Can David Luiz play in a Back 4 for Arsenal?

Can David Luiz Play in a flat back 4? By Dan Smith

One of the things that irritated me about Unai Emery’s first year in English Football was his insistence to play a back 5. With 2 DM in front we were relying on 3 offensive players to win us a game, going against our principles and making it unclear what our DNA was.

To be fair it seemed our manager was simply finding a system that got the best of what he had, in particular the attacking potential of Kolasinac and Maitland Niles. It’s not like either were contributing so many assists though that they warranted the formation, and it soon became clear it was a case that neither were trusted defensively in a 4 rather than their attributes the other way.

I wrote so many times that if you have to change a system because you can’t trust your full backs to…um …. defend !…. they don’t belong at this level.

It’s why I think Tierney will make us so much better, as you can trust him both going forward and backwards in a 4 or a 5, starting on the left or the right.

We should never be sacrificing an attacker for a centre back and yet the signing of David Luiz tells me Emery might still be considering it.

Chelsea fans have been very angry the Brazilian pushed for this move so soon after agreeing a new contract, yet I don’t think it’s sour grapes when they suggest you have to have 2 next to him for him to excel. Ironically it was an embarrassment at the Emirates which convinced Conte to move to a 3-5-2, a change which led to a title with Luiz a standout.

Don’t get me wrong, there is positives to the idea. His ability to travel with the ball and pick a pass might suit the style Emery was trying to introduce. But not at the expense of not having Auba, Laca and Pepe up front?
Is Luiz better than Koscielny in a 4-4-2?

Short term, with who’s absent this weekend 5 at the back makes sense but long term can we trust Luiz in a flat 4? I don’t want another year of sacrificing attacking players to patch up a defence.

I would rather try and outscore the opposition then start with 7 defensive players.

Dan Smith



  1. Grandad says:

    Once Bellerin, Holding and Tierney are match fit I expect Emery to play a conventional back four with Luiz in the VVD role.If you watch Liverpool closely VVD tends to play as a sweeper rather than a pressing, high line centre back.This is the role made for Luiz as he no longer has the pace to recover.We lost numerous goals last season by trying to set the offside trap with Mustafi and Socratis both culpable.In the same way there is no need to play a dangerously high line at free kicks as both Holding and Luis are commanding in the air.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Agree Grandad and Emery also has the option of playing Luis as a DM along side Torreira, in place of Xhaka, due to his vision, passing range and accuracy.

  2. Sonix says:

    Maybe we could learn a thing or two about Luiz’s impact in our game later today,not so much to think about now.
    Would want a fast start.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Luiz played in Sarri’s 4-3-3 at Chelsea, but I’m not sure whether he can withstand the opponent’s attacks if our playmakers still cannot orchestrate the midfield

    Unlike Mustafi and Sokratis, Luiz didn’t need to make many interceptions and tackles at Chelsea, because Kante is a world class ball winner and Jorginho is very composed

    If Xhaka and Ozil are compared with Cazorla, their composure, technical skills and agility in tight spaces are far behind the Spanish maestro’s. I hope Willock or Ceballos can be Cazorla’s true replacement:

  4. Innit says:

    Whether we want to admit it or not, there is a question mark with Luiz. Actually, technically all new players because we don’t know how they will cope with Arsenal and players who don’t have premier league experience will they cope with the Premier league itself. Some don’t or it takes a while to get used to

    I think only Time will Tell.
    We don’t know what’s in Emery’s mind. Maybe he will play Luiz in 4 at the bank or maybe he will use him in 3 at the back and play Mustafi/Sokratis as CB pair

    Personally all I can say is what I HOPE. I hope we find the BEST CB pair possible whether it’s Mustafi ? & Sokratis or Luiz & Sokratis or Luiz & Mustafi ? or Luiz & Holding or whatever.

    Who knows maybe Chambers will be one of our best CB us. Or even Mustafi ?


      1. ozziegunner says:

        Innit, do you honestly believe David Luis won’t “cope with the Premier League given his background with Chelsea; EPL winner, Champions League winner, Europa League winner, Brazilian Internationall?

        1. SuperClaes says:

          Thought Mourinho had a point saying that Luiz concentration is his only weakness and concentration will be up coming into a new club!

          Truth is that we badly need a ball playing CB as only rate Holding as such and he still makes one BAD and DANGEROUS pass out of the back every game…now we got Luiz and he will be ale to set us up from the back.

  5. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Let’s all wait to see as us’ll soon find out to know. I think the Arsenal lineup for the match should by now be out.

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