Formation more important than spending big for Arsenal

I have read a lot over recent days that Arsenal need to buy this player, or that player. But a bigger problem that needs to be sorted out within the side before we sign anyone is what formation we set out to play.

There is no point going out and spending millions of pounds on players, if we do not play a system that utilising them best.

For about a year, we have played 3 at the back.

Moving forward through the pitch, we have then played a narrow 2 (or 2 Number 10s) behind a single striker. The theory being that this would then get the best out of Alexis Sanchez.

However, in recent games we have returned to 4 at the back. This then affects what happens further up the field, as it results in us playing with two wider forwards, with a single Number 10.

Until Arsene Wenger decides on which formation we play, there really is no point us signing someone.

Formation more important than spending big for Arsenal

Take Thomas Lemar, for example.

He was brilliant for Monaco playing wide left. But Arsenal do not currently play with wide men, so what is the point of spending £90million on him, if we do not play the formation to accommodate him.

The same go’s for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He has been heavily linked with Arsenal this week, but he is a centre forward and just 6 months ago, we spent nearly £50m on Alexandre Lacazette.

What is the point then paying a similar amount for another striker, when we only play one up front?

Or Anthony Martial, who we have been linked in a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez.

His best performances for Manchester United have been playing wide. He is not a Number 10. Therefore swapping Sanchez for Martial and keeping with 3 at the back and two behind Lacazette would not get the best from him.

Another Manchester United star we have been linked with his Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Mkhitaryan is a talented Number 10, and could work alongside Mesut Ozil. But what if Wenger decides to drop the 3 at the back? Mkhitaryan is then forced to play out wide – where he has struggled for Manchester United.

We are likely to sell Theo Walcott in this transfer window as he does not suit the current system. It is easy to forget he scored 19 goals last season on the right hand side of a front 3.

Coming in could be Bordeaux star Malcolm. A right winger. It would be odd to let go of Walcott because he can not play in the current system, to then sign Malcolm, who is also a right sided midfielder.

An option could be to go for the likes of Leon Goretzka or Julian Draxler, who both have the ability to play both at Number 10 and out wide – meaning that they are interchangeable when it comes formation changes. But both seem to have got off the Arsenal Speculation Train in recent weeks.

We need to buy players. That is clear. The first XI is not good enough, neither is the squad.

But there is no point buying players until Wenger makes it certain what formation he wants to play. And we all know the dithering Frenchman will probably not make that decision until April.

There is no point spending big money on players, then not playing that system that gets the best out of them.


9 thoughts on “Formation more important than spending big for Arsenal

  1. Grandad

    Excellent article and so relevant.We should revert to a back four system which is used by the top sides like Barca,Real,Man City etc. It is far more flexible than playing with a back three which is defensive in the extreme.


    1. keenosafc Post author

      If Aubameyang and Mkhi join (and Ozil leaves) we could go 4-diamond-2

      Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Kolasinic
      Ramsey Wilshere
      Lacazette Aubameyang

      Obviously that would be provisional, and we would still need a new GK, CB & DM to add in.


      1. gunnerbear

        I doubt Wilshere and Ramsay can stand up to the physical demands of the Prem’….they are never going to be regular starters.


  2. Pete

    Totally agree with the premise that formation is crucial to player recruitment, but don’t see the problem in having 2 top level strikers? Strength in depth is equally crucial (as we saw on Sunday). Also, minor point but Goretzka is definitely not a wide player! Get the impression he’s in the Ramsey mould, only a more physical version.


  3. wayne g

    Naive article on so many levels,Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang heavily linked?? haha are you serious?even Henrikh Mkhitaryan says we are too low level! what does this tell you?you keep reeling out all them names if it helps you sleep at night,The club is rotten from top to bottom and that includes the majority of our support these days,personally i want us to lose every game untile wenger kroenke are out of the club,yes feel free to abuse but you are very naive if you think anything is changing while wenger and kroenke are still alive!! unfortunately this is the only way to change things and stop the club we all love being milked dry and mismanaged by an out of date fraud.


    1. keenosafc Post author

      Mkhitaryan joined Manchester United when they were 5th. The next season they finished 6th. Can you send me the quotes of him saying “arsenal are too low level” or did you just make that up?


  4. Ifeanyi

    Personally I think going by recent history Arsene won’t sign Aoubamayang not after he signed Alex for a similar amount just last summer. The only possility I can see out of this situation is where Sanchez is swapped for Henrikh and Arsenal finish 7th on the table.


    1. Ken

      You are absolutely right. He will go for the swap deal and feel happy about it. 20m for Walcott + another 20-25 m for Sanchez and not spending anything but making a profit again. Sure his tenure will be prolonged till 2019 with Kroenke pocketing 40 m. However Mkhitaryan may not want to come to AFC in such conditions and ruin his career with a senile coach.
      Then buying another player will all depend on the pressure fans will exert and Arsene may panic buy again.
      Anyway it is the beginning of the end and will be nasty to watch for the fraud. The more he stays (Wenger) the more shame he will have to bear.
      One last thing, I wish to point out how much Fergie could overshadow our fool of manager. First selling him Sylvestre and then Welbeck and now Mourinho also is going to do the same : Sanchez against Mkhitaryan. There will be ruins only when Arsene will leave .



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