Wenger finally learns about new tactics – and Arsenal win!

Arsenal fans have been calling for Arsene Wenger to adapt the tactics of his team depending on who our opponents are, but for 20 years Le Prof has been saying: “We just have to concentrate on playing our own game”. But finally, after our worst run of form in his 21 year reign, he decided to line up with a 3-4-3 formation which has been used by many of his younger rivals this season to good effect.

Arsenal fans looked on in wonder at Middlesbrough as Wenger lined up with Laurent Koscielny, alongside Gabriel and Rob Holding for the back three, with Monreal and, surprisingly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as our wing backs. There was no place for Mustafi and Bellerin was also left on the bench.

After the 2-1 win, Wenger gave his opinion on why he used the new formation. “I felt that we were recently a bit vulnerable defensively and to give a bit more reassurance to the team.” Wenger said. “Recently we faced many direct games, I thought before the game maybe they’d play with Gestede and Negredo and go for a very direct game. Those are the reasons.

“It worked well in the first half, we didn’t give any chances away and we were quite solid on set-pieces. In the second half on one or two occasions, I felt we could have been a bit more dominant in the air, but overall yes.”

The boss then went on to admit that he had never tried this formation before. “The first time in 20 years, that shows you that even in my age you can change. But sometimes when a team lacks confidence, just to add something new to believe helps to focus and overall the fact that we conceded three at West Brom, three at Crystal Palace, I felt it was needed.”

Something was needed, and although we finally got an away win after 4 defeats in a row, the team still seemed very disjointed in the second half. I wonder if he will keep this formation against the attack-minded Man City next week?



  1. The troll formerly known as Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Dude must be mega desperate for that contract. Can anyone actually imagine him doing a team talk pointing at a board with drawings on it?

    1. Fatboy Gooney says:

      Yup, Desperate is the key word there and that’s surely a sign that the club have frozen their contract offer, until the end of the season.
      What’s next?.. Wenger offering players bonuses from his own pocket if they win the FA cup and qualify for the UCL? ???

  2. ArseOverTit says:

    Wow.. such intelligence he possesses. 20 odd years
    And this is the 1st time he deems it necessary.


    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      different formation……same team players…..same manager
      Nothing’s changed!
      We’d still get whopped by a half decent team LoL

      1. Midkemma says:

        Be fair to the players, from what Holding said they only practiced it a couple times and it isn’t hard to imagine how much better they could have been if they had trained on it for longer…

        Wenger could have had them training on it for longer.

        Wenger has hinted he will revert back to the 4231 for City and tbh the players know that formation and while I would like a Plan B, it needs to be practiced in training.

        I will defend Wenger in transfers as I feel the club should show more balls and just make the transfers happen but tactics and training is Wengers, clearly. While I like how he tries to get the players to be intelligent on the pitch so they can adapt, sometimes though… We just need to drill the players in an area to improve. Be it a new formation or an individual weakness…

  3. bran99 says:

    fetching for that contract. wish he tried various formations after studying the opponents we were facing, instead of always playing the Arsenal way. too late now, 4th is out of reach and suddenly boom!! 3-4-3 hehehe

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      Hahahaha……..yea………when you are stuck in the pod of mediocrity for too long, you don’t know what the outside world looks like
      A case study of Arsene wenger

  4. gotanidea says:

    Some people, including me, believed that the three central defender formation would be suitable for Arsenal currently. Last night in the first half, the distances between the players became shorter and they could dominate the midfield area. It looked similar to Chelsea’s tactic. I hope they don’t get stuck in this strategy and continue to explore the variants of the three central defender formation, such as Barcelona’s 3-3-1-3.

    It would be good if we see more experiments, because currently they still play like other Premiere League teams. It would be better if they can follow Barcelona’s football concept, instead of releasing the ball after one or two touches. I think the changes and the entertainment are more important that the results, as Arsenal will not get the Premiere League title this year.

    1. Midkemma says:

      I have wanted to see Herbert Chapmans formation at Arsenal, the WM formation.
      I have done for a number of years now.

      I think it might do well and really curious to how well we could do it.

  5. Brian Bowers says:

    Correct,There is about 40% of team that is good enough for the jersey.The rest needs replacement.I think it is to late to change.The manager to be replaced

    1. Midkemma says:

      I would say 20% of the team needs to feel the pressure to perform to step up again ontop of the 40% you said.

      Players like The Ox… yes he done well but we all remember the frustration of him not performing. A rebuild could be the kick up the backside he needs to step up? If not then we can still sell him 12 months later, plenty of other players to focus on this year to sell.

      Do you think we could sell that many players (60%) in a single transfer window?

      When I think of the volume of players… It makes sense that a rebuild will have to take 2 years at the quickest timeframe the board feel it can be done.

  6. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Booo………Let’s not decieve ourselves

    Note that Monreal is still playing on the Left side of the mid-four players

    He’d fall back on the side of the back four and the formation will change to the usual 4-3-3


    Besides that, they are still the same bunch of old ,fatique , average players…..so nothing has changed
    We’d get whooped by some better team one of these days (not a prayer tho)….just looking at things the way they are!

    I refuse to be blinded nor deluded…..

  7. Guneal says:

    I stuck in awful consternation. So old dogs can learn new tricks.
    What I also noticed is that the formation provided us with a lot of options in defense, midfield and attack.
    I hope Allegri cash in on this one.
    #wenger out

  8. John Ibrahim says:

    Watched the game replay… this game tactic quite good…ox is back to his normal self…

    Holding is impressive

    Ozil is defending and tackling instead of staring

    Sanchez as usual love the dribble but lucky we did not lose many balls

    The overall team performance is not too bad…except for the defense…lacking of coordination..gabriel still cant communicate and Holding lacks experience

    Conclusion Media do not like Arsenal and wenger has to go

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      LoooooooL……….. Gotta Love the way ya entire assessment don’t correlate …especially the grand summary

      1. Guneal says:

        Mr. Wenger would call it, ” no cohesion “.

  9. Midkemma says:

    The formation wasn’t that great in practice, glad we got the win but if anyone cared to watch the game then they would know how dodgy we looked on the pitch, how our defense was worse than a non league teams and that was made worse by players being new to this formation.

    It could be one that works but we would need to practice it heavily so the players know what needs to be done without thinking. However I do think there was some good positives to take from that game 🙂
    3 CB for a start! The EPL is evolving and I have said for a few years that I would like to see Arsenal try 3 at the back, before other teams was trying it I was saying I wanted it and the reason was because other teams was swapping from 2 CF to 3 attackers and dropping the traditional winger role.

    Having the team know a 4 man defense and a 3 man defense will help counter oppositions, give us more of a Plan B type of thing.

    Next formation I would like to see is the WM formation. 3223.

    The 2 wide forwards could be players who are capable of defending as well to swap between wing forward to wing back. Bellerin has shown he has a few tricks and can offer something in attack, heck some might say Bellerin is better at getting forward and this might play to his strengths. Left side will be awkward though but maybe that could have a starting player come in soon… Not forgetting Gibbs, I do like him when fit and match sharp but that happens like a leap year, 1 day in every 4 years XD

    So basically the 3223 formation can regress to a 3241 when opposition has the ball and then 3421 if the opposition pushes us back…

  10. gmv8 says:

    The 3-4-3 formation suits our team members a better. Gabs isn’t really the person for the back 3 as it is a formation that requires communication, but it means Mertesacker can be brought back in, as a central deep lying defender, not needing much speed, Mustafi should be better as well, as he won’t have to bomb forward leaving space behind but will be able to roam. Bellerin can also move up into the 4 which I feel would suit him better. As ever it depends on proper training and discipline and one can only hope Wenger inspires that, or uses people who do.

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