Arsenal have adopted the newly fashionable 3-4-2-1 formation predominantly used by Antonio Conte last season, but are we happy with it?
We obviously are happy with the weekend’s dominant 3-0 win over Bournemouth, but we have to delve deeper into the system to really figure out what we want to see.
Arsenal have always been a free-flowing footballing side who focussed on possession of the ball, creativity and stylish play and I’m not 100% sure we achieve what we are looking for with the new system.
Conte made the change to the 3-4-2-1 system because he felt he needed to fix the defensive frailties which had crept into his side, and the change worked wonders as they ran away with the Premier League title last season, and us and Spurs have both since adopted the formation, while others have also tried their own versions of it.
Chelsea’s players have a different make-up to ours however, with their midfielders much more comfortable in the two in front of the defence in the shape of Kante and Bakayoko, while Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey play very differently. Also our wing-backs are both more adept at playing a full-back, while the Blues options are much more confident going forward, and Alonso keeps finding himself on the scoresheet also.
Chelsea play a large chunk of their football on the counter-attack, taking advantage of the pace in their attacking line and wings to hurt teams, but our play is not so direct, as we prefer to build up slowly and with Ozil in our side, there is less room to play in the way the champions do.
Should we be happy with our formation? Does Wenger need to use his imagination more to get the best out of our current squad?