Arteta’s Leeds setup brings comparison with successful Wenger sides

When Arsenal signed Martin Odegaard in the last transfer window, there was some confusion about how Mikel Arteta would integrate him, especially as Emile Smith Rowe has been in fine form.

After the Norwegian got a few minutes in his first two games, Arteta handed him a start against Leeds United.

Interestingly, he didn’t need to sacrifice Smith Rowe and he even added Dani Ceballos in an exciting midfield combination.

This combo resulted in a hat trick for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the middlemen impressing.

Mail Sports’ Sam Blitz reckons that Arsene Wenger will be delighted wherever he was watching the game because it reminds us all of his great Arsenal sides that had a midfield packed with quality attacking players.

Some Arsenal teams included Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla in the same lineup and a combination of Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb and Tomas Rosicky in another setup.

Blitz writes: “Wherever Arsene Wenger was watching Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds, there must have been a huge grin on his face when he saw the line-up.

“Mikel Arteta selected Dani Ceballos, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard in a very attacking midfield that showed flair and forward intent as the Gunners raced into a 3-0 half-time lead.

“The use of several attacking midfielders is reminiscent of the team selections Wenger used to make when he was the boss in north London.

“The Gunners’ best teams of the Emirates era included the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla in the same team. Go further back and Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb and Tomas Rosicky all featured together. 

“With Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Alexis Sanchez all historically benefiting from this attacking midfield set-up, there’s no surprise that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended up with a hat-trick on Sunday.
“Long-term, Arteta is trying to take the Gunners into a new era – but it’s a nod to the past that is helping them boost confidence in the short-term.”

Tags Arsene Wenger mikel arteta


  1. There was very little resemblance to the Wenger brand of football we witnessed in his last years, minus us bringing in another DM and a 3rd CB after Leeds scored twice(never a good look)…or the fact that instead of changing his formation, Arteta put ESR, our central midfielder, out wide so he could have ODE in his preferred position…much like Wenger did with Ramsey and Ozil, when he shoehorned them out wide right so that he didn’t have to make a formational switch…of course this produced some results early on, but as soon as teams realized our glaring lack of width they quickly made the necessary adjustments…the only saving grace is that ESR is a much quicker and more direct player than Wenger’s options, but it probably would have made more sense to have put Ode out wide with his speed and experience out there…I love the revisionist history on this site when it comes to Wenger…maybe you should have to be more specific when you say anything Wenger related, as there was a vast difference between his first and second decade in charge

    1. True RVL Wenger’s two decades were chalk and cheese. Although the current squad can in no way match the wonderful players we had in the 00’s (and anybody watching those old videos will agree) it was wonderful to see such inventive, attacking football. We have an advantage though in that both Sake and ESR can play right across the line theyre so versatile, plus we are a very young team, which can only get better. Youre wrong though about Ode – not a wide player – he is NOT quick.

      1. Hey Guy…if you look at their respective player profiles you will see that ESR is primarily an attacking midfielder, while under the category of other positions it states central midfield and left midfield, whereas for Ode the main position is AM, with right and left winger as the other plausible options…in the formation Arteta was deploying he had the Xhaka and Ceballos lying deeper with Ode functionally farther up the pitch between them, so that Saka and ESR needed to create some width on either side, then cut back inside when the opportunity arose or when our backs made overlapping runs…I would simply suggest that for the future of this club it would make more sense for Arteta to put Ode in a role that was more familiar, due to it’s winger-like width, and allow ESR to resume the role he had been playing prior to Ode’s arrival so that he can continue to develop, especially if that’s where he will be playing moving forward…that’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of loans without clauses…btw Ode scouting reports have always considered him to be both a quick and pacey player, but maybe he’s lost a step in recent times

    2. Wengers football after 2010 was absolutely atrocious. Was so methodical and boring as compared to his 1996-2005 Arsenal and 2006-2010 Arsenal.
      We looked so confused as a side from 2010-2017. Poor defensively and offensively. Had lost our way as a club and team. We had become so stagnant and predictable.

  2. Wenger had two consecutive decades of top four finish, which is what every team is fighting for now. It was his last two years at Arsenal, he did not make the top four. We must show more respect and gratitude to Wenger for his achievements.

    1. Wayne – life is not black and white. Wenger was a genius and our greatest ever manager. Does that mean we cannot also criticise him at all because it is disrespectful? It was blatently obvious to anybody but the most blinkered Wengerite that his tactics, selections and decision making were becoming bizarre, deteriorating over the last few years. The respect and gratitude we felt (and still feel) earned him at least two seasons more than was probably wise. Does that mean I am ungrateful to one of my footballing heroes?

    2. But some of us don’t have that cringeworthy (Worship, praise and accept cognitive dissonance no matter what) kind of attitude when it comes to anything in life.
      Some of us try to be as objective as possible about everything in our day to day.
      I think this is what many people find difficult to accept. Just because you love, adore, respect and idolise a person shouldn’t mean that you then have to become a overly cultish like. Where you just let your love and bias cloud your objective rationale.

      Just because we all adore and respect wenger as our most successful and loved manager foes not mean we just have to behave like sheep or a fan crowd. It’s is better to praise him for his achievements but also be honest by allowing yourself to critise him for his shortcomings.

      We all just can’t behave like uncritical, illogical and irrational fans that only want to only see good things and pretend that the bad don’t exist. Confirmation Bias.

      I love my family so much but that never stops me from criticising them where due. And i expect them to do the same to in return. If I deserve praise they can praise me but if I make a mistake I want them to point it out so that I don’t make it again. Someone that loves and cares for you is him or her that tells you the truth, tells you what you don’t want to hear if it’s the truth.
      That’s honesty and is what helps us all grow and develop. Over worship causes the likes of Trump and his MAGA followers.

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