THE SEASON THAT ARSENAL MUST BE THE DIFFERENT ANIMAL IS 2016/17 by NO
It’s clear, next season we must have a team that is so radically different from what we have now – because we will be facing superb competition. Man City have brought in probably the opposite personality of Wenger’s last decade in terms of fortunes – Pep Guardiola, a serial winner, from the last decade. Man United should be announcing the arrival of the Special One into the coaching deck, Jose Mourinho carries with him special distinctions for that extra oomph over the upcoming season.
First, he and Guardiola would carry on a rivalry from La-liga into the EPL when they were in charge of the two poles of the La-Liga top two fight, and Jose holds a record of never losing to Wenger, yet. That, added to what Leicester with Claudio Ranieri and Mauricio Pochettino with Tottenham have achieved this season, plus an expected tough challenge from Jürgen Klopp with Liverpool, next season’s EPL is a battle of the managers like never before.
Arsene Wenger stands the elder of the crop with 20 years in the EPL and would want to show the way. Had opportunities been taken, then Arsenal would be starting the new season with the trophy in cabinet as this season has seen the teams that normally dominate the EPL losing out big time, leaving Arsenal with the best possible chance to capture the elusive trophy, but Arsenal too blew off steam and never recovered in time.
That said, Wenger has been in the search for players to sort out the messes that his team has had for quite some time now. He seems to be preparing for the tough battle ahead with some definite resolve. Already Arsenal have acquired the services of Granit Xhaka who is touted as the Patrick Vieira we have been missing for quite a while. Perhaps what readers would like to know is that Xhaka has been followed for a year and watched 30 times making it not such a rapid fire acquisition by Arsenal as many would want to believe. That may suggest that the other acquisition that will arrive would be players that we have tracked for a long time. I know that suggests that we would be in for Alvaro Morata and maybe the other player would be Medhi Benatia and if things break for us we may get to steal Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Suppose Wenger manages to bring in these players to add on to the arrival of Granit Xhaka, how does Wenger get the best out of them? Here are my suggestions of the pattern we can deploy to get the best out of the set of players we will have. Pattern 3.4.3
The above lineup suggests that Cech gets the armband and Koscielny gets sold based on his last season performance where he looks to be losing a bit of his defensive solidity. Pattern 3.4.3 with Sanchez and Mkhitaryan playing wing-striker roles much like Messi and Neymer are playing for Barcelona. It’s a role that Alexis played before during his day at Barcelona. The midfield is a diamond arrangement with Ozil at the north of the diamond, Carzola and Xhaka on the sharing the deep lying role in the west and the east of the diamond and Coquelin on the south of the diamond as defensive midfield. We end up with a 3-man defense.
This side should be frighteningly efficient at finding the net and the numbers of chances created will increase and the goals should be high, with the three forwards each going over 20 goals in the season. Add on to other goals from the rest of the team and we should be over 80 goals, easily. With the likes of Ramsey, Iwobi, Campbell, Wilshere, Elneny, Gabriel, Chambers and Walcott, this kind of a setup would get replacements across the pitch with much more efficiency. I would however be worried about the defense. So far the three man defenses have not had a good life in the EPL. But of course those teams did not have Carzola, Xhaka and Coquelin playing ahead of them.
The other setup has the following line up: 3.5.2
In this arrangement, Sanchez is converted into the second striker much like Thierry Henry and Van Persie were converted into strikers from the winger’s roles. Cazorla and Mkhitaryan explore the wings and Coquelin and Xhaka are in the defensive midfield role jointly. The three-man defense still features. If Morata and Sanchez get into the 20 goals, then Cazorla and Mkhitaryan will get another 20 done and the rest of the squad will weigh in with more goals. Again, the bench is more efficiently complimentary with the setup.
Perhap we would go with 4.4.2 where we drop Coquelin and bring in Gabriel or Konsienly to partners with Benatia for a 4-man defense.
But the most likely set-up will be the predictable one of 188.8.131.52 that we have used for the 2015/16 season. The lineup would probably be.
There would be plenty of goals with the upgrade of Morata and Mkhitaryan coming into the squad and Xhaka with Cazorla providing the defensive midfield anchor would make us a solid side defensively. However, Morata will have to cross above 30 goals and the rest of the squad to provide the balance of goals.
I personally would love to see the first pattern 3.4.3 deployed. What would be your pattern for a different season for Arsenal?