As I’m sure you are aware it has been reported that Arsene Wenger may consider changing Arsenals playing formation from 4-2-3-1 to 3-5-2. It is the formation that was being used when he first joined Arsenal and it is also the formation that saw Juventus win their 28th Scudetto and match our unbeaten streak of 49 games. For me it is the best formation as it covers all areas of the pitch well, and would be delighted to see us use it. There are definitely positives to it, but there is also negatives as well.
Pros – Firstly it would enable us to play with 2 strikers while being able to keep our 3 man midfield. It also helps as it gives Podolski and Walcott the chance to play up front where both have stated they would prefer to play. Playing in a front two alongside Giroud would suit them best as they can use their speed to run on to Giroud’s flick-ons, link up with the midfield better and of course, get more goals. Keeping the 3 man midfield is also a big benefit as it is what suits our style of play best and we will still be able to dominate possession in most games. Also having 3 at the back would also help as when our captain is feeling the urge to bomb forward, we would still have 2 centre-Backs in position. Vermaelen would probably be the Libero if were to use this formation. A Libero is a centre-back in the 3-5-2 formation that has both defensive and offensive duties, this position is usually played by a Full-back or a Defensive Midfielder but when on form Thomas is arguably one of the best ball-playing centre-backs around. This position suits him perfectly.
Cons – As much as I do think this is a great formation, it does come with its flaws. Firstly, there would be a lack of width, this would be a big problem against teams like Sunderland who would play with 10 or even 11 men behind the ball as we would need to be able to create chances from wide areas. The wing-backs would have to provide this width and also make a lot of crosses. This also could be a problem for as good as Gibbs is going forward, his crosses are often poor. Sagna is obviously the best full-back a the club and the best right-back in the premier league in my opinion but he is almost 30 and has suffered two leg breaks, he has returned strongly but I am not sure he is capable of fulfilling the demands of the wing-back role. Another problem is the lack of depth at centre-back. Our 3 centre-backs would probably be Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen, then the next 3 are Djourou, Miquel and Squillaci. Miquel, who is a fairly good talent, is still inexperienced and raw whilst the other two are not very good in my opinion. There has been talk of Sagna playing as a centre-back in one of his recovery games and could be a viable option there and Jenkinson, who is probably more suited to this role, would play as the right wing-back. Finally, it wouldn’t be very wise of us to try this formation for the first time during the course of the season. Especially now that we find ourselves in an uncomfortable position in the league. It perhaps is something we should have tried in pre-season.
Thanks for reading.