13 January 2013

Tactics Talk: Is Wenger’s stubbornness holding Arsenal back?

Players left, players came in, formation changed…Arsenal changed.

The change in formation from a successful 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 was necessary at the time to fit our players we brought in to replace the invincibles. But with Walcott demanding a place in the centre and Giroud offering us some physicality surely it’s time to give 4-4-2 a chance?

Our current formation is one that allows us to fit in Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla in the same team, which can only be a good thing, but with Walcott playing in the middle alone he can go missing as he doesn’t have the same physicality of Giroud or RvP. However with Giroud it gives the defence something else to worry so Walcott wouldn’t struggle as much when trying to make a run the defence haven’t read. Also, we have seen already that Giroud is very good in the air and his flick ons could cause havoc for oppositions if Walcott was playing alongside him in a 4-4-2.

So why are we yet to give 4-4-2 a chance?

I believe there are a number of reasons the current side hasn’t moved to a 4-4-2 and the first one is stubbornness.

As you know I am a fan of Wenger. But like every great man, he is stubborn. He refuses to give up on players, which in the past has had great consequences but also left us with a number of poor players on our books we can’t move on. The example of this used most often is Denilson. The next Brazilian wonder kid. Oh, how I wish…
But this wonder kid tag never materialised, he was never good enough, but Wenger refused to give upon  him. He even used Denilson as an excuse for not signing a midfielder when we were in need of one. The old “A new signing will slow Denilson’s progress”

And this refusal to give up is holding back any chance of us playing 4-4-2 any time soon, as he sees 4-2-3-1 as the formation he brought the to the premier league and wants it to work more than anything.

Also, you sense Wenger isn’t confident our midfield would be right to play four straight across the midfield. Which is understandable, as Podolski would go from striker, to winger to a left sided midfielder which isn’t what he is. But, he is beginning to build a good relationship with Gibbs and learning his role and his responsibility when the side is defending. So… why not give it a chance? Were not saying use it every game for ever. Just to give it a go, if it doesn’t work out, well at least we know…

Sagna  Per  Vermaelen Gibbs
Cazorla Arteta/Diaby Wilshere Podolski
Walcott Giroud

I would love to see this team given a shot at 4-4-2 with Rosicky on the bench with the ability to play anywhere across the midfield.


  1. Couldn't agree more! Although changing the system midway through the season my not be ideal as the players seem to know their roles pretty well within the team... but, it should defiantly be looked at in pre-season just to eliminate the element of risk associated with the players learning new roles at a crucial point in our season. But nevertheless change is needed and a 4-4-2 seems to be the way to go.. Fingers crossed we see this in the near future.

  2. Walcotts pace would cause most defenses problems and girouds physical presence would force a lot of teams to fear arsenal again,which could be a much feared strike force across europe.however,wenger needs to look back into his old locker and realise the formation and type of players that bought him success and bring it back,to remind the fans of what this once great club is all about.


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