GoonerNow Blog

Helping Le Prof Find His Form(ation)ula


There’s no doubt that when Arsenal were at their most successful they were playing a very simple yet effective 4-4-2/4-4-1-1.A rock solid back four -which contained a peaking Sol Campbell and a young Kolo Touré- coupled with two physically dominating yet creative midfielders, two of the best wide players to grace an Arsenal shirt and four strikers so good that no matter who was injured or suspended there would always be a world class strike partnership up front. With players like; Bergkamp, Henry, Kanu and Wiltord we were never short of goals up top .

used under creative commons courteys of Ronnie Macdonald

That changed with the emergence of one of the brightest young midfielders to ever play in the Premier League, Cesc Fabregas. Arsene, seeing the talent that Cesc possessed, tried to build a formation with Cesc at the focal point of a midfield trio which would dominate teams with beautiful football and possession. Cesc’s job would mainly be linking the play between the midfielders and the attackers, splitting defences with his amazing passing technique and getting forward as much as possible. In theory-and sometimes in practice- you could see Wenger’s vision for Cesc come to life, he would dominate teams, terrorise defences and create chance after chance. Back then it seemed that playing a 4-3-3 would bring us loads of trophies. The only drawback was the use of a single striker which made having many world class strikers impossible, so when RVP eventually succumbed to injury we were very impotent up front. But with a player like Cesc in the team we thought “we can cope”.
Fast forward a couple of years, Cesc has flown the nest and left for UEFAlona-not on entirely good terms either. Yet we’re still playing the formation catered to him, without someone to fill the gap left by his departure. In my eyes this is the perfect opportunity for Wenger to shuffle the formation and go back to basics. With the signing of Germany international Lukas Podolski and Wenger stating that the signing of French international and Ligue 1 winner Olivier Giroud is “90% Complete” while also stating that he intends to play RVP,Giroud and Podolski together I see no way that we could fit them all together in the current formation so now is as good a time as any to change it up. I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about which formation would suit the current squad the best, and I’ve thought of two formations. A 4-4-2 or a 4-1-2-1-2. I think the back four and keeper pick themselves Szczesny/Sagna-Koscielny-Vermaelen-Gibbs. Last season Koscielny grew into an indispensable player for the club and I think that the partnership between him and Vermaelen can only get better, while we have one of the best young keepers in the world. Next up is the matter of the midfield, with the amount of highly talented central midfielders we have its very hard to pick just two or three but if we do go to a 4-4-2 It should be Walcott-Song-Wilshere-Podolski Leaving out Arteta is quite a gamble but he could fill in when required or needed, same for Rosicky and Ramsey. As for the 4-1-2-1-2 I believe that Song should anchor the midfield with Wilshere and Arteta just ahead of him. The strike partnership for the 4-4-2 picks itself, RVP-Giroud. If all goes well next season they could become one of the most lethal partnerships in the league. The advanced trio for the 4-1-2-1-2 should have Podolski playing in an attacking midfielder role with RVP-Giroud once again spearheading the attack.

Whether Wenger does change the formation remains to be seen and everything above is mostly hypothetical but I think in many cases it could work. There’s also a lot of talk linking us with the likes of Yann M’Vila and Lucas Biglia but until we know if these rumours are true then I won’t factor them in to these ideas. A revert to a 4-4-2 could be good for us, and these new signings may lead to a lot of glory over the coming seasons!
-Regan McSweeney
If you enjoyed reading this don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! @ReggieMcTekks


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