Wenger explains 4-4-2 decision and confirms defensive work

34

After a week which has seen both a bitter defeat and a confidence building victory, Arsene Wenger had much to talk about in his weekly Arsenal Player interview. Reflecting initially on a change of formation in the Carling Cup, the French coach also spoke warmly about the terrific Emirates attendance, his work on the training pitch improving the defence, the threat Bolton will pose on Saturday and whether he has cash to spend in January.

On a tough game with Shrewsbury Town…

Shrewsbury is a good side. We were one nil down; we had the early chances but in fairness they had the second goal chance on the cross and on the counter-attack as well. Overall, just think, what is completely different is that these [lower division] teams have quality. You’ve seen it in the Carling Cup; the gap between the lower division and the Premier League has reduced tremendously, especially physically.

On why he used a 4-4-2 formation…

Just to suit the characteristics of the players I played, because Chamakh and Park are centre forwards, so I came back to a traditional 4-4-2. I had as well on the wings, players who could absorb the work of a midfielder, that’s not always the case. That’s why I went for it. I chose a shape to suit the players we had on the pitch.

On whether it was an experiment with a future…

No nothing like that. The system is important but the system has to suit the players who are on the pitch. That is more important, that the players feel comfortable in the position they player in.

On the fantastic 47,000 crowd on Tuesday…

They are fantastic. The Arsenal [fans] are absolutely unbelievable. They were positive even when we were one nil down. The crowd was absolutely magnificent and we are so grateful to have the fans we have. That’s why we want to please them and come back to a much stronger position in the Premier League.

On working with the defence this week…

We work on it every day when we practice. I believe that we have been solid quite recently – in Dortmund but not at Blackburn. There is a lot to improve in our defensive consistencies.

The modern game is a team sport more than ever because everybody has to defend completely. All the big teams do it. You do not get away with just seven or eight and the rest watching.

If you don’t do it as a team it doesn’t work. On the day [at Blackburn] I believe we were a little unlucky and certainly a bit naive as well – we have to concede that. We have played five games, but we started our season basically two weeks ago.

There is a physical factor, you could see that as well. When I watched the Spanish games last night the teams who played in the Champions League did not look completely on full cylinders.

[We can gain confidence] by focusing on the way we want to play football and the team spirit and attitude. That makes you feel stronger and overall I think there is no way I am going to put down the mental qualities of the squad. That will come out.

On building confidence…

By focusing on the way we want to play football, by focusing on the team spirit, the team attitude; that makes you feel stronger. The mental quality of the squad will come out.

We must be realistic and try and win the next game. In our job and our sport it is always focus on the next game and give everything. The players were focused at Blackburn they played a fantastic first half, and then we dropped physically. Let’s repeat that but last for 90 minutes.

On easing tension in the Emirates crowd…

I always feel that the vibes have to come out from the team. If the vibes coming out from the team are right, the crowd will follow and support us. So let’s focus on us being right because the crowd feels that. We believe they have to trust us on that.

We will bounce back and I think it starts from us being determined, from us being united, from us trusting each other and us playing the football we want to play. Let’s focus on that quality. We had 20 shots on goal at Blackburn; let’s continue to play our game.

On Bolton’s form…

Bolton is a good side, but you know that any Premier League team is good. Let’s not expect any weakness from Bolton because they have lost games, let’s play our game.

On Kevin Davies being a cunt physical presence…

He’s a particular striker who has qualities, but as well 100 per cent physical commitment and that’s what you meet when you’re in the Premier League. Every Premier League game is an experience when you’re a centre-back that you don’t imagine before coming to England.

On having money to spend in January…

Yes, but the most important thing now is to do well with the squad that we have. We have a big squad and we are good enough to do well. We have a massive squad, so at the moment I am focused on the next game not on January.

On the Premier League race so far…

There’s a long way to go, so let’s focus on our results and find our consistency. If we want to be successful that is the most important thing.

34
Leave a Reply

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Ejiro Esiri

I hope someday I would look back on this season and have cause to smile.

Sau
Sau

I hope we have a cause to smile and not to laugh.. 🙂

argonaut
argonaut

That’s only going to happen if we win something, and that’s not the fair play or injury leagues.

…and we’ll probably only win the latter of those two.

5am
5am

most of it sound talk…..

Save 75 cents
Save 75 cents

We no longer possess the personnel to run a 4-3-3. A change of formation would be welcome in my OPINION.

GoonerNugget
GoonerNugget

What is the reasoning behind this arguement? I’ve never really understood why so many say this. We are very technical in all positions. I think its more an issue of positional discipline and pressing from the front.

Witoldo
Witoldo

Agree. In a 4-4-2, the outside midfielders have more defensive responsibility and must run more. How exactly do Walcott and Arshavin fit in here?

geeGunner
geeGunner

Does any other big teaam Through out europe play a 442 consistently? Is it a dying formaation like playing a sweeeper?

Smeer Na$ri (with shit)
Smeer Na$ri (with shit)

well, Man Ure play 4-4-2 and they f’d us in the a so no, it’s not dying.

I think the outside midfielders should have more defensive responsibility. They can’t just plod about and not track back. It’s criminal.
I don’t think we could play Arshavin in a 4-4-2 anyway, unless he was in more of a deep lying forwards role, he’s not really a proper winger. I think if we were to switch to it we would have Walcott alongside Van Persie up front with Gervinho on one wing and..er… I don’t know who on the other! I would say Miyaichi or Chamberlain, but they’re not quite ready.

I guess 4-3-3 it is then. Plus, who would we have in the middle of a 4-4-2? Song and Wilshere? Then what about Arteta and Ramsey? They’re all players that need to be playing.

Plev
Plev

I feel our formation is more of a 4-2-3-1 than a 4-3-3, but there’s not too much difference really. We do play with 2 defensive mids rather than one, and not a flat 3 midfield.
This season I think we’re much better off in the defensive midfield positions. We were playing Song and Wilshere there last season, with Diaby and Denilson as back up. I think Wilshere and particularly Diaby are out of position so deep, and are much more effective as attacking players. Compared to this season: Song, Arteta, Frimpong, Coquelin plus Wilshere and Diaby if needed. That’s good depth.
As for a 4-4-2, what Arsene says makes complete sense. And we simply have too many central midfielder to only play two.

Alpha T
Alpha T

Well maybe it’s time to stop using both Theo & Arsh on the wings!
But I don’t think our formation is the issue, doubt changing formation would suddenly make us world beaters.

HR
HR

Walcott should partner Van Persie in a 4-4-2 formation

Emeka
Emeka

Formation is not the problem. Problem is attitude. If we press teams early and high up, they will make mistakes and loose the ball or pass the ball back to their goalkeeper who will boot the ball into our own half giving us possession. If we don’t, teams will grow in confidence & start to attack us. We all know that our defense has not gelled together yet. So easy option for me is to press teams all over the place and win the ball. When we get the ball, to use it well with pace, power and precision like Valencia did against Barcelona.

Mookie
Mookie

Geegunner – last Sunday spurs, man u and liverpool all started with a 4-4-2 formation. Man u and Liverpool may claim it was 4-4-1-1 but Suarez and Rooney are strikers.

I am not saying arsenal should play that formation but it would be good to have the option.

Arshavin and Walcott always leaving the full backs exposed is a problem whatever formation we play if you ask me. Wouldn’t hurt to have some wide men who realised they have some responsibility in their own half as well.

Popeye
Popeye

The sun today says if we lose against bolton and west brom draw we are bottom, must be a slow news day. What a rediculas story. And a full page of it ffs

Smeer Na$ri (with shit)
Smeer Na$ri (with shit)

The Sun will sensationalise anything. Cunts.

MAN TREADS IN DOG SHIT SHOCKER. MUST BE A PAEDO, RAPIST

NOW TURN TO PAGE 3 TO SEE A BARELY 16 YEAR OLD WEARING BARELY ANYTHING

Smeer Na$ri (with shit)
Smeer Na$ri (with shit)

sorry for the caps blogger. Wasn’t meant to look like shouting, more like a headline. But I’m sure you realise that.

trackback

[…] that an admission that some players haven’t been pulling their weight? He went on to say they’re working hard on it: We work on it every day when we practice. I believe that we have been solid quite recently – in […]

Adediran akinade

The trueth of this mater is we should go back to our win patern.

heihaci
heihaci

1 Looks like Park will be just as lame as Chamakh.
2.Benayoun will be injured 9/10 times
3.Our defensive work againt Dortmund wasn’t that great. We were lucky that Dortmund had poor finishing ability

argonaut
argonaut

1) It’s too early to comment on Park.
2) Quite possibly, but then again that fits with the “Israeli Rosicky” tag.
3) Much of that came down to us playing a more defensive minded midfield.

paddymac
paddymac

@heihaci Every day is a cheery one for you, eh? What a little ray of Sunshine you must be. Just remember, whatever happens, everything is shit

heihaci
heihaci

BTW Oxencart and Coquelin looked impressive!

TomC
TomC

What’s good reading the above is that we’re getting back to talking abut football: formations, strategies, players’ football strengths and weaknesses etc. This is what it’s about: articulate commentary will liberal doses of obscene profanities… bring on bolton

argonaut
argonaut

From what I saw, this year’s Carling Cup team has a lot more about it than the shower of shit we kept playing last year.

Coq-au-vin is a massive improvement over Denilson.

david seago
david seago

Walcott is the fastest player in the premier league, so i ask this why isn’t he being used as one of the first players to press.
David Villa is asked to do the same thing for Barca.
All we need to do to most teams is press them so they pass it back to the goal keeper anyway, because most goalkeepers just boot it up the field and therefore giving us a great chance to win back possession.
Arsenal ned to work much harder in defence before the ball even gets to our back 4.
Lets think about it like this…..we can’t defend very well, so lets make sure we keep the ball away from our back 4 as much as possible!

Emeka
Emeka

I think basically the biggest problem with the team is not pressing enough in games. Against Blackburn at the restart, our players were just lamely and lazily passing the ball amongst themselves in our own half. At that point I knew we were heading for trouble. If I can see this watching on TV, how come the manager in the stadium can’t? The coach continuously does do enough to impress on our players that games are won in 90 mins and by fighting. Check all our former players in their new clubs, you will surely see a change in their attitude, none of them is ever laid back again while playing for their new teams. What infuriates me about our players is the sheer lack of grit, urgency and determination.

trackback

[…] has also emphasised that defense is not solely the back four’s responsibility, and rather the team’s as a whole. He is right, we have seen last season, against Chelsea, when you hassle and press as a team, you […]

Midfield Corporal
Midfield Corporal

I swear most of our players are of below average intelligence. Do they not think ‘when we pressed Chelsea as a unit we spanked them 3-1, when we did it against everton we won 6-1. When we jog around pretending to press but with no real intent, and dangle limp legs out instead of showing true commitment we get beat.

perrygrove$world
perrygrove$world

I’m not sure we could defend well if we played 8-8-2. . . .

trackback

[…] experiments with the 4-4-2 in the Carling Cup made for fascinating reading mostly because it confirmed something that I’ve been saying for […]

d
d

Theo and VP up front 442 defo!

trackback

[…] Boss explained his decision to shift from his customary 4-3-3 in that match in order to best showcase central forwards Park […]

trackback

[…] that an admission that some players haven’t been pulling their weight? He went on to say they’re working hard on it: We work on it every day when we practice. I believe that we have been solid quite recently – in […]