Arsenal Tactics – Rotation is key to our title challenge


Let us assume that Wenger sticks with what he’s got and does not land another “opportunistic transfer” as Galen previously observed in his article. Is the team good enough? My answer is yes. but this depends on how LE PROF utilizes it.

As we have observed over the past seasons, Arsenal has always had the personnel but poor decision making especially with tactics. Reference to adaptive squad rotation has always been Wenger’s greatest problem, thus we don’t last the season. We always run into injury crises and loss of form to key players. It happened a lot to Fabregas when he was with us. WENGER doesn’t juggle his team with respect to changes needed for particular matches, he only applies this in periods of injury crises. Even with two more world class signings, if he doesn’t rotate his team as the need arises, we may still not win the league. The league is a marathon. This is where SIR AlEX F. was a master. AN ADAPTIVE SQUAD ROTATION POLICY should be properly effected in the thick of the season when we are still in contention for titles and honours, not when we are out.

Of course you should have your core players but they should be rested as time requires. Ozil for instance got burnt out in his first season because he was not rested in particular matches and he subsequently got injured. Same with Ramsey. We had Rosicky but he was rarely used. In that same season Giroud suffered a drop in form as always but Bendtner was hardly used. Podolski was being benched when we needed him most for goals. We subsequently lost the league 2 seasons back due to lack of proper personnel utilisation. Last season again Walcott wasn’t given the striking role to cover up when we needed goals as Giroud ran out of gas again. Alexis was also overplayed again when he could have been rested in some matches.

It is often said not to change a winning side but even Jose Mourinho alters his team depending on the match and the tactical situation. Prof Wenger needs to bring out the best in his team. He has to adapt his first team to an efficient squad rotation policy in other to curtail injuries and dips in form.

Firstly, he has to identify our best XI and this should not be based on bias, sentiments, nationality, price tag, home grown or other factors. I’ll give you my best XI and positions based on what is available. This is with the assumption that we have a Champions league final to play with FC BARCELONA or an FA CUP FINAL against CHELSEA. You should field your best players in their preferred position for optimum results. This is what we miss sometimes.

Debuchy Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
Ramsey Cazorla
Walcott Alexis

My formation is a 4 – 1 – 3 – 2. or a diamond midfield. applicable for big matches, to give balance in defence and attack. It gives the Arsenal fluidity that we just got back is the second half of last season as Cazorla dropped to the CM position. I also put Ramsey back to his preferred box to box role. Ozil can drift to the right as the game goes on to allow for “the Ramsey burst to goal” which we have so missed since he was shunted to the right wing.

Ramsey is to also assist Coquelin in our midfield battles. CAZORLA is the deep lying playmaker (the FABREGAS role). Alexis and Walcott can always switch to the wings as the game goes on but Walcott should be the main striker (9). The reason for this is that he knows how to score in big games. His only disadvantage is that he does not have the physique, but you can bet he’ll torment any defence in the world. He has scored in so many big games – 2 against Man City, against Chelsea, MAN United, Barcelona. etc. He is my pick because he has the temperament to take responsibilities in big games.

Theo together with Alexis and Ramsey are Arsenal’s best match winners. No sentiments attached. They should be played in positions to bring out the best in the team.

Secondly, to be continued. thanks all.

From CHUMA. Nigeria.

Tags Cazorla Ramsey Walcott


  1. Interesting approach – I dont think Arsene will play a new system this year as seen by the two matches already played, so a nice thought but a useless article overall. Also we need a new DM and a new striker since we will play a variation of 4231 this season.

    1. Agree with this, we will basically keep a variation of 4231 but when le coq plays it becomes more of a 4141. Have our two most skilful players cazorla and ozil is a must, but when they are rested a 433 becomes more feasible.

      I disagree about knowing your best x1, that was gone in the last century, but the game is more a squad now, but you do need your core squad of around 20-22 players and I think wenger pretty much has that.

      First 19
      Cech, ospina or Szczesney
      Debuchy bellerin koscielny mertesacker Gabriel Monreal gibbs
      Coquelin cazorla Ramsey wilshire chamberlain ozil
      Walcott alexis Welbeck giroud

      I hope he adds 3 more big names to that.

      He then has his 26 man back up squad of which some have gone on loan, some more will and one or two may even be sold. Most will play u21s.

      Ospina or Szczesney Martinez Macey iliev
      Jenkinson chambers Hayden pleguezuelo oconnor moore
      Arteta flamini rosicky Bielik zelalem crowley kamara
      Wellington campbell gnabry iwobi willock maitland-niles
      Akpom sanogo reine-adelaide

  2. Nice article, and I agree with a lot that was said about decision making, tactics (lack of) and rotation. Wenger has many faults which were clear to see last season, and the years before that, but we’ll have the same problems this season, nothing will change. Wenger isn’t going to suddenly change his whole philosophy over night.

    I promise that this season we’ll see: lack of rotation, poor timing of substitutions, better tactically (but I put this more down to the presence of Coquelin, because he gives us balance, rather than Wenger becoming a tactical genius), central midfielder’s on the wings, lack of ambition, but on a positive note…stylish football!

    1. If you haven’t noticed things have been looking up for quite a while and we’ve been winning silverware. Best squad in a long time Im relishing the challenge. Did you just wake up from a coma or something, things are moving on so its time to get some perspective before you get left behind.

      1. I think its you who needs the perspective for believing that virtually the same squad from last season can win the EPL and/or the CL.
        He is right…not much will change from last season.

  3. Keeping the players fresh with the use of squad rotation could be a vital key towards our challenge for silverware in the new season! Coyg!

  4. Our squad is good but lacks a lethal forward who can win us big matches on a consistent basis. Walcot/ Giroud are all ok but at the end of the day we will look for Sanchez to bail us out. He was our star performer last season but he cant do it game after game. But Wengr coming and refusing to acknowledge makes me nervous.

    Title change would only be possible if we start on a strong front, if we start like we did last season then I am afraid we will be playing catch again. We need to start strongly and try to get 3 points against the big teams. We have to get 3 points at home against Manchester United/City, Chelsea , Tottenham and Liverpool. Depending on circumstances draw may be enough but in first half of the season we need to make sure we dont drop points at home.

  5. The team is good enough…for what? 4th place in the EPL, yes we are so good enough for that. We are champions in 4th place.
    However I agree with your assessment on Walcott. The thing is he doesn’t stay fit long enough which is why we need to go out and get a world class striker. Enough of the player petting.

  6. I wanna go back to that opportunistic buy theory. We have three players in our entire squad that were opportune buys. Sanchez Ozil and Cech, although the jury is out on Cech as he was reported to move for a whole year. Three bloody buys and fans talk as if Wenger will only strike if an opportunity arises.

    It reminds me of that one time Wenger had a bit of a melt down in front of reporters. The usual suspects berated him and did not let it go in the slightest, they even mentioned that it is typical of Wenger and he just cant handle any kind of pressure. I had to say come on whats this all about really, sure Wenger is one of the coolest of customers in dealing with these guys. You are reaching.

    The entire squad was duly targeted and brought in thanks to Arsene’s say so. I heard of something a while back and I think allot of it goes on in here. I am guilty of it myself on occasion, but nothing of the proportion that can be doled out by some on here. It is called confirmation bias. I only recently heard of this confirmation bias theory and my best advice would be for people to look it up, could be an eye opener.

  7. As I commented yesterday `rotation`, `tactics` and `player management` are the key to success at Arsenal this season. Now to the Asia Cup final. With the exception of Walcott`s well taken goal it was exhibition football for the first half at a moderate pace (due to the heat) and pleasing to the eye. Once the subs came on the scene changed and we lost much of our dominance and relied on the individual brilliance of Carzola and Ozil to seal the match. For me, I was disappointed with Wilshere, Ramsey, Ox Chamberlain (who has gone back to bull dozing tactics) Debuchy and of course Giroud. I felt we played with ten men most of the game. For those old enough to remember Errol Flynn, he was an film star who could not play football and a pretty poor actor ,much in the same mould as his `lookalike` Giroud. Lastly, Chec. He didn`t look at all comfortable with the Gunners badge on his `star wars` type uniform, maybe I was just beginning to warm to Ospina? Now for all the `thumbs down`….I can take it.

  8. Theo Walcott can do well as a cf.yes i agree to this.but he lacks that kind of battling character to be a cf and also to perform consistently there.He may do well because of his speed and excellent positioning but he lacks physique for a cf role.I believe if he wants to excel as a cf he should be a bit aggressive and also work on his link up play and passing.if he does this then he can become a world class cf.but that is a very big if.he has everything needed to be there but he lacks the most important that is the physique and aggressiveness of a cf.if you watch him you can see this.i would prefer him to stay on the wings.i think the squad above also lacks some directness and has too many playmakers so i disagree.i think Wenger should rotate our squad to ensure that players on bench do not become lacklustre and to keep them fresh.

  9. Even Messi said Walcott is a nightmare for any defence. Any attempt to talk down Walcott’s skill is incompetent.

    The concern with Wslcott is he is injury prone. Same goes for Welbeck. Giroud is an important player for Arsenal as he links up with the MF so well. He recently said he welcomes competition, which I think would improve Giroud.

    Might be a clue Wenger will sign a striker.

  10. Wenger should be able to rotate d squad now dat d boys are experience… Poor timing on substitution has bin d problem. Undue preference also. Gunner till I die !

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