In My Spare Time I Think About Fun Arsenal Formations
Arsenal’s team sheet and formation have been a product of necessity lately. The unavailable players could probably destroy the available players in a scrimmage. As such, Arsene hasn’t had much opportunity to tinker with the setup beyond deciding whether Eboue is on or off his medication. The match against Roma gave Wenger a chance to try something new but that was only because of Diaby’s return from injury. With more and more first team regulars coming back into the side, it should get interesting watching the formation take shape. Rather than leaving the decision of how to deploy the players to Arsene Wenger, I’m sure he would appreciate as much help from random strangers as possible. I am happy to oblige. (In all of these imagined formations I’m ignoring the back four because it basically picks itself with the possible excetion of Djourou.)
1. Attack attack attack
There’s no question that Arsenal have some potent weapons in attack that will soon be at Wenger’s disposal. Central midfield isn’t our strongest position and we’ve been having trouble breaking down teams that play for the scoreless draw. Put the two together and it seems natural to try a 4-3-3 formation. This let’s you deploy all the best striker options while getting the most out of midfield. The missing piece in this formation is Walcott.
Eduardo – Adebayor – Van Persie
Nasri – Fabregas – Arshavin
Wouldn’t that be a potent attack. Certainly leaves you vulnerable at the back, but Barcelona have opted for a similarly offensive formation in La Liga and done pretty well. If we can’t break down the likes of Sunderland with a traditional formation, why not attack, attack, attack?
2. Why Replace Flamini Anyway
It’s now clear that we didn’t leave ourselves with a solid replacement for Flamini. Diaby is excellent at times, but he’s not a holding midfielder and neither is Denilson no matter what Arsene would like to think. So why try to put a round peg in a square hole. What about packing the midfield with our four best options?
The passes coming from central midfield would be worth the price of a ticket alone. Again, it’s not a defensively sound system, but the league is about winning games. Draws and Losses are almost equally intolerable. Right now we would all take a few more losess and a few less draws if some of those draws were converted into three points. (For the record, I know that this formation would never happy. But it’s fun to imagine.)
3. Save it for the video game
We do have a lot of very talented midfielders when they’re all healthy i.e. never. And it could be argued that Van Persie is our only world class striker at the moment. If you buy into that theory then why not play a video game-esque, ridiculous 4-5-1 featuring all the stars playing behind RVP.
Rosicky – Nasri – Fabregas – Arshavin – Walcott
Not sure there’s any argument for this formation but it gets all the bests midfielders on the pitch at the same time! What it really does, in my opinion, is show what a talented and deep team we have. We have all spent so much time criticizing Wenger for not bringing in players, but when you look at that lineup and consider that there’s still Eduardo, Adebayor, Diaby, Vela, Denilson and even Bendtner, then I suppose you must admit that future could really be a “golden generation” as Wenger recently suggested.
Clearly our defensive setup is better now that the Gallas situation has calmed and Toure has returned to form. We’re not the porous defensive unit from earlier this season. If that is the case, then the key to our success is finding the creativity and flair that has typified Wenger’s teams over the years. And when you glance at that list of midfielders and strikers you are forced to acknowledge that the team could be very formidable going forward.
Assume for a minute that all the players stick around a few more seasons. Can you envision a more mature Walcott, Fabregas, and Nasri playing alongside star players in their prime like RVP, Eduardo, Adebayor and Arshavin. Vela, Diaby and Denilson could be much better in two seasons. Wilshire and Ramsey could be ready to make impressions coming off the bench. It’s really a bright future. Let’s just hope that there’s Champions League play in this team’s immediate future or keeping the team together could be easier said than done.
On a final note, there was a story in the press today about Kalou being interested in Arsenal and Arsenal being interested in Kalou. Hard to see where he would fit frankly. But it’s always nice to steal a player from uncle moneybags.
Fulham preview tomorrow.