Will Kolasinac and the new formation keep Monreal on the Arsenal bench?

Even if Monreal is back in training it’s likely that Emery will bring him back into the fold slowly, not wanting the injury to happen again. So, does that one absentee mean we will be fielding a back 5 on a more regular basis? It certainly seems to be working so far.

Kolasinac must be aware (and slightly Embarrassed) that his boss is willing to change formations based on if he’s at left back. Already not trusted defensively his performance against Wolves convinced the Spaniard that the player could not be trusted in a 4. What he did next was a piece of man management that gives me hope for the future. He didn’t drop the player, breaking his confidence in the process. He didn’t do a Jose, use press conferences to single out one person for blame, pointing out how he wasn’t backed in the transfer window. Instead the boss accentuated the positives and hid the negatives.

He found a system where the player had less pressure on him to defend while playing to his strengths. Not just did it win us the game but in the space of a week the full back went from having his worst to his best game in an Arsenal shirt against Bournemouth, and then followed it up with another great showing yesterday.

That’s what a world class coach should be doing. Yes, the more windows he gets, the more he will put his own blueprint on the squad. Long term he may have an idea who won’t make the grade but in the short term he’s identifying what he does have and making it into a positive. I know Arsene Wenger won an FA Cup when changing to a back 3 but that was more based on confidence being so low, he had to try something different to change the tide.

Emery saw a weak link and turned Kolasinac into a man of the match contender at Bournemouth. Suddenly the Bosnian is an attacking weapon that Arsenal can take advantage of when needed. Would you keep the back 5 for the Man United match and even further into the season, and leave Monreal on the bench?

Dan Smith


  1. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    Kola has been very impressive attacking wise these past games . I would like him to keep his place from the main time .

    1. gotanidea says:

      His crosses were accurate and he is very strong. I think his main weakness is his temper

  2. Durand says:

    Whatever is best for the TEAM, not an individual. If Monreal is best for the team then he will play, if not then he will sit. Xhaka and Torreira are the best midfield pairing, so Ramsey sits. Glad to see a manager not forcing players into positions, rather letting performance dictate.

    Clearly its up to Monreal to earn his way back into the team, not be gifted a spot by the manager. Emery’s way is clearly delivering results, so let players play their way into the lineup, or play themselves back to the bench.

  3. gotanidea says:

    I think Emery is trying to replace Monreal with Kolasinac gradually. Maybe he is doing the same thing to Ozil

    Even if Emery uses a four back formation again, I bet Kolasinac would still keep his position

    Regarding your question Dan, I would keep using the 3-4-2-1 at the Old Trafford, if I were Emery. If I’m not mistaken Wenger used that formation against Mourinho with good result

  4. Dan says:

    Kolasinac seems to have got his confidence back and put in a few decent performances must stay in the side even if monreal is fit also love it when he gets involved in the scuffles be a brave man to mess with him!!

  5. LENOhappy says:

    I believe we have no choice than to play Ozil against united since xhaka is suspended

    1. gotanidea says:

      Never saw Ozil play as a deeper CM and we still have Guendouzi which is more dominant in midfield

      1. Lugdush says:

        Torreira / guendouzi Time????

    2. RSH says:

      or midfield duo of Guendouzi/Torreira,Bellerin/Kola wingbacks, front 3 Auab/Laca/(Iwobi?)
      Either way, we have enough options if Ozil is not in squad

    3. jon fox says:

      What a relief that we cannot play the awful Xhaka! Guendouzi, NOT Ozil should replace him. PERMANENTLY!

  6. Sue says:

    I’ve been waiting for this article!! He’s a beast… I’m happy if he plays ?

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Well that is a surprise! 🙂

  7. LENOhappy says:

    Is difficult to bench monreal for anyone,the guy has this thing about him even at 33,he can still defend more than kolasinac and can still score important goals,there are some players that don’t really need to prove a point to be on the pitch,at man city you have player like de brune who is a guaranteed starter anytime he’s fit,you have David Silvia,at arsenal I think monreal is one of those players

  8. Midkemma says:

    I really liked the 2nd half and because of that half I would like to see a 3412 formation again, not only did it get the best out of Kola but I think Auba and Laca both upfront helped our cause a lot.
    The hard work from the players to press… I felt the 3412 formation smothered the spuds.

  9. NONNY says:

    Happy reading comments without those clones saying crap like kev

  10. RSH says:

    Monreal is the most consistent player maybe in the entire squad. He is better than Seo despite him being on a good run of form. But consistency is what wins titles and games.

  11. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    Sue got a crush a kola…

  12. Alldwayfromafrica says:

    RSH….we could atleast give kola some run of games to see
    how consistent he can be….

  13. Sal says:

    Neither will happen in my humble opinion, we will go back to a back four soon or eventually and Kola won’t keep montreal on the bench, No way!! even at his age way better defensively and offensively and basically everything except strength , but hope our Bosnian’s form continues as he is needed at the moment.

    1. Sal says:

      and by form i mean one great game the NLD and one which he was ok so will take that form him 🙂

    2. X says:

      Monreal is not better offensively. Yes Nacho comes up with some important goal, Sead does too – considering he has much less game time.

      Kolasinac has much better deliveries than Nacho, if he learns to defend he’ll be awesome for us.
      Not taking anything from Mr consistent – Nacho’s been awesome these past few years

      1. Sal says:

        he is and miles aheas of saed in offense as well X, the reason why you don’t notice it is becauser saed uses his body a burst of acceleration and strength making hard for a defender to intercept when he moves forward and smashes a cross or a strike which peopke assume makes him better but he is not, nacho is smarter more experienced better at the ball with his feet, miles ahead of Kola when it comes to crossing, better position in attack, better for the teams fluidity as he is more mobile, knows when to make that run behind the defence and when not to which is as important, No sorry you are being harsh on Montreal no way is Kola anywhere close, we shall see end of season as I personally don’t think he will be here next year , as defenders should have a basic understanding of his duties and he loves neglecting those duties, so we are ok as long a holding is there covering for him in a back 3 but if we switch to a back four you wouldn’t be raving about him now, you can take that to the bank 🙂

        Ps: a good manager maximises his team effectivness and that’s why we are seeing a back 3, but as soon as montreal and ozil return it will be a back four with kola on the bench, why? well that’s beacuse he can’t defend!

  14. ozziegunner says:

    The current form of Kolasinac has allowed Emery to manage Monreal’s recovery froom injury. In defence of Kolasinac it is understandable that he would need a run of games to recover his confidence, particularly in tackling, after returning from injury. Once Monreal is fully match fit, Emery has greater otions with two fit in form left backs/wing backs.

  15. GunnerJack says:

    My view is always: ‘Pick the man in form’. In the last 2 games Kola has been one of our best players so I wouldn’t risk lowering his confidence by dropping him. Unai may have other ideas of course.
    Hope Nacho is passed fit to play and makes it to the bench in case of injury to either Kola or Rob – and even if all is well I hope he’s given 10 – 15 minutes near the end when we are 3 goals up to get back into the swing of things 🙂

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Was hoping Mavro would have been fit and well by now – he has this wonderful propensity to whack anything which comes near him wearing a Man Utd shirt 🙂

  16. Kenya001 says:

    Emery knows best he is with the players in trainings whoever he picks am okay with it I TRUST in Emery

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