Gervinho is injured and will soon depart for the ACN, Theo does not want to sign a new contract until he is promised he will be played centrally, Podolski wants to play centrally as well, and Ryo is on loan at Wigan. Arshavin is no longer in Arsene’s plans and prefers to play centrally too, as does The Ox.
Nobody is passionate about playing on the wing except Gervinho and youngster Gnabry, and yet we play a 4-3-3 system in which good, classical wing-play is essential for it to succeed.
I have not totally given up on our 4-3-3 system, but without adequate wing-play and our midfield regularly being overrun by the opposition, I reckon it is the major reason why Arsenal look so shapeless, and are unable to dominate games as much as we used to do.
Just like during big parts of last season, Arsenal are currently no longer looking like the Arsenal we became so used to over the years. Gone are the times of total dominance in midfield and control of the game, and of creating a large number of chances in a single game. Our defence, midfield and attack work like individual units, and we are struggling to play as a whole team: a cohesive group of players who know what is expected of them, and what to expect of the others.
Ever since Chamakh was replaced by the then fit again van Judas, back in January 2011, Arsenal have played in the current
4-4-3 4-3-3 system. Arsenal have never managed to get above the 2.0 goals per game average, whilst the traitorous Dutchman was our main striker.
During the first half of the 2010-2011 season, Arsenal knew how to dominate games and we scored about 2.4 goals per game. We played 4-5-1 with Chamakh as our ‘holding striker’. Often playing with his back towards the opposition’s goal; he would shield the ball well, and allow the midfielders to bounce the ball of him in order to come closer to the goal and have enough time to pick a deadly pass, or attempt to score themselves.
I was convinced that Arsene would go back to our previous 4-5-1 system after the traitor was sold. With Giroud, Arsene has bought a better version of Chamakh, and with an overabundance of capable midfielders, it seemed logical to me he would revert back to this highly successful formation.
As 4-3-3 is not working, I would love it if Arsene reverted back to 4-5-1. We could play Giroud alone up-front – I am sure he would love that – but we also have the Pod who could play in such a system.
In midfield: Jack, Arteta and Cazorla are automatic first choices in the centre of the 5, whilst on the edges Arsene could play the likes of Santos, Coquelin, Ox, Podolski, Theo, Ramsey, and Rosicky and Diaby (if they ever get fit again!). On top of that, we have talents like Gnabry and Eisfeld coming through quickly and they would have a better chance to fit into a 4-5-1 system than in the current, tactically demanding, 4-3-3 system.
It would allow us to start dominating games once more, and with that, find our identity again.
Our defence would benefit massively as they would get a lot more protection from the solid midfield in front of them; whilst the wing-backs can enjoy themselves again with surging forward runs and effective wing-play – Gibbs, Sagna and Jenkinson are ideal for this.
As a team we would score more and the goals would be shared between the forward(s) and midfielders; making us less dependent on the strikers, as is the case in the current 4-3-3 system.
It would not take much for Arsene and Steve to restructure the team into a 4-5-1 formation, and I am pretty sure it would suit the current squad of players really well.