3-4-1-2 formation


We lost two games, we’re not in an emergency status.

Back three is impossible with only four CBs (included Mustafi injured, Holding a young boy and Mertesacker not good enough to be in the squad). On the wing Oxlade can play, but on midfield? Elneny will play the African Cup, Cazorla is injured, Xhaka and Coquelin aren’t good enough together away, Ozil prefers to watch and not to run, Alexis with a proper number 9 lost his qualities on attack.

Should be interesting to see a 4-3-3 with a player with pressure attitude as TQ (Ramsey or Wilshere) instead of Ozil, but for the rest, the 4-2-3-1 - especially with Cazorla on midfield - remains the better tactic.


Sorry, this is too “defensive” for me…

Kos, Muatafi and Holding/Gabriel/Chambers are already CB
Bellerin is not a good crosser, rely on speed too much, not contributing offensively enough
Gibbs… also not a good crosser like Bellerin. Could do a decent/okay job defensively but they are not good offensively
Coq, another defensive player without offensive skill set
So, it is just down to Santi, Ozil to create and Giroud and Sanchez to shoot.

7 defensive players (including keeper) and 4 attacking players, not in a good ratio.

Anyway, we have enough players to try some other formations but this should be done in pre-season, not in the middle.


Over the course of 20 years and about 2 years too late each time. What an innovator lol.


No, we don’t. This squad does not possess the technical, creative nor intelligent qualities to play good possession-based attacking football sustainably on a high level at all. If anything the absence of those qualities is why the execution of our football is often so very poor.


It’s just to keep it safe. I’m fed up with “great attacking football” that brings you nothing.


Sad but true


Possession is so over rated when you do nothing with it though.


Every season we just have 2 trophies in our pockets.

One is the 4th place trophy, and the other one is the possession trophy.


I would hope that one of the most expensive central midfielders ever is capable of playing away from home.


IMO we definitely have the squad for 3 at the back. Bellerin would be a top wing back. Maybe even Chamberlain could have a role there. We have young CBs who can get minutes but don’t need all that responsibility. We have solid but generally unspectacular midfielders who could do a job.

I remember watching Napoli in the Cavani/Lavezzi (Mazzarri?) era. It wasn’t just for defensive football, some of their games were fucking thrilling.

Since nobody will play 4-4-2 anymore a back 3 feels like the most legit way to get two strikers onto the pitch which I personally like. Alexis could easily play just off Giroud.

We’d also boss set pieces with Ozil + 3 CBs + Giroud.

Chelsea have shown that a back 3 can have a place in England and it’s not just boring Italian rubbish. They’ve got more points at this stage in the season than any team since City got 44 points in 2011/12. It’s not a fluke, they look bulletproof.


Impressive run from them, but I will be convinced when they manage two seasons of success with their formation.

Any new change seems to work in PL and then teams find a work around.
Leicester, Brendan’s Liverpool, Pellegrini’s high flying City have all done well for certain period then can’t seem to make it work after that.

3 man defence can be easily dismantled by wing play and there is a reason why it has not been in business for long time .
Zonal marking did few excellent articles on various formation against each other.

One of those article was based on Arsenal versus Brendan’s 342 Liverpool side.
Arteta exposed the flaw of 3 man defence expertly by sending Sagna down the line whose cross was headed in & then finished by Santi.
Basically wing play & midfield runner.
If you make your wingback defend the wingers all the time then it becomes a 5 man defence & you don’t push up as much.
If you push a defender wide & make your DM drop in to become an auxiliary CB, then you reduce the midfield option leaving one midfielder free to make a run.

I really doubt Chelsea will continue being dominating.


I have always wondered what Alexis and Giroud could do together. The old system, with Alexis on the wing and Olly as CF, doesn’t allow it directly.


I’d rather win 5-4 than 1-0 so I like the idea


Thats the sort off attitude that never becomes Champions.


Playing a back 3 with Wenger’s classic ‘do what you want lads’ style of management would be something i’d love to see tbf.


The difference there is that keeping clean sheets wins you honours.


One of the only ways I could see us successfully replicating Chelsea’s 5-2-3/3-4-3 with the current crop. As you can see, it’s not the perfect set up. Relies even more heavily on the fitness of the spine than 4-2-3-1 does.


Who is going to fight for the ball and do the dirty work in the middle?

Offensively, Santi, Xhaka, Ozil and Perez may look good on paper, but then when things are not on our side, opponents having the ball, who is our stopper in midfield? Who is going to hustle and tackle??


That’s why I said it’s not perfect. But if the last week has taught us anything, it’s a risk when you play Coquelin in there, who can’t control possession in a high press to save his life. Having said that, Xhaka and even our best CM by far Cazorla, have badly struggled with the high press in the past too.

We can’t quite replicate Kante-Matic because we don’t have a complete mobile midfielder than can press, protect, defend, retain possession and create, like Kante (to be fair many teams are missing this). So a possession dominating midfield is all we can really muster up, otherwise we’re starting Coquelin or Elneny who are unlikely to be precise enough to service the wing backs and forwards in possession.

It’s preferable that we start players who are good enough to keep possession and contribute to good build ups when we do have the ball, rather than having a combination including the likes of Coquelin and Elneny.

I suppose in many games, you could go with Coquelin or Elneny in there and it would work out fine. The key difference with a 3-4-3 is that you have one extra defender, as opposed to a 4-3-3, is that you have the extra CB. That might afford us more leeway with playing less defensive midfielders.

Luckily for us, we have three decent ball-playing CB’s in the squad. As well as quick and fit full backs to support on defensive duties.


When you play a more defensive system and not so far up the pitch you’re less vulnarable against the press though.