How to Mash the Spuds: 3-4-3, 4-2-1-3 or 4-3-3? Tactical Musings.

A pivotal NLD awaits us. The Spuds lost two in a row and we won two. They still had a chance to win the league but needed at least four point to stay in touch with Pool and Citeh. They could be three points behind Pool but now look at a nine point gap; they could be ten points ahead of the mighty Gunners but now the N-L rivals are just four points apart. It has been bright and sunny over the last week and, as we all know, the Spuddies only thrive when it’s dank, dark and miserable. It will be relatively warm and dry this afternoon, so let’s finish the gap-closing job in style.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores Arsenal's second goal

A Gunners’ win would reduce the gap to just one point and that just over six calendar days! It would be THE turning point in the Spuds and Arsenal seasons, as that would condemn the knuckle-draggers to a dirty top-four fight with us, the Mancs and Chavs; and it would give us the belief and further impetus to finish in the top-four. Today is crucial for both teams, let there be no doubt about it. It is a six-pointer game with our most detested rivals; it is a battle that is very likely to determine the outcome of the war. Let’s get the cannon loaded; it’s time to blast the silly skinny chicken of the ball. 🙂

Which team is going to do it? It depends whether we play 4-2-1-3 (4-3-3) or 3-4-3. I reckon Emery will go for the latter, with possible these starting 11.

Emery’s 3-4-3(?):

submit football lineup

I am not sure who he will play on the right in midfield, but reckon it will be either Licht or Rambo (not sure how fit AMN is but that could work too). I have a preference for Rambo but only if he fully commits, which I have not seen him doing since he signed for the Italian barcodes.

This formation would give us attacking options on the left – where the partnership between Kola-Iwobi is blossoming – and right – where Mkhi has made a big difference recently. The only problem with this formation is that it will ask a lot from both Xhaka and Torreira. They will need to play with discipline and protect the back-three; yet they also need to provide the midfield creativity and attacking passes. It also means that either Iwobi or Mkhi – or indeed Laca – will need to make themselves available in ‘the hole’ area to fill the gap there, and this may not be ideal for us against the Spuds.

Emery’s 4-2-1-3(?)

The alternative is to play 4-2-1-3 and allow either Rambo or Ozil (my preference all day long) to boss ‘the hole’. This would allow Xhaka-Torreira to boss the midfield without taking too much risk, and against the Spuds it is all about winning the midfield battle. It would still allow us to operate our wing-partnerships, even though it would be with different personnel. It would give us that extra bit of creativity in front of the Spuds’ ‘D’ and therefore make us less predictable. But it requires our ‘wingers’ to support the full backs and central midfield players constantly, and Rambo/Ozil to go deep now and again and support midfield.

It could look like this (4-2-1-3):

submit football lineup

I believe the above 11/formation would suit us best to conquer the Spuds at Wembley, as long as the instructions are clear to cover the space left behind when we are attacking. It would have been great to have Bellerin available for this one, but other than that we are lucky to have such a good starting 11 fit and available in early March.

Emery’s 4-3-3(?)

Alternatively, we could see a 4-3-3 with either Rambo or Guendouzi next to Xhaka-Torreira and that would definitely strengthen the midfield from a defence point of view.

It could look like this, and the more I think about it the more I believe Emery might go for it (4-3-3):

submit football lineup

I have a good feeling about this one: 2-1 to the good guys (Auba, as a sub, to do the manage in the last 30 minutes)!

What would be your preferred formation and starting-11? What is your predicted score?

COME ON YOU RIP ROARING GUNNERS!!!

By TotalArsenal.

118 thoughts on “How to Mash the Spuds: 3-4-3, 4-2-1-3 or 4-3-3? Tactical Musings.

  • Great to have you back, TA/one and all!

    Fine time to be back too, as we go on a run. It’s more likely a 4-2-3-1, seeing as it’s worked a treat (the odd change in tactics was to throw off Spurs tactical plans) the past few games. Since Ozil played full 90 minutes last time out, likely he starts from the bench. Other than those two, hard to second guess Emery’s team even though I imagine it will be close to the one you suggested for that formation.

  • Team sheets are out:
    Arsenal
    Leno, Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Iwobi, Lacazette

    Subs: Cech, Ozil, Torreira, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Suarez, Kolasinac.

    Tottenham
    Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Kane

    Subs: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Davies, Skipp, Lamela, Lucas, Llorente.

  • As we all know, form goes out the window in the NLD, so one can only hopefully the good guys win.
    No(t much) live blogging for me on this one. Got to be concentrated. 😀

  • Wowsa, the blog lives!!

    I’m actually up early for this one having not seen a lot of Arsenal due to almost all of February in Mexico. Now I’m back (but only briefly, mostly for snow removal/family survival)… and I thought…Well, I’ve got to watch the NLD as it happens…

    Looking for a live-blog, I thought I’d check here and…like I say, Wowsa…

  • And, TA, you picked (nearly) the (freakshow of a) lineup!!

    Unfortunately, looking at it, I’ve got a BAD feeling about this one….

  • But, Maybe Unai Knows…

    Going out in the cups (at home) to both these teams (Spurs, ManU) we play over these critical weekends, for me, doesn’t bode well…

    On the other hand, maybe it allows for concentration and playing the remaining two comps with a deeper squad that can be rotated for both freshness and competition (for places)… It seems a VERY big 180 minutes, starting with the 90 here. And, admittedly, playing the NLD at (spacious) Wembley instead of Wet Fart seems better…

    We have kick off!!

  • Left-Cazette!!! Not quite…

    Was it bad enough to deserve having his face torn off by Wanyama… Also, not quite… A bit of time to recover from some Spurs pressure as Alex rebuilds his cheek and mouth… Lively start…

  • Hey guys, really good to hear from you. 🙂

    I was going to the pub and watch it, but when I saw the line-up the courage deserted me. 😦

    Still hoping for a miracle.

  • Mexico is still “in process…” My car is still down there but I’ve flown back for 3 weeks to help my people dig out of the snow. What’s up in your world?…

    You called the line-up (except for leaving the little guy out…) so why no courage?…

    Also good to see the folks who kept checking in and have popped up in the comments… Hi to Eris, JW, JK…

  • RAMSEY!!!

    After Kane dallied looking for a pen instead of a shot…

  • There you go, Rambo scores who I would not have selected. Really important to score first, but now it will be a proper game. Bring on Torreira now and keep it tight! 🙂

  • The Terror of Torino!!! It was slow as Serie Ahhhh… but just as nice…

  • Agreed, TA, the game (maybe all games?…) “needed” a goal… Spurs deep mids will now need to participate in the attack and that could open things on the counter…

  • Spurs set piece goal was a thing of beauty… As was the linesman doing his job…

    Spurs might need that 12th man (the crowd? the ref?) but they are a bit more on the front foot. We’re better on the counter, IMO, with Mkhi than we ever were with Alexis… The next goal is REALLY critical…

  • Spurs trying to be physical.
    Sanchez and Wanyama have fouled Laca thrice already.

    jw1.

  • I’m actually pretty impressed with how we’re playing and possession (for Spurs) and playing deep will give us chances on the break. Set pieces (and the ref…) will be critical. So too will the substitutions. Our attackers are working very hard getting back and doing hold up work…

    Iwobi only just misses with his placement but Lloris almost didn’t get a solid arm to it…

    Trippier will get his crosses in, but, so far, we’ve been on hand to cut them out…

  • Wowsa, double save from Leno. Like Iwobi’s, the shots had power but needed better placement. Lightning reflexes from our keeper, however…

    HT and we go in with a lead…That’s huge…

  • Brilliant– really brilliant on Leno’s part!
    Where we’ve had our worst tendencies just before half this season.

    jw1

  • Me, a combo of taurine and guarano– part of a supplement cocktail. 😉

    jw1

  • I guess Emery will not make any changes yet (which I would not do either now). Having Tor, Mesut and Auba and Kola on the bench is of course great in terms of options to change the game in the second half.

  • Hey JW… How’ve you been?…

    Replay shows that Leno had to see the shot from one side (of Sok + Eriksen) and block the return shot from the other… The save from Eriksen was luckier as he was a bit stuck on his line but out enough that his body was in the right spot for the finish Eriksen chose…

    It was really key to reward the hard work of the first 11 by going in with the lead. Now it’s a 14 v 14 game and our bench has some quality ready to play…

  • I used to drink that stuff (sometimes) when I played that game of ours JW… My opinion? It should be banned… 😉

  • Hey, welcome to you too, 17ht. Nice to hear(read?) from you at this time.
    It’s been a proper derby with both sides showing the nerves that suggest they know how important the points are here. I’m not feeling the energy from the forward line though, especially Iwobi, not supporting Monreal forcefully, but then, it may all be the manager’s instructions to keep steady but it isn’t the kind of game (attrition) you expect to see Arsenal in.

    Changes? Hard to say who goes out seeing as we are ahead and may be thinking of holding onto this one goal. Who knows? But, certainly, Torreira will help win back balls and Aubameyang will keep Trippier thinking of what’s behind him. If only he could do some hold up play and back tracking, he would have been perfect as replacement for Iwobi. But there’s a reason he didn’t start against Bournemouth so, here’s hoping he pays back the manager’s trust. Ozil too could help keep ball at some point and all this is barring any silly injuries.

  • Will suppose at some juncture next half Torreira comes on for Xhaka.
    Granit had a pair of bookable plays in the first half. Anthony Taylor less forgiving as the match wears on.

    jw1

  • How it would really get things going if we can nick a second goal early in the 2nd half. Nerves will really set in. Make no mistake about it, Spurs will come out at us in the second half so, we’ve got to be ready.

  • TA, you’ll need to translate that one for me… I do favor the clear liquors… My current drink of choice looks girly but isn’t… (Skyy) Vodka, Campari, Lime…

  • Ah! Forgot about Kolasinac. He could be the change for Iwobi, if it comes down to it.

  • Torreira on for Guendouzi. Right call I think, so Xhaka has to be careful now.

  • Good comments, Erismus. Iwobi just has that special ability to create space with the ball at his feet, so lets keep him on. Kola for Nacho could be the better option.

  • Our guys looked pretty leggy, so the subs will be key. LT coming on for Guendo… I think that’s the perfect move. 19 year old legs and all… If this group can get us to an hour, then Auba and Ozil could help put it away… If not?… Well, then we’ll need them even more…

  • I too forgot about Kola… Nozil in this one, I guess… ;(

    In my view, you’re not gonna completely stop the Spurs right side (Trippier and Sissoko) but the combo of Kos and Monreal has contained them and been perfectly placed in deeper positions…

    Just there, Trippier couldn’t figure out what to do and blows it over everyone….

  • Back to the drinking… Mexican limes (the plant is Persian, however?…) are the best thing that ever happened to liquor. And, if they bring it to me with my beer, I know I’m in the wrong restaurant…

  • Oh no… Laca misses the icing on the perfectly built cake (of a 2nd goal)…

  • Auba on for Laca. I think he’s not been the same since Nwayama nearly took his jaw apart. Well, the hard worker is off for the poacher so some long balls for the foot race on goal. Now, for Ozil, the man who can find him that way.

  • Was that a good header from Mustafi… Once we saw it was only side netting, perhaps it was…

    Over to you, JW…;)

    Auba for Laca… 2 subs used by the 55th minute, the Emery Revolution in the flesh, right?…

  • Had you checked in for Wednesday’s post HT? You’d seen where I’d lauded Mustafi for his play of late.

    jw1

  • Iwobi and Nacho get the ball off Trippier… Lamela on for Wanyama so Eriksen becomes more of a quarterback… Mustafi doesn’t need to push out his arm there…gets away with it, though…

  • I’ll go catch up with the comments at some point, JW… With our issues at RB, Mustafi seems an interesting idea, the proofs in the pudding (or side netting or refs whistle or something…

    Oh shite, I might have to go on the roof to clean the dish… Too MUCH snow!!!

  • Well, was accommodating of Pochettino to start Rose at WB opposite Mustafi today.

    jw1

  • OK, the dish has been swept… (And the score is still level!!!) What’d I miss?…

  • Uh oh… Mustafi is called for a pen… I bow to JW… Completely unnecessary shove…

  • Penalty for Spurs. Kane was offside for that one so, controversial decision. 1-1. Momentum with the hosts now.

  • To think we should be 2 up, had Auba’s touch been better when put through by Mkhi.

  • I never played nice when eating those Excel pills–taurine, guarana, what else… So, at least you tried (JW)…

  • No Lucas Moura? That seems an error to me, but What (TF) do I know…

    Mustafi cross almost like one the Bellerin haters would’ve enjoyed…though it lacked both placement and pace…

  • Not the face, not the face… My wife is more in love with Kos than ever…though she misses the more bird-like hair cut…

    Lots of Route One and flopping dudes out there… Both teams happy enough with a draw?…

  • Another chuckle… Those drugs you’re taking have you laser-sharp, J-Dub…

  • Side story for the Hammer from Houston as more players writhe on the ground… I got a ride from the Bay Area and hosted GW from Charlotte (formerly Austin…) over the past couple of days. He’s in the Area to watch his son play at the Stanford Invitational (for Cal Poly-SLO, ranked #5 in the country)…

  • But he is not punished despite another fine delivery… Auba tries to pass but behind Ozil…

  • Now everything is getting called… What did lil’ Lucas do wrong there…Oh, replay shows the studs were a bit high… Is this game over yet? I turned off the sound a while ago…

  • 1-1

    A result most would have taken (been gleeful to take?…) beforehand but one which feels very disappointing right now? I don’t know as I don’t really follow too closely without y’all…

    The bigger match seems ManU but now a draw (in that one) might feel like not quite enough…

    Maybe?…

  • What a close shave for Spurs. We should be winning this one. Auba will be looking at himself and thinking he has had two bites on the penalty and hasn’t scored.
    We have come to Wembley and given them a game while also putting a first D in their log this season. Hopefully, we don’t rue the misses today. I hope some of the pundits who have been giving Spurs the props regularly will back of some now. Only trouble here is we stand to lose our place in the top four, depending on how the games go with Chelsea and United.

  • Anyhow, THAT was the most fun I’ve had around English football in quite a while… If others are sticking around, I’d go for a 2nd espresso and stay at it too…

    Otherwise, it’s back to the shoveling… 😮

  • TA, I am having to record my details for each post. How do I fix it to have my entry saved, as it always was?

  • A draw v MU would still be okay but yeah a win would be superb. Long way to go and Arsenal have some tricky away fixtures to deal with till the end of the season.

    Off now. Thanks for commenting guys. Have a fab remainder of the weekend.

  • It looked to me like LT11 was slowing himself down as he won that ball… Any chance he could get that card overturned? A(n orangish) yellow would not mean a 3 match ban… They don’t look at stuff if the ref sees it on the pitch?…

  • Eris, there’s a “remember me” box you can check on the page that shows what you’re trying to submit…at least when I did it (first comment this morning)…

  • I rue their offside pen and i rue our own pen not scored. That should put us at the back seat with chavs and manu** yet to play their games. Now the aim is to win all our games to have a shot at 4th place.

  • Thanks, 17ht. Will check it now.
    …props regularly will back off some…****

  • …”there was…” I meant to add… (for Eris…)

    Yes, there’s much to rue… (for JK) but that’s football, isn’t it?… Both CFs had shots to bury that failed. Not playing our other best attacker (Kolasinac) maybe means that Emery got the result he was playing for?…

    You’ve got mail (from November, but still… for JW), Also, what were you seeing that was good about that Mustafi guy? Needs to shave his head or otherwise remove the idiot-hat he’s wearing, no?…

  • Didn’t see a “remember me” box. I’ll just tick everything I find and see how it goes afterwards.

  • I wonder about Spurs and Pochettino…

    It’d be kinda convenient if Spurs limped into 4th place (or worse) for Poch to slink off to Madrid, maybe taking Kane (or Eriksen) with him. Truth be told, I haven’t been paying much attention to these things and I don’t listen to the commentators here… Reading Marca or AS would be good for my Spanish, however…

  • I’m no computer guy but maybe (after my espresso) I can go undercover and see if I can change things for you, Eris

  • So, Eris, in order to pretend I was TA I got a log-in page…with a remember-me box… Are you not getting this?

  • Tried it all. Not getting it. The thing is it was in order for my first post of the day. Afterwards, had to type in details each time. Will see if it changes some time later. Thanks.

  • Southampton get the opening goal at Old Trafford (and look to keep coming for more)… Inneresting…

    OK, time to put on my blue box and go snooping around the inner workings of TA’s blog…

  • Was thinking we should be okay when they come to us on Sunday after their morale would have been affected by PSG, only to realize we are also at Rennes on Thursday. Crikey!

  • Hey there… Undercover 17yo here…

    I lost the 2nd half of the ManU game to the nastiest stickiest snow ever…but, I agree ^^^…

    Eris, all I can think is that maybe you have some alter egos on other wordpress blogs and that you need to log out of them. For example, if I click on log out/change down below this comment box and I enter my 17highburyterrace info, I can become myself only for a single comment. I’m able to log out more permanently only by clicking on my (or TA’s…) avatar icon in the upper right hand corner of the sites toolbar… Maybe you could try that…

    Speaking of which, If I’m gonna keep posting here I need to change avatars… Does Elneny still play for (or at least get paid by) Arsenal?…

  • Hmmm, 17ht. For some reason, I did click on the avatar icon, for no other reason than curiousity, ‘cos I am not given to adding pics to sites. Could that have logged me out, somehow or changed my WordPress recognition? I do have an alter ego on other sites but it is no more than I have always had while posting on here all that while back.

  • Eris–
    Your WordPress credentials won’t change site to site. Though cookies can.
    Example– if you login on one page on a site, then move to another page to comment– it could request you re-enter. A cookie was created for the first page’s form– but the second is a ‘different’ form. Either the site will produce the cookie and you’ll have to agree to save it on your device– or your browser be set to save login/pwd crdentials for specific sites.

    jw1

  • Okay, jw1. The thing is I don’t (and never) get/got an option to “save” my details on this site. Now, if it is about login/pwd, that’s a different matter. Below this comment box, you have the instruction to ‘fill in your details or click an icon to log in:’. Hitherto, I had my email and Name automatically in place and didn’t need to fill any detail.

    Do you suggest I register with WordPress, for this site, so I may click the icon to log in?

  • Yes Eris, i got myself registered with WP only for commenting on this site. Am not a fan of others, though i read articles on arseblog from time to time.

    Cookies forbid, but i guess logging out and clearing the cookies will be a huge help in solving your issue.

    Cheers,
    JK

  • Nice to see you back Total, shame about yesterday after such an impressive performance by the lads, but the ‘process’ looks like it’s producing some encouraging results.
    I thought that Iwobi and Mkhitaryan were very good and Sokratis was a giant at the heart of our defence. To me Emery got his tactics spot on, only our finishing let us down.

    Man Utd have had a sign over us in recent years, we just cannot beat them.
    They’ll come to the Emirates confident after beating us in the cup and in the midst of their unbeaten run, so it’s going to be tough, not least getting the ball past their goalkeeper.

    But first, let’s get a positive result in France…

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