Signings Indicate Arteta to go 3-4-3: His Best Team Plus One More Signing?

Arteta probably needs one more quality signing to complete the Revolution…

arteta in black

Well the club have announced the signings of a number of defenders this week, and this will not go down well with everybody, no doubt. The criticism of Mari is that he does not appear to be fast, and Soares is a ‘cast-off’ apparently…. And then there is David Luiz’s one more year at Arsenal announcement that will have a large part of the fans fuming.

I cannot say to be overexcited but we have to trust Arteta here. He works with the players, is a man with a plan and really does know more about football than you and me together x 10.

The Lego-Man is building something and with Mari and Luiz he has strong characters who can guide our younger CBs whilst doing a job for us on the field too. With the highly promising but still young Saliba finally joining us next season, Arteta will have options to shape his defence; and with so many CBs at his disposal – Mustafi, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Luiz, Big Sok and Saliba – he may well be thinking to go to three at the back.

That is six good players for three CB positions if you ask me. One or two may leave but then Arteta may well promote some youngsters in that case.

With Soares, Bellerin, Tierney and Kolasinac we have double cover on the wingback positions, which is another indication that we are going for a 3-4-3 formation. Saka and possibly Nelson could also play on the outsides of the ‘4’ in the middle of the pitch. Arteta will have options to spare once everybody is fully fit.

Key with a 3-4-3 is to dare to push up most of the game and not sit too deep. If the latter is the case it is very hard for the central midfielders to connect with the three attackers, leaving too much space between the two lines (as we could see yesterday v Southampton). This can partly be resolved with a hybrid nr10/b2b midfielder in the middle of the three up-front but that is asking a hell of a lot from such a player… it would have to be one beast of a player.

The heart of our midfield is of course the key area for Arteta to get right. I expect a signing here as to freshen things up. Or will Arteta promote one of the youngsters? BKers keep telling me Matt Smith may be the ONE…

If it is going to be 3-4-3 then we need a complimentary mix of defensive and attacking skills in midfield. Both players must know how to defend and how to support the attack, and they have to become a machine-like, automatic duo.

Torreira and Xhaka together is somehow not working as well as you (well I) would expect. For me Granit Xhaka is a keeper and I hope he will stay. I really like Torreira too but he somehow has not settled at Arsenal and it would not surprise me if he were to move on. Guendouzi we discussed in a previous post, and I would like him to be the understudy for Xhaka (and not play next to Granit if Arteta can help it).

The one player who should revel in a 3-4-3 formation is Super Joey Willock. Joe has that all-round skills-base to be the complete midfielder. But he is still young and we need experience in that position to really make this formation work. Willock should be the understudy and Arteta may have to buy the final piece in the jigsaw…

I am not worried about our attack at all. Plenty of options there and once they start getting it right, the goals will keep coming.

Joe Willock: The young midfielder thriving for Arsenal and ...

Any thoughts or suggestions fine fellow BKers (non-regulars are also welcome to comment!!)?

By TotalArsenal.

26 thoughts on “Signings Indicate Arteta to go 3-4-3: His Best Team Plus One More Signing?

  • TA, i saw your scores and very much agreed with you. More passes were towards Auba, we were trying to play upfront, and the whole team seemed more eager to win this game. We had our fair share of heart in the mouth moments too, as they could not find the back of the net.

    For me, Willock will bring fluidity to the midfield, but we are missing someone that can single handedly cause opponents to drop their pants in the midfield. We had Vieira, but after he left we were nowhere near.

  • I actually felt much better about our defending, 84. It would have taken something special to score and only Ings had one or two moments of Saints’ quality to offer. Ceballos and Xhaka struggled to keep up the tempo in the end but that was understandable given the heat etc. AMN and Willock brought new energy and that saw us through.

    A pants dropper is what we need then, hey? 😀

  • not over-excited about soares/mari/luiz is an understatement, as far as i’m concerned, all the more so since osei-tutu is doing remarkably well in germany, and what about mavropanos (i’ve not given up on him), ballard (king of goal-line clearances, according to jeorge bird), medley, swanson, and calum, who was blooming when he got injured?? …
    well, as you say, “mikel knows” … or so i hope
    about matteo, rumour has it in france (“l’équipe”) that he’d be on his way out (for 35M pounds); looks like mikel has come to the very same conclusions as pb in his latest piece – we might see more of smith any time soon, i can’t wait

  • Don’t forget Emile Smith Rowe (currently on loan). He will be an internal replacement for Ozil.

  • LeGallos, it would not surprise me if one or two of Big Sok, Chambers or Holding get sold to make space for one or two youngsters. And yes Mavropanos is also still in the mix. I have a feeling that Mari could be a BFG-like player with the obvious positives and one or two athletic challenges. The combo with Mustafi could become Arteta’s favourite CB pairing with the rest competing for the third CB position. I can also see us play two deeper CB and one Ausputzer CB (slightly in front of the others) with Luiz the obvious candidate.

    ———– Mustafi——————-Mari—————-

  • Good post, TA, with proper lineup with replacements.
    And nice job for congratulating Liverpool. But the bastards deserve it. Played efficient AND attractive, were convincing in all departments, plus they didn’t break our unbeaten record. 🙂

    I would propose only a couple of changes to the line-up structure.
    I think (hope) Kolasinac won’t be sold, and he can be Tierney’s partner at left wingback, while Saka should be the understudy of Martinelli (who will be out for months) on the left wing.
    On the other hand I think we will lose Sokratis. He has a couple of seasons in his career, and we cannot guarantee him the pitch time he got used to while playing for Emery. But Chamber will be back, and his genuine place is at the right side of a back 3.
    I’m not sure Willock is a similar player to Torreira or Xhaka, so I would replace him on the chart with Ceballos (or his successor if we won’t be buying/re-loaning him next season), but would add a 12th position of Ozil/ESR/Willock – showing that one of the positions must be sacrificed each game. Which could be the #10 position of Ozil by default, but could be one of the central defenders (switching to 4-3-3) against a weaker opponent or if we are trailing at half time, one of the central defensive midfielders and playing 3-3-4, but occasionally we can transform into 3-5-2 or even 4-4-2.

  • Regarding summer signings, I don’t know if we have the funds to buy players . especially if we are losing out on CL/EL – but assuming if not, then we have to raise money from the selling of Mkhitaryan, Elneny and Sokratis (possibly adding Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu, Olayinka, Coyle, or John-Jules to the mix).
    If we want to buy a decent player to the midfield (Ceballos, Partey, or anybody else in the same caliber), then we spent all the funds. The good news is that we don’t have to spend on defenders or attackers, as we are well equipped in that departments, even though most fans and pundits demands to spend heavy on CB – namely Upamecano and others – but I think we are alright here…

    If we sell Auba or Laca that’s a different scenario, as we have to either replace them with the same quality or rely on Nketiah (and reinvest the money elsewhere) – but that’s a story for the future.

  • Thanks for the post Total, yes I really enjoyed the way we defended and coped with Danny Ings in particular, some of our playing out from the back had me gripping my armchair but that’s a work in progress, it’s just progressing a lot slower than I wish it would.

    I thought that we set up well from corners, Holding and Mustafi both did well in that regard and the long quick ball down the left flank to Auba was a great weapon, utilised by Tierney and Martinez to great effect, both times we could and probably should have scored.

    Despite the possession stats I thought that we actually created some really good chances and restricted them to scraps.

  • Cheers PB 🙂

    Saka as understudy for Martinelli I am less sure about. I reckon Bukayo is ahead right now and can play anywhere really. If Kola stays that is fine with me but I can see him being moved on if somebody wants him.

    I like the idea of a 12th position as to make changes from one game to another.

    However, Ceballos is not really somebody I get excited about and hope he will return to Madrid this summer. I guess he has a few weeks left to convince everyone that he IS Arsenal material.

  • I think we can sell one of Laca, Auba or Pepe as both Martinelli and Eddie will fill the space, and of course there is also Nelson. That should free up money for a good midfielder we are so desperate for.

  • There’s still a big gap between defenders and attackers,the midfield is a big issue right now and yesterday’s match against the Saints says it all,too many back passes during the match and that spoil the flow of the game.

  • Please find the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of our Emirates FA Cup quarter-final at Sheffield United on Sunday.

    Calum Chambers
    Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on 29 December. Rehabilitation post-surgical repair continuing and currently progressing well with running and gym work. Will not be available for the current schedule of remaining 2019/20 matches.

    Bernd Leno
    Right knee. Sustained moderate ligament sprain during Brighton & Hove (a) on 20 June. Aiming to return to full training in four to six weeks.

    David Luiz
    Available for selection after serving two-match suspension.

    Pablo Mari
    Left ankle. Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments during Manchester City (a) on Wednesday. Has had a successful procedure to the injury this week. Aiming to return to full training in two to three months.

    Gabriel Martinelli
    Left knee. Sustained injury during training on 21 June. Successful arthroscopic procedure undertaken to repair a lesion in the cartilage of the left knee. Will not be available for the current schedule of remaining 2019/20 matches.

    Cedric Soares
    Integrating back into full training following facial injury. Successful procedure has taken place further to nasal fracture sustained in training. Aiming to be available for selection after Sheffield United (a).

    Kieran Tierney
    Available for selection after suffering muscle cramps during Southampton (a) on Thursday.

    Lucas Torreira
    Right ankle. Sustained fracture to right ankle during Portsmouth (a) on 2 March. Progressing well and aiming to return to full training in the forthcoming days.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

    Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  • The media as expected are going totally OTT about Liverpool and their first title in 30 years and that’s why I’ve stayed away from it.

    I just looked at the BBC football page and 15 of their first 25 stories are on Liverpool, don’t they realise that not every football fan in the world is as completely enamoured with Liverpool as they obviously are, pass the sick bag…

    Regarding Sunday, does anyone know if it’s the same 9 subs 5 available in the FACup?

  • kev, I think we should all send some money to Watford as a big thank you for beating the Dippers. Can YOU imagine what it would be like now if they had remained unbeaten?!

  • Oh God don’t, if there’s one thing I can’t stand Total it is BS, nobody plays the victim better than Liverpool, I’ve been up there and been in the midst of punch ups where those harmless friendly Scousers have bushwhacked us after games and remember how they bottled the Man City coach last season, no other club gets a free pass from the media like Liverpool, it’s sickening…

  • I have not had such experiences, Kevski, but I can see why you despise them so much. I worked in Liverpool in 2003/4 and both blue and red Merseysiders were always full of praise for Wenger and Arsenal.

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