A few days ago I watched the Reading – Arsenal game again, and this time I listened with a bit more care to what Theo and Jack had to say when they were interviewed by Sky Sports after the game.
Arsenal had just played some fantastic football, and Theo Walcott had played up-front from the start of the match for the first time. Wilshere had battled in midfield like a true warrior, but the night really belonged to Santi Cazorla, who had scored a hat trick and produced a fine assist for Theo’s goal, our fifth on the night, as well. But I reckon Santi’s English is nowhere near good enough to be interviewed by the monolingual English media, so both Theo and Jack were asked to step forward.
When asked whether we had seen a bit of the old Arsenal again, Jack responded: “We showed the old Arsenal today. Obviously, we have to tighten defensively: we gave a few sloppy goals away. Theo up-front and Chambo on the wing – it was great and we played some of the old stuff, and we need to continue that going forward.”
That seems to be quite a statement of what Jack sees as ‘playing like the old Arsenal’: Theo up-front and the Ox ‘Chambo’ on the right. In the same interview he also said that Theo and Santi had been ‘different class’ on the night.
I wonder whether Jack inadvertently let slip how the team is going to play more regularly from now on, during that interview.
Since then, Arsenal have indeed played with Theo in the middle and the Ox on the right, and it is starting to look like this might well be our ‘Plan-A’ from now on: Pod on the left, Theo in the middle and Ox on the right wing.
But where does this leave Giroud? Does it mean, he will become our ‘Plan-B’ and start most games on the bench, or will Wenger swap attacking systems and formations depending on the opposition?
The latter seems unlikely: it just is not Arsene’s way. He likes to have one all-encompassing system which concurs all, rather than adjust the system of football/formation depending on who we are up against.
But I can also not see Arsene demoting Giroud to his Plan-B, and leave him on the bench in most games.
So this leaves me with Herb’sArmy’s question from this afternoon, could we/ should we move to 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1)? I reckon if we were to do a poll the vast majority of fans would really want it.
For me 4-4-1-1 needs a creative genius behind the striker who also can score a lot of goals, which would be either: Cazorla, Rosicky, Wilshere, or Ox. Ox and Wilshere still have to start scoring goals regularly, and Rosicky does also not have the best goal scoring record. So that would leave us with Cazorla as the best candidate at this stage.
But what about 4-4-2, with Giroud and Theo working very close together, and getting service from four multi-disciplined/talented midfielders: Arteta, Wilshere, Ox, and Santi? There is back up from Podolski, Rosicky, Ramsey, Coquelin, Diaby (??), and hopefully Arsene will buy a DM in January as well. It would also mean that Arsenal would need to buy another striker as back up, in case of injury/suspension to either Theo or OG, this January.
Giroud and Theo offer everything a strike force needs to have, and a force it would be. I must say, my mouth is watering all over the key board thinking about 4-4-2 with the personnel we have available, and the possible additions we could see this January.
But what do you think?
Written by: Total Arsenal.