Arteta predicted to make formation change after landing Partey

Mirror Sport is tipping Mikel Arteta to make a switch to 4-3-3 now that he has finally landed Thomas Partey.

The Gunners had chased the signature of the former Atletico man all summer as they looked to bolster their team.

He was always the club’s first choice with Arteta of the belief that the Ghanaian will be perfect for shielding his defence as well as launching new attacks.

The midfielder has finally joined after the Gunners paid his release clause on deadline day.

He will be a major addition to the Gunners’ first team and he is expected to hit the ground running straight away.

Arsenal has mostly used a 3-4-3 formation for much of the time that Arteta has been at the club, but Partey will help the Spaniard adopt a 4-3-3.

This is because, the report claims, a midfield trio of Partey, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos is considered perfect for both shielding the club’s defence as well as creating chances for the club’s attackers.

Partey is one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe and he will be expected to help Arsenal cover even more blades of grass when he starts playing for them.

Tags mikel arteta Thomas Partey


  1. I dont see it at all, he likes 343 and i think he does appreciate that change sometimes is needed. Luiz is a big player in Artetas plan and he is a far better player in a back three and that isnt a secret. We may sometimes change formations but we will have to wait and see. Playing out from the back requires at least 4 in midfield, defending sometimes means dropping 5 into defence in a fluid formation. I think we will play around with a fluid 343 attacking, 541 defending.

    1. I think if we stick to 3-4-3, we’ll not only be restricting what Tierney can do but we’ll also play boring football alot.

  2. It will be a great waste of money and playing resources to include Xhaka in a team which his particular skills are not required and his obvious lack of ability in other vital areas will be detrimental to the team

    1. I dont know why pple like u think xhaka is the weak or problem of this team. We play much better when he plays. He may not be fav but still useful in the team. Deal with it

      1. Xhaka football style is absolutely poor ‘we better have a second choice ‘ because as for me xhaka did not afford anything in the midfield

  3. OT…
    We’ve got Ozil
    Mesut Ozil
    I just don’t think you understand
    Don’t’ play for us no more
    But saved our dinosaur
    We’ve got Mesut Ozil

    ( borrowed )

        1. Bring Ozil bck in the team our forward are not scoring anymore just tht guy is nt ther to assist thm

  4. Now we have Partey it seems Arteta will play 4-3-3. With Partey and Ceballos looking certain, who will be the other of the three. Xhaka just looks wrong to make the three, one dimensional, could it be Willian as a little Santi clone, or will Arteta put Ozil in the squad? Who??

    1. The line-up remains a mystery. The fact that no one knows except Arteta makes it even more interesting.

    2. Reportedly Partey wants to play more like a B2B than a DM because he’s wasted as a DM (he feels), so we may play him alongside Elneny a lot (if the article was right). At least against better opponents.

  5. OT
    Nothing stop you from taking Ozil as your new club

    Leave Arsenal alone and go follow lazy Ozil. WhenvIozil leaves in June, make sure you join his new club.

    Seems for you, Ozil is bigger than Arsenal

    1. howard unless you are a footballing novice
      it is obvious that Ozil’s value in a midfield that
      does not have liabilities like Xhaka or Willock for that matter is a reasonable assumption
      Whether MA plays him or not I can assure has nothing to do with football. There are other issues behind closed doors but in truth if Arsenal was to play attractive football again Ozil coould be very much needed.

  6. If arsenal adapts the 4-3-3 formation it would be the single stupidest move the club would have made in this moment.
    Think about it arsenal would have to compete with almost every top team to include City,Madrid,Barcelona,liverpool,Munich just to name a few for the best players to fit those positions.
    As arsenal football club we need to find our own way.
    I believe in football it’s not the formation that matters so much but to have the best players playing in their favored position to suit the formation.

  7. It’s not about the formation, its about the players in the position, playing a 343,has worked for a while now,we have partey who is a box to box midfielder, do you think playing with that formation will help the team now?

  8. No doubt, it’s no mean achievement that Arsenal managed to capture Thomas Partey on the dot of the closing hours of the transfer window.
    -My humble take in all this, however, is that this may come to naught, unless Arteta himself improves upon some of his seemingly weak approaches to matches, especially in those matches that involve top teams. With the signing of Thomas Partey & those other quality players earlier on brought on board, like, Gabriel, Tierney, Saliba etc Arteta should strive to return Arsenal to its traditional playing style of attacking football. Enough of his Unai style of play he eg deployed against LiverP & those other top clubs.The Aston Villa match should thus, be an eye opener to all. How Aston Villa brilliantly pummeled & demystified LiverP was a joy to watch with that their hard pressing, fast & confident playing style. Hitherto, though, some of our football experts would, against all odds tell us that to beat LiverP, you must avoid playing them an open, attacking game, as if, the LiverP players were made in heaven or another planet. As usual, the bandwagon effect influenced everyone to buy into that fallacy including Arteta & his players who held LiverP in fear & awe. Ironically, even some established pundits like our legend Ian Wright who should be in the vanguard of psyching our team up & urging them to play differently, fell flat to that opinion. Listening to Ian Wright & others during that ill fated match with LiverP where we fell by 3-1, one would think that LiverP was an invisible team, from another planet, which could never be beaten by Arsenal or any other team in an open, free & attacking football. Commending or lauding Arteta for deploying such a negative tactic, the experts & pundits alike insisted that the best approach to beating LiverP by Arsenal was by playing, the boring & irritating layback style. Some of us thought otherwise though & had the belief that Arsenal should have played that match differently. Our ‘more technically sound fans however thought that those of us in this school of thought were talking bunkum & indeed from the point of ignorance & illiteracy in football knowledge. Well, the solace to take in all this, is that the AV match has vindicated our stand. It’s more inspiring & satisfying, that it wasn’t as if AV had better quality players than Arsenal. The difference lied in their attitude & approach to the game. The AV players refused to be intimidated by the overbloated credentials of the LiverP team, they refused to inhibit any fear factor or inferioty complex, nor did they exhibit any iota of respect to the so called, ‘all conquering’ LiverP. team. Arteta should therefore learn some few tricks from the AV match & henceforth approach his matches with boldness by employing hard pressing, attractive & thrilling football against any team. The number of goals scored in league matches after all count in addition to the three points gannered in a win. The early switch off by Arsenal players eg in that Sheff United match, when they got those 2 quick goals, almost caused us that match. I believe that the early switch off by the players & Arteta himself, was more, as a result of fear factor or weak mental strength rather than any rational tactical approach. The defence & the midfield players just simply unnecessarily slowed down the pace and resorted to playing & passing the ball among themselves in the midfield & the back for the better part of the time, thus giving Sheff United the momentum to get a goal & almost the equalizer. Arteta too did not help matters, as he easily got panicked by substituting Cebalos, the only attacking minded midfielder, for Xhaka. Thereon, the defence was unnecessarily put under pressure. We were only lucky to have escaped from that match with a draw.
    -My second intervention, would centre on the need for Arteta to be more professional & resourceful as the Manager of players. In the absence of any credible reasons available, as to why Arteta has shown complete disdain for some players, particularly, the trio of, Ozil, Guenze & Toreira, I may think that it borders down to ego & high handedness. The tweet exchanged between Ozil & Gueze eg, says much to this effect. The two younger ones, Toreira & Guenze still have much to prove since they still have the ambition to play for their countries. Luckily, the two are gone, at least on loan. My take in this, is that Arteta should learn to be professional in order to succeed. Ego & high handedness, should have no place in management. Those plodding him on, in this self destruct, in the name of instilling discipline at the expense of the club are not doing him or the club any favors. There are better ways to handle heady players than freezing them without any justifiable reasons. Who says some of these new players would, not in the near future revolt too, against him for high handedness? Even, if on the hand, the travails some of these players are under going happen to be scripts handed to Arteta by the management, it becomes incumbent upon him to as the coach, be circumspect in handling such issues with the view to protecting his players’ interests before the Mgt.
    – The third area of my intervention is in the area of selection of players for matches. It will appear that, Arteta is fond of leaving his solid players on the bench for some of those tentative players. The end result is that the team plays below their potentials. He needs to be rational in his selections so as to get the best from his team. We would have eg, had an easy ride over Sheff United if only he started that match with the right selection. Wishing all Gunners success. Let’s Partey on.

    1. Just one game with Aston Villa, Liverpool is on an another level, that game was just a one off. The score line was really funny, but may l ask you whether you truly watched the game. Mind you, there is still a second leg, Arsenal can not play like Aston Villa because the pedigree of our club is rated above them. Liverpool is still the team to beat this season. QED

      1. Jossy4, thx. Gunners 4ever. The fact is, truth is bitter. But it must told as it is even if it hurts in order to bring Arsenal back to its golden era

        1. BaaH…. I am very impressed by your thought on how to take Arsenal forward.
          I am sure you know there is clear path of becoming a coach in football. You must start that path …. I am sure you will do exceptionally well and in due course you should take over as Arsenal coach.

          All the glory that will come arsenal way once u r managing …. Ohh I just can’t wait.

          So when are you starting working on getting those coaching batches ?

    2. BaaH……..superb analysis, more please as this forum has been filled with inane comments on who to buy, how good artetas favourites are (the unholy trinity….xhaka, nketiah and rotate between kola, nelson and now elneny). You have spotted the weakness in artetas style, which is almost wenger like in his last 4 years except for the attacking bit even though we have an attacking dream team. Arteta like wenger has favourites and it is inexplicable.
      The haters here hated guendouzi, why? He would have made captain within 2 years under anyone else. Yet xhaka is captain….

      1. My two cents…..

        It baffles me why fans have issue with Arteta acting strongly against Guendouzi. Anyone who has successfully managed a team in any field for many years and developed those reporting to him to be better professional will agree that importance of discpline and sincere efforts can’t be undermined in name of talent.

        We as fans would like to know much but it’s not good management to have access to all info for all. Especially when it’s an issue of performance and discpline, all parties involved would prefer close door communication. Jose made things public about his views on players too frequently at ManU and it no way improved individuals or team rather had nevative impact. What’s the story behind Ozil and Guendouzi it’s better to be handled behind door and not in public view. It will make matters only worse. And if we don’t know details of what happened and rightly so, then how can we say manager is right or wrong. We can only assume.
        But as a leader and coach of team Arteta must have principles and rules and all players must be judged and evaluated against them. “If” Guendouzi or any other undermines those principles then they need to be sacrificed in larger good for the team. How good individuals at a club has won’t win trophies, how good a team is wins. And greatness of a team depends on how players work together on pitch, support each other and execute playing tactics collectively. ManU is great example of very expensive bunch of players and not performing as a team.

        Then coach should have a on field playing philosophy. Atleast we had one during Wenger time and now seems to be evolving under Arteta though of a different kind. We might say that playing in midfield and all backward passes are booring football. My view is that our Pepe goal in last match or one against ManCity in FA semis is great example of what we want to achieve by rotating ball in our half but that needs better quality of players who are able to transition fast. Slow transition the way executed Vs pool won’t get us anywhere. But then many fans wants have different views. For any style to evolve coach has to stick to the philosophy and not get fettered by poor results that will come on the way. I think Arteta wants to play from back, draw the opposition players in own half, crate gaps and then have quick transition to score goal. If done correctly it looks beautiful. I watched last Pepe goal at least dozen times and admired not juat what Pepe did but how team moved ball to crate an opening. It’s early days and I believe team is evolving slowly and in two years if journey continues will be playing a more attacking football than it looks presently.

        One thing which very few people understand is importance of leaders in sqaud. Not the coach/manager, not captain but those individuals that influences others in dressing room. Henderson at pool, Kompany at loverpool, trinity of Terry, Lampard and Drogba at Chelsea are good examples of what emotions they drive in fellow players when no one is watching. Is locker room talks is about manager is doing right thing and we should give 100% or players are talking managers knows nothing and let’s do what we feel is right. Once we see rumors of manager expecting sack team invariably performs poorly. We need good leaders who can push others and won’t let them divert from team’s goals. We need Roy Kean and Kompany kind of personality in locker room. ManCity has not been same since Kompany left. As long as he was there team was never inconsistent. Not Hazard kind personality who I believe was never a good leader. Players like Kepa can only undermine instructions of coach so publicly (refused substitution) if there has been talks in locker room which undermined Sari… One of reasons why Sari never had stamp on style of play when he was there or why Chelsea has been so inconsistent in last 6-7, years great one year flop next year. Some managers who identify such issues will close eyes for short term success and some will put foot down and will try to clean up.
        We have some players who are more like Hazard (not talent wise) and bad influence on others. Hope we get someone in future who can get out locker room talks more positive and improves teams focus.

        People say that Arteta is high headed, he should not bring ego in team selection and should play certain players. Ferguson never tolerated any nonsense from his players be it Ronaldo, Roney or Pogba and his team never underperformed. While OGS don’t have guts to chop Pogba despite his antics and team is underperforming.

        How do we desire our manager to conduct? Like sir Alex where no name is above teams interest or like OGS who is at mercy of player power?
        Well I don’t know what all happens in locker room or behind doors between manager and players. I rather trust manager to take right call as per his best judgement in interest of team and not highly individual is rated, fan following and their marketing value. But later is a difficult path with lots of criticism.

        For this reason I have lots of respect in Xhaka. He might be half a player talent wise on pitch but definitely never undermines team off pitch. Now of course in long term I would want someone better to replace him but I respect him for what he is as a person.

        Now coming to pool Vs AV. BaaH … admired AV tactics. How much you are willing to bet on AV doing same when they meet again in PL? It’s easy to go gung-ho when everyone is expecting you to loose. There is a reason why Pool has delivered highest point tally in two consecutive season together in history of game with teams applying all kind of tactics against them.

        I’m journey of building good team is building teams confidence. That started from winning. We were lucky against loop when we beat them a Emirates last. Team showed more confidence starightaway against ManCity and more so in FA final against Chelsea. It’s a journey, team won’t be a finished article in 10 months under a new coach ….. We want team to play like pool but don’t want to give them 3-4 years to develop like they did.

    3. Hi Baah,
      What a professional intervention. I think Arteta needs someone in his management to criticize him constructively just like you did it here.

      But I don’t see anything in your comment with appreciation to our hero MA. I think he deserves a lot if we consider what team he inherited from his predecessor. In short time it is a very big ask from him. Your points are well crafted and sounds true but for me you are a bit theoretical who do not focus on a reality. good to have you as a gunner fun.

    4. You do realise AV have qn expensive squad put together from the beginning of last season and a sugar daddy owner?

  9. First, Playing a 4-3-3 formation is a problem. David Luiz is not suited to this formation, he becomes error prone.

    Salibe is obviously not ready, so we would have to play Gabriele with either Holding or Tierney.

    We could continue to play 3 at the back, with perhaps Zhaxa and Partey in the middle with Bellerin and AMN on the outside.
    Then play Ceballos in the same role as Firmino at Liverpool with Auba and Laca, or Auba and Willian up front.
    The biggest thing going for Arsenal at the moment is their well-organized defense.

    If we can get Aouar next year maybe then we can become more expansive in our play

  10. All this business about formations and which player fits where should be left to the manager.

    Being a fan does not qualify anyone to be an expert in formations.

    The best thing fans can do is to just be fans and criticize results, not formations.

    1. You right i dont care if MA plays 343 , 442 , 433 or 811 as long as we back to winning and started beating the big Boys we was bullying and humiliating us for long enough i am not conplaining . In fact if we want to see Arsenal lifing that Premier Leauge again sooner than expected we should carry on what Arteta is doing (343) and be ready to win UGLY .

  11. Just why Arsenal took so long to get such a muscular md is surprising. They
    shd have got one yrs ago.
    Then Wenger insisted on ballet soccer. His results against the top teams was dismal.
    Hopefully Arteta, a pragmatist, will get
    Arsenal going.Pardey will provide the

  12. On the paper Arsenal formations is 3-4-3, but when you see them playing Saka goes to the center and Tierney drags to the left opposite to Bellerin… So techincally if we continue to play with 3-4-3 its ok. Just pair Ceballos and Partey in the middle.

  13. I wonder to see my fellow supporters not mentioning Alneny among three mid fielders in the 4 3 3 formation. Elneny has improved his game

  14. Luiz is error prone whatever the formation xhaka error prone and substandard whatever the process … Mustafi seemed to be improving before injury and was expecting Saliba to be at least a semi starter this season but not clear now what is happening to either so who twins with Gabriel is still an issues … If partey can dominate midfield then xhaka has no place in a starting line up and would like arteta to be brave and have a more attack minded midfield that ideally would mean having Ceballos and saka although the latter clearly can’t go for the full 90 yet … Alternatively I think elneny would suffice as at least he is mobile and less error prone than xhaka … Critically though he needs to have a first 11 that plays regularly … Arteta like Emery and late wenger era has got in to the tinkering habit … Can’t build a team in that way

  15. Xhaka is always the weakest link in Arsenal team. You could have said Elnerny, Partey, and Ceballos

  16. I don’t understand we(fans) with our moaning and complaints.. First of all, each match is entirely different.. And you can’t compare Liverpool vs Arsenal @ Anfield.. With Aston villa vs Liverpool at Villa’s park.. Secondly, the level of motivation the Liverpool players will show against Arsenal who defeated them twice before their recent match will be entirely different to that of Aston villa match which everyone was expecting them to win.. Thirdly.. Mane didn’t play as a result of his positive covid test… Please don’t compare and learn to criticise constructively. Thanks.

  17. Mine would be

    Hector luiz gab Kieran
    Partey ceballos
    Pepe auba saka

    This is the most potent lineup I feel. Pace pace pace

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