WHY ARTETA SHOULD BEGIN TO USE THE 3:4:3 FOR THE 1ST TEAM. (TACTICAL MUSING).
The last 4 goals conceded by us were all from set pieces which are defended by the whole team. Apart from our 2 central defenders in Luis and Mustafi, the rest of our outfield players, including our full backs (Saka and Bellerin) are all not good at defending balls in the air. A third central defender (Sokratis, Pablo or Holding) would instantly improve our aerial defending and as well make us more dangerous attacking set-pieces in the opposition box.
Currently Arteta uses the 4:2:3:1 but at the same time uses Saka as a wingback. It has a down side in that it hinders the forward movement of our double pivot as Xhaka is forced to cover Saka’s rear leaving his pivot partner with greater grounds to hold defensively. In a 3:4:3, wingbacks (Saka and Bellerin) have more leeway participating in attacking opponent’s territory without the coach having to be forced to inhibit the vertical roles of his central midfieders.
A back-3 with wingbacks providing width would also free Aubamayant from his wing role (where he is absolutely average if his goals are discounted) to concentrate more on what he does best, score goals.
A 3:4:3 therefore is a formation that is better suited to the skillsets of Bellerin, Saka (attacking) and Aubamayang (scoring goals). Also a change to a back-3 would give more allowance for the forward movement of our central midfielders as opposed to the modified 4:2:3:1 that has been in use. Finally it would improve our set-piece plays, defending and attacking.
There are 11matches to go in the PL, ie 33 pts to play for. We can dare to keep dreaming of a CL spot because many of the teams above us are haemorrhaging points profously but first we have to discover and be at our ruthless best.
Obviously our current modified 4:2:3:1 has not seen us anywhere close to our best. It has particularly failed in producing enough chances for the team. Arteta’s PL average of 9.4 shots per game would have sat us BOTTOM of the table. City at 19.8 shots per game (2.1 times ours) leads the Premiership. No wonder they’ve scored 1.7 times more goals than us (68 to our 39 goals).
It is said that nothing ventured is nothing gained. We desperately need to gain.The good news is that Arteta changed to a 3:4:3 late against Olympiacos. He probably has concluded that the time to venture is come.