 2 competitive games to see how far it can become successful to continue with it or jettison it if it doesn’t work. I think Man Utd forgot about a system LvG indroduced, but didn’t work. I once tailored a 4-5-1 formation to the Boss. But he would have none of that. Right now, the Gunners playing formation of 4-2-3-1 has been working like magic. Moreso when the formation is started with the Gunners’ highest starting XI. And I believe this same formation and starters are the very ones the Boss will use to overcome the arrogancy of Bayern Munich playing on Tuesday night at the Emirate Stadium.

  13. Or we could play the formation and players that have been doing quite well recently……………

  14. OT
    i see sanchez reaching 25 in the league this season.. that guy is a beast.. forget Hazard, Alexis is the best player in the EPL.
    and Ozil, i dont care what pundits think, he is the best playmaker in the world for.. i became a fan whe i first watched him at the 2010 world cup..

  15. One the bain to an arsenal team over the years has been injuries. Playing 3 defenders increases the injury rate. Things like this have made us drop points in the past. 541 would not fit our style of play as a regular formation except it is used as a tactical change to negate the opponents treat. 433 is our best formation to suit our football phylosophy. We can have variations of the 433 to suit certain games .

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