IT’S BEEN without a doubt the most talked about topic amongst Arsenal fans these past few days. Arsene Wenger giving into his stubbornness and actually trying a fresh formation with THREE at the back!
The 2-1 win at Middlesborough on Monday night was a comfortable one, despite conceding a goal and gave us a chance to see Wenger’s new found plan in action.
Incredibly, it was the first time since 1997 that Wenger had opted for three at the back, but did it work?
Kind of I suppose. I really like the look of Rob Holding and have done since he was first given a chance way back in August. I think he filled in for the absent Shkodran Mustafi (who was without a doubt busy downing booze at it was his birthday!) very well and can learn a lot from playing alongside Laurent Koscielny.
Even the often unpredictable Gabriel Paulista looked as though he might be capable of playing comfortably in this formation.
This formation also gave Nacho Monreal the opportunity to move forward more freely without having to leave the space that he has been doing throughout the season behind him. He played as an attacking wing-back, much like Marcos Alonso has at Chelsea his year and it seemed to suit him.
If anyone was born to play in this set up though it is without a doubt Hector Bellerin. Much like Victor Moses has excelled under Conte’s disposal of wing backs at Stamford Bridge, if we were to stick to this formation then Bellerin would be perfect for use on the flanks. His pace would make him a deadly winger.
I think this formation was also beneficial to Xhaka and Ramsey as they seemed to play well alongside one another. When Cazorla is fit I’d love to see him come in alongside Xhaka as I think those two would be a strong partnership.
Oxlade- Chamberlain, despite being moved back out to the wing was superb and was probably our man of the match, adding a real attacking spark to our side.
Of course, this formation also gave us the chance to see our world class of duo of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez playing alongside each other in behind lone Striker Olivier Giroud and inevitably it was them who grabbed both goals and made the difference in the end.
My only problem with this line-up was the fact that Giroud was up top on his own. I love Oli G, I know many don’t, but I rate him. However, I do think that he’s a much better player when he has someone like Theo Walcott as his strike partner or when he comes on a substitute off the bench.
I’d much prefer to see Walcott up there on his own or Welbeck or even (I pray to God Wenger hears me here) GIVE LUCAS PEREZ A GOD DAMN CHANCE PLEASE. Jeez.
I think Wenger finally saw sense this Monday night. He knew that something had to be changed and fair play to him, although it’s probably two months too late, he changed the formation.
He very much copied Conte’s Chelsea tactics of applying wing backs to the starting eleven and that proved to be a success in the end.
Whether Le Prof sticks with this formation or not remains to be seen, but I for one doubt that we will see it used much again, after all the man just seems to love frustrating us Gooners in recent times.
We’ll probably be back to our dismal 4-3-3 against City in the FA Cup semi-finals this weekend. Sigh.