Let’s talk Emery’s future players and tactics – The current squad need to Go Hard or Go Home

Go hard or go home by Tom

Football can be a simple game if you allow it. It became more complex when opponents marked space rather then players – and a once lively Arsenal team became passive and lacked concentration in recent years when areas where closed on the pitch (but with gradually seeping into our play over more previous years) It’s meant we have fallen out of the top 4.

The task at hand, Tottenham Hotspur. We innovated, we made north London attractive. But recently Spurs have been knocking. In truth, they are doing alright. But in Unai I feel we have a passionate workaholic who wants to improve others. We have seen that on Thursday. But this demand doesn’t rely all its efforts on the north London derby. The demand should be from the time he is here.

I think when we think of Arsenal now, we must think about 4-3-3 and 3-4-3. On an on song day you think 4-3-3, and on a tactical day you think about 3-4-3. Against Spurs, it might be 3-4-3 that we rely on those individuals. It could even be 4-3-3 considering we are at home. But 4-2-3-1 Which we played regularly under our last gaffer, is not something I think we will play much longer due to the fact it’s easier to formulate 4-3-3 (by that I mean marking space then players).

If we start with 3-4-3, then, I’ll look at its benefits. Man City, Liverpool, Barca, PSG, Juve… predominately play 4-3-3. Liverpool’s threat is based on their top 3 but City is in both sets of 3. They can play Mahrez, both Silva’s, De Bruyne or as sometimes…Gundogan in either of the base 3 (either side of Fernandinho) or top 3.

So, in a 3-4-3 the 4 in the middle will be so important in trying to stop attacks while trying to build attacks for us.
I am not one for transfer rumours or pulling names of players out that we should buy. But if I was to be ruthless (and therefore give an example) I would want someone like De Jong from Ajax. Every top club know about him and although this article is not about him specifically, it does underline our need for a solid base to our midfield.

The case for numbers here is important. City have the names mentioned, we had Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles.. and with all due respect – no one excites me from that list. If your 4 is Bellerin, Torreira, Xhaka and Monreal we are relying on Torriera to push up and support. As much as Torriera has shown his tenacity in defending, he’s a more slightly forward of DM type who defends further up. I think he can play both. But with Xhaka he plays further forward. So a 4 with Bellerin, Torreira, Xhaka and De Jong (left footed central defensive midfielder). It can suit both Monreal and De Jong – and if Gendouzi comes in, the average age of 22.5 does not change much. A 22 year old set of midfielders will mean our near future in these positions is set! Are we really one set away from our midfield being set?

In a 4-3-3 the 3 in the middle can be Torriera, Gendouzi, De Jong and on the other end of the pitch, up top I think Arsenal could do with someone like Maxwell Cornet (again don’t focus on the specific player). A top with Cornet, Laca and Auba could be an exciting set if you consider Ozil, Iwobi, Nelson also. Are we really one signing away from the top set really being set?

For the immediate future a LB and CB is needed. For the diehard fans we have always screamed we need defenders, I’ll speak with you. Personally I am happy to see Mavropanos under Unai and see what he can do with him. Holding is slowly building his reputation as a defender. Sokratis will be needed for another few seasons – mainly to take off the pressure from Koscielny, and Mustafi and Chambers can fight the others for a spot. If in a back 3 you have Holding, Sokratis, Mavro then that I am intrigued to see. But with a back 4 you can partner Holding and Sokratis or Sokratis with Mavro… But still have 2 further defenders in the wings – plus the one who misses out. Sooner or later at the end of next season one of Mustafi and Chambers will go. It’s at this stage you see the young defenders progress and complement them with an experienced defender..

I know much of my ideas are not about the here and now. But go hard or go home is the title of this article. It refers to the idea you start the process now. Unai in his first 3 years at Sevilla won the UEFA Cup. After selling Silva, David Silva and Mata, Unai finished 3rd behind Barca and Madrid with Valencia. After a faltered first season (of politics) at PSG, Unai won everything domestically.

Although I say we start now it doesn’t mean the pressure is on Unai and therefore he doesn’t need to do magic against Spurs. But winning against a team that just beat Chelsea and Inter will go a long way.



  1. Innit says:

    OT. Southampton 2-0 United ?

    1. Sue says:

      Oh how beautiful is that Innit!! Come on you Saints!

      1. Innit says:

        Damn. 2-2
        Oh well. The saints can still do it!
        Give Maureen a bloody nose hehe

        1. Sue says:

          At least they didn’t lose.. another 2 dropped points for Maureen

          1. I just watched the highlights l. Did you notice McTomminay kneeling behind the wall as Southampton scored their free kick? What did he hope to accomplish hiding his face behind Lukaku’s bum. Funny fella!

          2. Sue says:

            I did wonder that QD, very strange indeed!! Pogba was terrible! I was a bit gutted for the saints… their goals were really good (pity about their defending!)

  2. gotanidea says:

    4-3-3 can be powerful if used with a mature system. Mourinho’s Chelsea used 4-3-3 when they won a double, Sarri’s Napoli/ Chelsea use 4-3-3, Allegri’s Juventus use 4-3-3/ 3-4-3 and Guardiola’s Barcelona/ Bayern/ Man City predominantly use 4-3-3

    The problem is where should Emery put our no 10s, such as Ozil, in a 4-3-3 formation? Unless our no 10s can play as a CM like Silva/ Thiago/ De Bruyne/ Modric or a winger like Salah/ Mane/ Sane/ Sterling

    With the current stars, Arsenal had better use 4-2-3-1 at home to accomodate our no 10s and 4-3-3/ 3-4-3 at away or when leading. I predict Emery would use 4-2-3-1 against Tottenham

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Good point mate. We used to go 3-4-2-1 or 4-3-2-1 because of the guy you’ve just mentioned. Mkhitaryan would suit the system, in question, better than Ozil would, though it isn’t much of a stretch as he often starts wide right.

      Unless Ozil gets back to being top of the assists charts and by some distance – all over again. He quite likely wont be in Emery’s plans further down the line.

  3. Declan says:

    Too many people getting too hung up on too many systems.

  4. Aubamezzette says:

    4-3-3 against Tottenham.
    Leno; Bellerin,Sokratis,Holding,Kolasinac;Guedouzi,Torreira,Xhaka;Iwobi,Lacazette/Aubameyang, Aubameyang/Niles.

    ..no passenger (ozil,mkhitaryan,ramsey,mustafi) should start that game.

    1. Aubamezzette says:

      For the future we really need a quality n established CB.. at leasr by the next summer.
      For the main time get a natural rightwinger n backup to torreira

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    My big worries going into the game are with the usual suspects: Ozil, Mustafi, and Xhaka. I expect them all to start, and the odds of one of them having a blinder, let alone all three, are astronomical! Ozil is usually poor in big games, but he starts for me because we do not currently have a better option, as Miki has been shocking, but Mustafi, and Xhaka can easily be replaced. If we play with four at the back, then Kolasinac becomes a big worry also.

    I just hope we can show the same fight, and determination as we did in this fixture last season.

    I’d like to see a lineup of:

    Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, AMN
    Torriera, Guendouzi
    Iwobi Ozil Aubameyang

    1. ClassyGunner says:

      Stop worrying and start living. The 3 4 players that you mentioned will be just fine.

      1. jon fox says:

        Based on what evidence will all of them be fine? Ozil has proven to be lazy, esp in big games; Xhaka is slow, immobile and mistake ridden and Mustafi is hopeless in everything. ALL Gooners like us SHOULD be concerned at the least. Instead of platitudes based on mere hope , please provide evidence for your claim!

        1. ThirdManJW says:

          I agree completely with jon fox. Ozil just doesn’t turn up in these big games, and hasn’t so far under Emery. Xhaka consistently gives the ball away (he did it about 4/5 times in second half against Bournemouth), and in really dangerous areas, and Mustafi cannot resist diving in…even if the balls already out of play! Haha

        2. classyGunner says:

          Evidence will be in the result. Wait for the game to be over.

    2. Aubamezzette says:

      Xhaka positives outweigh his negatives so far this season.
      Same cnt be said about the others -ozil,mkhi,ramsey,mustafi

      Also iwobi struggles on d right as we saw against crystal palace n wolves, in addition kolasinac needs iwobi for support defensively.
      Iwobi-lacazette-aubameyang. Will do…. aubameyang on the RW like Walcott used to play…
      Iwobi on d left.

  6. wolfgang says:

    Frankly Mustafi is an error prone defender
    Arsenal could have conceded a goal at
    the death.
    The defence need to step up and shd
    follow Inter inmarking Kane who was at
    times surrounded by 3 defenders.
    Tactically Emery is an improvement on
    the fm.The important thing is to win.

    1. ClassyGunner says:

      Really??? And what was the result for inter?
      We should just accept that managers understand the game better than us fans.

      1. jon fox says:

        The last manager clearly did not inderstand the joke defnce he created for several years past, BETTER than the true fans who left their season tickets empty and forced the club to sack him. You sould like an extreme but totally unreaslistic optimist who ignores all our obvious problems. Like Wenger also did for so long that the fans who were sick to the back teeth of him had to do the owners long overdue job for him by forcing his sacking. Those fans- thousands of them – were realists, UNLIKE you!

        1. I agree, the defence was a massive joke. Guys like Djorou, Squillaci, Almunia, Fabianski and even Mertesacker were a physical manifestation of what the manager really thought of the whole concept of defending. A needless inconvinience that our system just couldn’t help be concerned with. Ken1945 before you start with the “he still finished in the top 4” line, please remember the several 5-1s, 6-0, 8-2 humiliations he served us with.

          1. Break-on-through says:

            We have won all sorts of competitions with allot of those guys brought in to be squad players. Djourou was something like fifth or sixth choice CB when we got him, even Sagna was ahead of him. It reminds me of fans who went on about Jeffers, Jeffers was so far down the pecking order it was unreal, yet we paid ten mil for him. That actually showed everyone how strong our squad was, one of England’s brightest talents ..who was in so much awe of Arsenal that his confidence went and it never returned. Almunia is the one there that I do not and did not understand, we didn’t have much competition ahead of him. Mert was a German national player who won stuff, so the lad who says maybe accept that managers know a bit more than us, well his point stands with that one. All managers, teams, scouts, they will all have bad finds, it is about percentages with this stuff. And Wenger was one of the best in the business at using a budget, most honest people will tell you that, if they know (in general) what the game is all about, they will admit that much.

        2. classyGunner says:

          I was simply replying to a specific comment regarding Spurs vs Inter. Your comment is totally OT and doesn’t merit a reply. Thanks.

  7. Innit says:

    Fantastic news. The match is in the bag!!!!!!
    I bet £1 @ 25-1 that there would be a Draw or technical draw in the Fury fight. I didn’t even watch it. I hate boxing lol. But I won!
    Whenever I win a bet on the same day Arsenal play, Arsenal WINS!

    So relax. Don’t worry

    1. Sue says:

      Nice one Innit!!

  8. soccerboy says:

    Good Observation and analysis @break-on-through. That was objective.
    Some fans only speak from their hearts and not their heads.

  9. Aubamezzette says:

    We should use 3CMs and iwobi MUST play on the left

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