Arsenal’s formation is not the problem – or the solution!

Arsenal did win the away match at Middlesbrough with Arsene Wenger’s new 3-4-3 formation, but one could hardly have called it an impressive display, and the Boro did come very close to scoring with some set-pieces into the box anyway, which seems to be Arsenal’s biggest problem at the moment.

Wenger was pleased with the result though, if nothing else,, but he admitted that he is unlikely to be using this set up on a regular basis. He was asked about this after the win at the Riverside. “I don’t know, I just felt that sometimes the team needs to believe in something new, something different, just to find a bit of confidence back,”

“Overall I felt that it worked quite well today because we won the game.

“We had practiced on it before at some stage, (but) we like offensive football so this was a bit more defensive-minded for us.

“I feel overall it is not a long-term plan, but punctually it can work.”

What do you lot think of the three-at-the-back line-up? In my opinion it didn’t seem to work any better than Wenger’s usual set up. The defence still looked clueless and would have been torn apart by any better team than Middlesbrough. I know that it obviously works brilliantly for Chelsea but either they have the right players to fit, or the manager knows how to get his team to stick to a plan.

I don’t think it’s the formation that is the problem, it is a matter of confidence and belief, both of which Arsenal are lacking at the moment. I am not looking forward to facing Man City this weekend….

Darren N


  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    With the right players on the squad it should be easy to find the right formation
    Our defense is quite weak. No top dm and LB is not good
    Giroud scores once in a while. We need another top scorer

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      Also Wenger has been known to play the wrong players from time to time lol
      Out of loyalty or whatever

    2. SoOpa AeoN says:

      E X A C T L Y.


      For those of us who thinks the formation had anything to do with the win, we are only Lying to ourselves and seeking redemption out of nothing
      Same crop of players we have been using for ages…… Same old Mr. Potato Head……First time we made a formation change…… Win against a relegation team who haven’t won a game since before Xmas. What really have changed in the team?
      I know some may be thinking “Mentality” …. If it were down to mentality, why didn’t we get a win against palace?…..why did we suffer mental breakdown against Everton et al?

      That’s cuz they were not as sh**ty as Boro

      Everybody knows Boro is not a test for capability….. The real test are the trafforders, the stamforders, citizens , meysiders and even our Nosy neighbours “spudies” ….
      How well could we handle that?

      1. Midkemma says:

        Arsenal have been poor but that formation was only practiced a couple times. Wenger fault, not team. Maybe the team could have done better with more than just a couple training sessions for it????

        As for the same crop of players… You mean the same crop of players that went unbeaten for a run at the start of the season and lead to Mustafi not suffering a loss in an Arsenal shirt till the recent down patch of form crept in?

        Yes this would indicate a mental issue with the team.

        You and others may claim that the footballers are not human and do not suffer from mental issues like the rest of humanity but I will not be so damned stupid in this, they are human beings.. they have emotions…

        Flopping in the EPL challenge, hammering to Bayern, fans fighting amongst themselves, not knowing who will be their manager next year…

        Arsenal have lacked a strong mental type for years now and it is no surprise that kids are developing without that mental strength, they had no one around to show them and to learn from, instead they have had a manager who has shielded them as much as he can and then when the going gets tough… they hide behind the manager like a bunch of children.

        Alexis isn’t like this and that is part of the reason why us supporters love the guy and his dogs ^.^

        Until you learn about how mental issues affect people, STFU about mental issues. What next, suggesting people with ADHD should just chill out in a corner?

  2. John Ibrahim says:

    lack of spending and lack of firing manager and axing players are the problems

  3. DayR97 says:

    It’s not the Formation; its the style of play and player we buy:

    We buy players who are direct and make them dance a poor man tiki-taka i.e. Gervinho, Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud, Rosicky, Myiachi, Welbeck, Chamackh, Gnabry it goes on and on.

    Regardless, if Wenger stays and keeps playing his favorites then whats the point in arguing.

    Can someone please explain to me what Ramsey and Xhaka do, I genuinely don’t know…

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      I know. Ramsey and Xhaka are far from Cazorla

      Ramsey in particular is weird
      Wenger use to play him on the right
      He even played Ramsey over Walcott and Ox
      He isn’t much better in CM

      Xhaka so far hasn’t proven his £35 mil price tag
      He is at the age where he should be showing a lot more
      He is 24. He should be entering his prime now

      1. Fatboy Gooney says:

        To be fair, Xhaka didn’t start off that bad, if anything it was Wenger’s talking to the player that’s made him ??… “Don’t shoot” “don’t do this,don’t do that” the kids confused and his decision making has become as bad as Wenger’s. ??

    2. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Xhaka & Elneny came to Arsenal as shooters….now they got no legs
      The dictator have stopped em from shooting whilst himself still continues to shoot at water cans disappointedly…….

    3. Midkemma says:

      Gnabry shouldn’t be included in that list :'(
      He was a real talent and performing now that he is playing regularly, Wenger wanted to keep him but wouldn’t promise him playing time no matter what, saying he had to earn it.
      Last loan he had with us was with Pulis and we all know he hates AFC and was a bad move.

      Gnabry is scoring a goal in every 2games ish, this being around 0.5 goals per game.
      Alexis is on 0.65 goals per game.

      Alexis has played CF while Gnabry has played AM all season.

      Gnabry has more interceptions and blocks compared to Alexis over 90 mins.

      I use Alexis as a comparison due to Alexis being our best player currently and while I do not think Gnabry is as good as Alexis, I think it makes for the best comparison.

      I was talking to a mate the other day about transfers and we got talking about Gnabry, we both agree’d we should be saying he has Arsenal DNA and he should come back home. 😛|premier_league/2016/2017/alexis_sánchez/641/641/1581/0/p#pass_completion/key_passes/assists/chances_created/goals_scored/interceptions/blocks/errors_leading_to_goal/successful_passes#90

  4. Fatboy Gooney says:

    Man city up next… Be afraid.. Be very afraid, Gabriel Jesus is back in training and is set to tear us an extra,extra,extra new one.?

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    Cannot believe I am about to do this, but I am going to defend Wenger a little bit, in regards to the formation, because I think it’s tough to judge it after only one game, and against such poor opposition.

    I think he said after the Boro game that it was something they had worked on in training only recently, so everyone has to be given time to get used to it. Against Boro, it was the first time that formation had been used in an actual game situation, so of course it was going to look a little rusty. One has to remember, that so many of our players have been working with Wenger for years, meaning the 4-2-3-1 system is so embedded in their minds, they’ll need time to adjust. They only get to try a different formation at International level, because Wenger hasn’t changed the system for around a decade. Wenger himself will need time to get used to it, as he’s never played three at the back at Arsenal.

    I would however criticise the timing of this change. The system should have ideally been changed years ago, but in the contexts of this season, it should have been tested in pre-season.

    Personally, I think Wenger should stick with it for the rest of the season, because it suits our style of play better. Wenger loves both full-backs to bomb forward at the same time, which ALWAYS gives us so many problems when teams counter, because the two CB’s have no help, especially as we don’t have an out-and-out DM to protect them. At least now, we can neutralise counter attacks better with three at the back, possibly four, if Ramsey, Xhaka or Coquelin drop back. The Ox was very effective as a RWB, and I think it would suit Bellerin better as well.

    Another major reason to keep this formation, is because it gives us an advantage. We’re so easy to set up against, and usually beat, because EVERYONE knows Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 system inside and out. Arsenal are the easiest team to prepare for in Europe, because it’s been the same system for a decade! At least now, it’ll force rival managers to do some homework for once.

    I know our problems go way beyond the formation, but the 4-2-3-1 hasn’t worked at all, so change is needed. If Wenger switches back to what he knows against City at the weekend, then he just plays perfectly into Pep’s hands.

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Don’t struggle too hard to understand it bru

      It’s Easy as ABC
      Note that Monreal was deployed on the Left hand side of the Mid-four players…
      If he were to fall back the back 3 becomes 4…
      (which is ofcourse our usual fomation)

      Nothing is new and surprising….check that out!

      1. Fatboy Gooney says:

        So basically, it was the same ? but in a different shape??

      2. Midkemma says:

        Sounds like you didn’t watch the full game.
        Monreal was getting forward more than he does when playing LB, funnily enough a LWB and a LB can look very similar to the stupid.

    2. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Different shape man….. Clever move to fool us all LoL

      Even he is unsure of using this tactics Longterm…… He made mention of the word “punctually”

      Which is when he intends to put 3-4-3 into use

  6. Fatboy Gooney says:

    How the fork is the formation 3-4-3 classed as being defensive??
    Unless it was a secret squirrel 5-2-3??
    But surely a 3-4-3 when filled with the right players playing in their right positions, is a more attacking style than his usual 4-2-3-1?

  7. John Ibrahim says:

    Time for a change of manager and players

  8. Janssen says:

    Look in all honesty you can not judge a formation based on one game. Also, the 3 at the back formation rely heavily on the wingbacks in this case Ox and Nacho. I thought Ox was excellent and Nacho not at all.

    The formation also relies on speed and whenever Giroud leads the line that’s not an attribute we possess.

    I whole heartedly agree that our problems (Arsene and Wenger) will not be solved by a change in formation in our case. But if we get a new manager who is familiar with the 3 at the back and the type of players it requires (like Koeman), I would be open to it.

    I care more about effectiveness at the moment that about “offensive” football. TBH I don’t think our football has been so attractive to watch this year in any case. I say this independent of our poor results. We are back to being slow, deliberate, predictable with lots of aimless passing.

    I don’t understand why Sanchez has been put back in his worst position? For me you play your best striker in the center, which is Sanchez by a mile, and you play Walcott, Perez, Welbeck or who ever out on the wings. Let’s get our lethal striker back in position and speed up our game again.

    1. jermaine bryan says:

      Because Sanchez has excellent creativity

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