Excessive tinkering or ingenious flexibility by D$
I don’t think enough has been made of the fact that we played 4-4-2 in our last match. It was reported by many outlets that Welbeck and Iwobi played on the wings with Lacazette as a 9 and Mkhitaryan as a 10. In fact Welbeck and Lacazette played up front with Iwobi on the left of midfield and Mkhitaryan on the right. It worked very well, especially down the left as Welbeck occupied the right centre-back of Fulham’s back three and Iwobi and Monreal were able to to create a two-on-one and exploit the space to good effect. In fact we have played three different formations in our last two matches. We started with 3-4-3 against Qarabag FK and in the second half changed to a 4-3-3. This represents a significant change from the ‘Wenger-era’.
Wenger preferred consistency in the team system and certainly didn’t change too much from week to week – much to the frustration of many fans. It could be argued that this approach could be beneficial over the course of a season as players get used to their roles and the system and they understand their team-mates movements and styles in certain situations.
However, it is fascinating to see the team adjust their system to certain situations and Emery seems to be trying to create a built-in flexibility. It certainly requires ‘footballing intelligence’ from the players and great team cohesion but we can’t complain with 9 wins from our last 9 matches.
Will the constant tinkering reap rewards in the long term?