Arsenal tactics – Why 4-1-4-1 could be right for Chelsea trip

Arsene Wenger has been experimenting with a slightly different system for Arsenal this season, with the Frenchman’s favoured 4-3-3 system sometimes being dropped in some games for the similar but slightly different 4-1-4-1 formation. And although it has not always looked the right way forward for the Gunners, I think that this Premier League game away to Chelsea could be the ideal one for the new style.

With Mathieu Flamini sitting in front of the defensive line, the four midfielders should have more chance of being able to control the centre of the pitch and stop the talented and powerful Chelae players from getting too much pressure and pushing the Gunners back towards our own penalty area.

This system does mean that the central striker will be a bit more isolated, but with Danny Welbeck’s work rate, pace and movement, it means that the ball over the top and the counter attack from us will come more into play and give Chelsea another problem.

Also, hopefully, it could take the home side somewhat by surprise and give them some unexpected problems to deal with. To make it work, though, Arsene Wenger needs those Arsenal midfielders to play well and put in a proper shift. Normally you would say that Mesut Ozil, but I assume that Wenger would want his class on the ball to come into play as well, because we don’t want to just be chasing for the whole 90 minutes.

But if you put the energy and ability of Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and the Ox around him, the German’s lack of tackling should not be decisive. Is it games like this that Wenger had in mind when he started to use the new formation.

Tags Flamini Ozil Wenger


  1. frankn says:

    Enough talk, time to do the business

    1. Sango says:

      4-2-3-1 is more dynamic. 4-1-4-1 is a scare-crow formation which will b ripped apart.

  2. ebemka says:

    Some hours to go, and all these worries will be Over…

  3. RoadTo14th says:

    Time for talking is almost over. It’s time to see whether Wenger can execute a plan to stop top teams away from home. Ox, Welbeck and Sanchez could give the team high energy if used right. The defensive duty of these players aswell as Wilshere/Flamini will be key if we are to win. #COYG

  4. Greg says:

    Bring it on! Time to take of business “gunners”! Victoria concordia cresit! Coyg!

  5. REiGN says:

    I don’t care what formation we use. As long as we put in a very good performance and all the players give at LEAST a 100%, we can get something out of this game. Coyg.

  6. pubgooner says:

    I wish Ozil plays better than Fab..

  7. SaveArsenal says:

    Ah yes the 4-1-4-1 formation last used with success during the reign of Louie the XIV.

    I feel for the boys in the team, they will have their work cut out for them if Wenger makes a mess of the tactics and does not show some sort of tactical sense for this game.

    A draw would be a result today, can’t believe Wenger has pulled this team so low that we can actually say that.

  8. Gaurav says:

    Time to show who is “specialist in failure”

    Go for it gunners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Gunner T says:

      Uhhmm…didn’t we see who last season? Remember….6-0? Like 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 then 0.

      1. IceBergKamp10 says:

        y d thumbs down ???
        i dont like d scoreline either but it’s true.
        i feel nasri,cole,m**f**r persie all vindicated their decision of moving on by winning trophies….
        i just wish wenger gets what he deserves….respect+trophies(esp. champions league).
        but he choses not to adapt.

  9. Greg says:

    Being focus, turning our chances in goals and keeping it tight at the back is the key! Coyg!

  10. DennisTheMenace says:

    i would rather go with a modified 4-2-3-1 with ballerina at rb, chambers at a slightly withheld right dm and flamini as holding mid… ozil in the hole with alexis-welbz-ox upfront…. no shame in accepting the fact that chel$hit at the moment are the best team in the league and a point away to them will be a point gained

    and i reiterate again if they resort to constant nagging fouls, then at every slight contact dive like young and rollover like busquets… get those mercenary b!tches carded…..there are no points for being the gentleman of the game

    1. IceBergKamp10 says:

      W8 bellerin up against Hazard ???
      Good luck wid dat !

      1. DennisTheMenace says:

        That’s exactly why chambers plays just infront of bfg and ballerina, to double up on hazard and to assist flamini
        since rambo is absent who else is there to assist flamini….. Or do you really think just flamini sitting infront of the back four will be enough to stop hazard, willian, costa, fabregas et al…….

  11. SaveArsenal says:

    Flamini controlling the Chelsea midfield!?!
    Ah ha ha ha ha ha
    Oh no stop it, my ribs my ribs…

    1. ram says:

      oh please mate.. stop that thing with Flamini..
      dont you guys really see this is the kind of game we really need a midfield general like him.. i accept, he is prone to mistakes.. but who else do we have to do those dirty works in that position..?? footballers fear him am telling you.. ask fabregas, who will he rather play against..?? Flamini or Arteta.. i dont think the answer will be pleasing to ur ears… dont hate him when he gets an yellow.. he just inflicts that fear into the opposition.. have u seen him earn a double yellow..?? nope right.. he does knows his responsibilities too.. 4-1-4-1 is the way to go.. it will be difficult to control an attacking prowess of Cesc, Oscar and Hazard.. and thats why today we need Flamini on top of his game.. i will be happy if we can actually come out with a point..

      1. IceBergKamp10 says:

        I wish for flamini when arteta plays & for arteta when flamini does.
        when will we get a real CDM ?

  12. mohawk says:

    Sometimes too much is put into formation differences.

    Shifting from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-4-1 can be as simple as having the box-to-box midfielder play more forward and attack-minded than defensively. The shift can take place in an instant and continuously throughout the match.

  13. Yogesh says:

    4-2-3-1 is the best 😀

    ———— szczesny—————

    then use chamberlain,flamini and rosisky in 2nd half

    #COYG #PerfectTeam

  14. jaws09 says:

    The biggest thing we need to do is get our fullbacks to staying our own half, that’s where we were exposed last season in our heavy defeats!

    If Gibbs & Chambers stay along side Mertesacker & Koscielny at the back and Flamini stays sat in front of the back for we would actually have a chance of defending better rather than being more stretched than a porn stars Vag!

    This would also give more freedom to Özil & along with the workrate of Alexis, Welbeck, Wilshere & Chamberlain I think we could even have a chance of winning the game.

    Look back at our heavy defeats last season and you will see it was our fullbacks and most defensive midfielder that were too far out of position when we were conceding goals

  15. Kentox says:

    Even if we play 6 -3- 2…. Let’s face the fact that we’re doomed.
    Same Wenger, same old tactics & probably same trashing. A draw is impossicant & a win is Hallucination at its peak.
    Remeber We scouted virtually all chelsea’s players…. How come they are wearing blue?

  16. proffetic says:

    Why do we always have to pick a system so that sloth Per can play? Why not just leave him out? I would rather see Bellerin and Chambers facing down Hazard etc. Otherwise the team have pace to burn. It’s much easier than having to carry a heavy lump and also woulld allow Kos to move up now and again and not have to break his neck getting back. Some hopes…

  17. Arsenalover says:

    this is the last chance for Wenger to prove that he deserves to stay at a big club like Arsenal

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