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Arsenal to revert to 4-4-2?

by Tony Attwood

Just a little story that I noticed, in case it is of interest.

There’s an interesting piece in the Guardian today which suggests that the team will change from 4-3-3- over to 4-4-2 for the game against Fulham.

I have to admit when Eboue is in the team I do sometimes lose a sense of the formation, since he seems to turn up in all sorts of positions.  Of course that is no bad thing – if Eboue is fooling me looking from the stands he’s going to be doing the same on the pitch to the opposition.

But still the line up for sunday that they give against Fulham is…

Fabianski

Sagna Campbell Silvestre Clichy

Walcott Eboue Nasri Diaby

Van Persie Arshavin

Their subs are Mannone, Traoré, Djourou, Gibbs, Henderson, Eastmond, Vela, Mérida

It certainly is a possibility with all these people missing from the line up (and again with dates taken from the same paper)

Song (knee, Jun), Rosicky (ankle, Jun), Denílson, Bendtner (both groin, Jun), Almunia (thumb, Jun), Vermaelen, Gallas (both calf, Jun), Fábregas (leg, Jun), Ramsey (leg, Oct)

Nine players out – which is just about the most I have ever seen.

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38 comments to Arsenal to revert to 4-4-2?

  • well-endowed gooner

    Walcott pushes up to make a 4-3-3, Eboue, Nasri and Diaby make a three-man midfield with Nasri and Eboue harassing the opponents and with Diaby running around looking awesome and shrink defensive duties. van Persie drops deep to get the ball, allowing Arshavin and Walcott to run past him. We don’t have a replacement holding midfielder for Song, so we’re compensating by putting on two pressers in midfield. We don’t need a Song-type player to sit back because Silvestre and Campbell aren’t going to go on rampaging runs.

    So it’s a 4-2-2 cum 4-2-3-1 cum 4-3-3, depending on the situation.

    What’s not to get?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    As long as they don’t lose and cede 3rd place, who cares?!

  • gfd

    We can play in any formations when all the players are fit we can experiment in training more, but to play every game 4-3-3 was dangerous to face tactically astute opponents and it was proven. The only time this season emergency 4-4-2 was deployed, we came back and won against WHU in FA cup. Good times are in front of us fellows.

  • bc

    I have heard that Djourou plays in midfield and it remains 4-3-3

    Fabianski
    Eboue, Campbell, Silvestre, Clichy
    Djourou
    Diaby, Nasri
    Walcott, RVP, Arshavin

  • bc

    btw

    we had 12 players out for barca away and a further 15 out on loan

  • EAC3

    AW changed from 44.2 to 44.3 because we had not replaced Adebayor and Barcelona were playing superbly using 4.33 formation
    I believe he is a natural 44.2 exponent and with Chamakh arriving and an improvement in our defence we could and should revert to our natural formation. But for tommorow lets just win !

  • tim

    @EAC —

    From Arsenal Column:

    AW: “I think 4-4-2 is simply the most rational formation in most cases. In fact, it’s the essence of reason. With a 4-4-2, 60% of your players are occupying 60% of the pitch. No other formation is as efficient in covering space,”

  • walter

    Is Eduardo still alive somewhere? He should come on and score a goal.
    And I don’t think Henderson will be on the bench as he played with the youth team on friday.

  • gooner 80

    I would like to see us play 3-5-2because of defensive problems,I would like to see 3 centre backs with eboue and clichy as wing backs so in attack it would be 3-5-2 but when defending it would be 5-3-2 the striker needs more support upfront and since most teams only play with one striker surely 3 centre backs shoud be able to deal with one striker we need something like this in the big games and us having two forwaerds would give our opponents something to truly think about,I have noticed the new tactic against arsenal is to drag us out wide and they allow us to cross it because even if we have a tall striker we only have one striker in the box and with a 3-5-2 formation we should dominate midfield think of the combinations we could have upfront arshavin/ RVP, nasri RVP chamkh RVP B52 RVP, even diaby RVP or fabregas RVP this could do some serious damage

  • Marc

    Wow Tony I can’t believe you’ve missed out on the news yesterday regarding Liverpool’s new financial figures. If they’ve made a £55 million loss with CL football what are they going to do next year?

  • amel

    Walcott does not deserve to wear Arsenal shirt. Arsene must admit that it made a mistake when he brought him. except for speed and peace he does not have anything. He does not know when to pass the ball, when to shot. he is one-dimensional and easy to read. 3-4 years here and no progress.He should go to BOlton and and see how Willshere does it. 12M wasted and 60 000 every week.

  • Terence McGovern

    those figures may be the least of Liverpool’s problems if there is any truth to the rumours regarding their captain and the 16 yr old daughter of a former player. These are gaining taction on the net but in Ireland they are spreading like wildfire through word of mouth given that they are a bit closer to home here.
    It could be an interesting weekend.

  • FGENT

    To me, the formation the should play against fulham is 4-4-2 because we have to hold to the midfield to support the defenders. The like of Eboue in the midfield against fulham is a big risk. Wenger should think and remember the game against blackburn.

  • Phil

    Good question to pose, Tony. For me, 433 works better as long as the inside forwards are sufficiently direct in their play. Players such as Theo, Bendtner, Chamakh, Arshavin etc thrive in the position, as they are all capable of attacking goal effectively.

    Players such as Nasri and Rosicky are less effective as they are more “Possession keepers” than what I’d consider “direct” players. We can get away with one of them playing (and when Nik was injured, it was one of them + Arshavin on the other side). However once both of them play on the wings, we lack penetration and out attacking game suffers.

    For me, Nasri and Rosicky are more wide midfielders, who play better in a 442. When we played 442, the emphasis was clearly on keeping possession etc, and they thrived in that sort of environment.

    442 vs 433? It’s tough. My preference is always for 433 (and that’s how I set a side out on a saturday morning) as three midfielders in the centre means you dominate the middle of the park, and for me that’s crucial to winning the game.

    A player sucha s Van Persie is good enough to not be impeded by playing up front on his own, and the 433 gives us enough fluidity to play Wengerball well

  • Marc I have the Liverpool figures, but there is something else lurking there that I am trying to link into other articles that have appeared here.

  • David

    Have Eboue on the right and Theo on the left.

  • Hartwick89

    4-3-3 is as effective as team pressure..If one player loses the ball in a vulnerable area then 4-3-3 is exposed if the team doesn’t defend collectively and quickly to recoup the ball…Could be why on the whole Arsenal gave away a couple of the recent games..Psychology of the win in sight vs. execution of the 4-3-3.
    AW could revert back to boring 4-4-2 based on the inability of some young and old to complete the task for 90min..
    Rhys what you mean who cares? Your as bad as the catastrophists who complain about every last loss or not buying in the transfer period

  • Tim

    That lineup is just proof that some journo doesn’t know what he’s writing about.

    Diaby plays holding midfielder, not left wing. With Walcott in the lineup with Robin and Arshavin it has to be a 4-3-3

  • Marc

    Can’t wait to see the update.

  • AaronGSi

    My own personal view is that Arsenal don’t quite have the personnel yet, to make the best of a 4-3-3 formation. Arshavin is not really a left sided wing forward – and he has said many times himself his best position is behind the main striker. The same goes for Eduardo (who is also a second striker) and is it no coincidence that his form has dipped because he is currently always used as a left wing forward when he comes on? As for Walcott, he does not have the ability to switch from flank to flank either, so is always stuck out on the right and therefore predictable (hence he may as well be a right midfield) and neither Rosicky, Eboue, or Bendtner are true wing forwards. Yet 4-3-3 is the best formation to give Fab the room and space he needs to boss the games he has done and this has resulted in his best season so far. But without Fab then I feel Arsenal should always to go back to 4-4-2 and have Arshavin providing more creativity and link play from the middle, making it almost like a 4-2-3-1 line up with him playing deeper behind RVP. If Arsene is also to continue with 4-3-3 then he needs to address the flank positions in the summer. Someone like Luis Suarez would be a great signing as he plays regularly both left and right in this formation as well as down the middle if needed. But he has a lot of suitors and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Barca snap him up to replace TH in the summer. My fingers are crossed though because he is a great player and has 33 goals for Ajax this season

  • 8 inch knob

    Phil, you are 100% right.

    The next stage of our evolution is to be able to switch between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 to change a game.

  • Q Sola

    DIABY IS A USELESS PLAYER, HE IS MINUS, SILVESTRE IS A DEAD WOOD, I WOULD LOVE NOT TO SEE SILVESTRE ON THE PITCH AT ALL AND LET THE STUPID WENGER PLAYED ONLY EIGHT AGAINST ELEVEN OF FULLHAM. TO ME DIABY, FABIANSKI, SILVESTRE ARE GOING TO COST US THE THIRD PLACE, WENGER IS A GOAT, BECAUSE HE IS A STUBBORN FOOLS, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU BEAT THE GOAT, IT WOULD DEFINATELY RETURNS. HE NEVER LEARN, HE IS SO BLIND THAT HE COULDN’T SEE BEYOND HIS NOSE, TELL ME WHAT QUALITY DO FABIANSKI PROCESS, I SAW NOTHING IN HIM, DIABY SLUGGARD PLAYER, SILVESTRE DOMMY, PLAYING LIKE SOME ONE THAT HAS NO FOOTBALL BRAIN, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU INCLUDING YOUR MANAGER.

    ARSENAL IS MY CLUB, BUT I CAN NEVER SUPPORT WENGER IN MY LIFE, BECAUSE HE IS A USELESS MANAGER, INCLUDING THE SO CALLED HIS PLAYERS (DIABY, SILVESTRE, DENILSON, BENDTNER, FABIANSKI) SHOULD ALL GO, THEY CAN NEVER BECOME GOOD PLAYERS, NEVER NEVER NEVER WOULD THAT HAPPEN, THOSE LAZY BASTARDS. WHERE ARE THE DETERMINATIONS, FIRES AND HUNGERS IN YOU GUYS EYES OR BODIES, LOOK AT SPURS TEAM, WITH A BIG SPIRITS AND DETERMINATIONS, BUT NOT ARSENAL PLAYERS, THEY ARE DISGRACED, NOT ALL OF THEM THOUGH. THE USELESS AMONG THEM KNOWS THEMSELVES

  • joe71

    The injuries at Arsenal shows there is something fundamentally wrong with our medical team, or some of our playing staff are simply not strong enough. I think it is more to do with the latter.

    Arsenal have always had a lot of injuries.I mentioned this to Pat Rice 2 years ago at the emirates, he felt it was bad luck. This is not bad luck, it is bad management. How can we consistently have more injuries than any other top side for years and years ? The only exception was when we went the whole season unbeaten – the injuries then hit our reserves rather than our 1st eleven.

    Wenger need to do something about his medical team and stop buying tiny, biscuit boned players – go back to tradition and think more in terms of strong 6+ footers of the Henry, Sol and Vieira calibre. Such players need skill as well, and not big for nothing Bendtners. Oh! I forgot, the players I am talking about for us to buy will cost more than £10m and we do not have any money.

  • hartwick89

    Q SolA,

    You are a useless fan….All the things you cover have nothing to do with the article at hand! The other thing is everything you speak is pure opinion and has no logical end…I would put my son on to have a debate but even he would become frustrated…

  • hartwick89

    PS he is 3! And 71 are you an MD? Arsenal accountant? Then shut the F##k up!

  • walter

    When we rolled all over the teams in the beginning of the season all our players were without injury and had fresh legs and heads.
    We played great football in most games and there was a high pressure all over the field.
    It all began falling to pieces when the first injury wave hit us. The Bendtner-RVP combination who both worked very hard not only attacking wise but also by defending high on the pitch came to an end. Arshavin also worked rather hard in the beginning of the season but when he was alone left he couldn’t keep up that hard work and the replacements couldn’t perform the high pressing anymore. Mostly because they are not born attackers except Eduardo who did try to work hard.
    But to do the 433 you must have 3 attacking players that are willing to work very hard and we missed them a lot.
    So a 442 could be a good thing and then next season we will see what happens.

  • John

    I believe the 4-3-3 could work but its cruical that it reverts to a 4-5-1 when we not in posession thisrequires a great deal from players in the positions played by Arshivan and Nasri i.e. to be aware they need to get back in position when we dont have the ball.

    I would have liken to seen more from them in this regard this season and if they tired well thats what Vela/Rosicky and Walcott are they for?

  • John

    I seen David James is available on a free I know he had his moments in the pastbut he has matured into a fine GK and is better than anything we have and would plug the gap until Scenzey is ready.

    Stephen Irealnd is ready to leave City along with SWP why not take them both. SWP is a proper winger(ie can ran at a defense and beat people) and Ireland is a good box to box centre mid much better than Denilson. Also they wouldnt cos a bomb might get the two for €15M

    Cahill will cost but maybe a deal can be done if Jack is going back there next season and dependng how he performs could even loan Bartley?

    Total spend €30M

    Laeving Alumnia (1M), Gallas (Free), Silverte (Free), Taore (2.5M), Denilson (4M), Rosicky (5M), Eduardo (5M) Total 17.5M

    Team line up below note Nasri or Arshivan could cover CescS postion if injury and alot of the forward line are interchangable ie V Persie can play up front.

    Whats cruical is two wide forward men get back and help the middle/full backs….. if Nasri/Arshivan are having a lazy day or are tired having worked there socks off bring them off for some freash legs

    James

    (Fabinaski)

    Sagna Cahill Vermanlen Clichy

    (Eboune) (Sol) (Djourou) (Gibbs)

    Song Ireland

    (Eastmond) (Ramsey)

    Fabregas

    Narsi/Wright Phillips V Persie/Arshivan

    (Walcott) (Vela)

    Chamakh/Nicky

  • RedGun

    Q Sola Thats the greatest load of rubbish I have ever read as a reply here.

    Moving on I dont think at the moment we have the right type of players to play 442 and it would be eaiser to improve the 433 system by closing down and pressing more when we dont have the ball.
    The 442 our wingers and backs dont work enough for eachother and they do not defend well enough as a unit to many light weight less phyiscal type players that are to attack minded.

  • eduardo

    henderson will not be a sub tomorrow, he played for youths on friday, 120 minutes plus penalites, and he will be playing in youth final on tuesday at the emirates. Lansbury almost certain to be in the squad, as could JET

  • Paul

    Hello Tony,
    I think the way that we have performed this season when the whole team was fit and pLaying well was excellent. I think the players thrived on the freedom that the 433 formation gave them. Now I know that all the doubters who have started drifting on to this site will start the usual ” When there up against stiff opposition they crumble ” but this season like any other has been a learning one. Every Gooner would love to have a double, or a champions league every single year but it’s not going to happen every single year, but it has happened in the past and it will again. When things go wrong it’s easy to point the finger at the Boss or the players. I don’t have blind faith but I do have faith. In Arsenal, Arsene and all the players. They are Arsenal players after all and that’s who I support. So no matter what they play tomorrow I will be supporting them until the end.
    Loved the quote from Sami.

    “I am happy to be here and want to stay. There is no need to go elsewhere, I am 22 and do not want to leave.
    I am at a big European club, who are a real player in the Premier League and in Europe, with a manager who is one of the best in the world, and with great players too.

    Wouldn’t you just love more of our players to come out and say things along these lines more often.
    I think he’ll be awsome next season along with a few more of the lads.

    COME ON YOU GOONERS.

  • Lanre

    I think Q Sola is a nigerian(judging by the name). Guess u guys see people what i put up with here in nigeria. Funny, arsenal fans are so good that we know how much players will cost and who and who will be leaving the club. Re: John. Sorry Tony, that wasn’t related to the article. Couldnt help myself.

  • hartwick89

    @amel,

    Which means AM E Load of @!it; Walcott not worthy? Now you are playing with a half of cards…

    Myself personally Walcott, who is all English will be the player to reckon with! Faster than Henry scouted by Wenger at aged 15 and playing with him since 16… Show me the rest of of your deck because I believe you are an imposter. You give a perfect example of amel throughout your post!

  • hartwick89

    @Paul,

    I agree with you. And, by the way can you see tinies in CL next year? Seems imaginable… First, the rigours… Second, the quality of play? Third, you cannot hide. All the praise of top four you need a manager with that type of experience. Who is that? Tinies… Welcome to the big league!

  • Ian Trevett

    Big game today. If we lose 3rd place the Doom and Gloomers will be everywhere.
    There is a lot of pressure on this game.
    Spurs have done well to get where are, but they have spent fortunes every season on transfers and have spectacularly under-achieved for ages. They had to get something right sometime.
    Still what ever happens today, it will be memorable for me. My 9-year-old son has won a Junior Gunners competition and is playing on the pitch after the game. Hopefully that will round of a good day rather than taking my mind off the unthinkable of losing 3rd to Spurs.
    Enjoy the game if you’re going. Show your appreciation for the boss when he needs it most.

  • Ian – a billion congratulations.

    Tony

  • Ian Trevett

    ThanksTony – Luckily he plays better than I do

  • Good call eduardo – would you like to do the team line up predictions next season?