Saturday, January 28, 2023

Wenger talks 4-4-2 at AGM

With Arsenal struggling to find the right balance at times this season, Arsene Wenger has admitted that a return to a more traditional formation is something that will be explored.

A 4-1-4-1 system was implemented, ostensibly to make the team more secure in ‘big games’, but the team’s best performances have come when playing the 4-2-3-1 that was, for the most part, solid and effective last season.

However, responding to a question at today’s AGM about using the somewhat anachronistic 4-4-2, the Arsenal manager responded diplomatically, saying, “It’s a nice idea, but it still requires balance between attacking and defending. We have many creative players who all want to play in the middle [in the current formation].

“We haven’t got that balance at the moment. In Europe it’s very difficult in particular,  but you will certainly see it [4-4-2] during the season.”

Whether that is the case remains to be seen. It’s a formation that has fallen out of fashion for good reasons over the last 10 years, and with teams much more focused on what happens in the centre of the pitch, it would be an oddity to revert to it – especially when we lack the physically imposing players who might just make it work.

Our best guess is that we see him use it in circumstances when we’re chasing a game and need to throw two up front, rather than on an ongoing basis.

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offbeat madoda

time from statement to article is impressive. A well crafted little piece in such short space of time. kudos


Dat guy and alexis alexis in a front two could be very very potent as they both work extremely hard and are both stronger and faster than they look. Also Calum Chambers could be used in that DM position which Wegner says he could do. Injuries permitting ofc and with our injury list at the moment can’t see it happening anytime soon


Yeah, but like they say in the article, the centre of the pitch is vulnerable in 1 4-4-2. Not one of our midfielders would be able to play there well against a good team. Even if Chambers does thrive, we’d still be a man short. As good as Alexis and Wele could be, we’d be getting overrun in the middle in every game. Gods, I miss Vieira and Gilberto.


Aw sweet, someone included the keeper in the formation.


how do city accomodate Aguero and Dzeko in the same lineup; its not that difficult.


they have yaya/ fernandinho/fernando/milner thats how, have powerfull hardworking midfield .
we dont have that, it would be suicidal to try that with our squad on a whole match


City have got a certain Yaya Toure. Don’t forget Fernandinho too.


The reason the middle is vulnerable in that formation is precisely because there really isn’t a designated DM in a 4-4-2. Just two center box to box mids. If one hangs back, you’re really playing a 4-1-3-2 or a midfield diamond ala Woy.

Le Jim

Don’t see why we couldn’t make it work with Jack and Rambo in the centre as box to box mids, Theo on the right, Chambo on the left, Alexis and Welbeck up top. Or, alternatively, Alexis on the left, Chambo on the right, and Theo up top with Danny (and that’s even before Giroud gets back).
Just thoughts, Jimster out xo


No room for Ozil or Cazorla?


A midfield of:


would get absolutely, comprehensively annihilated.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Because there would be an acre to run into between our midfield and our defence.

Akil Kapasi

We haven’t properly used 4-4-2 since 2002. The Invincible’s looked like they set up 4-4-2 in most pre-match graphics, but they were the best 4-2-3-1 team we’ve ever had. With Gilberto and Paddy doing the grunt work in the middle, allowing Pires, Ljunbgerg, and Bergkamp to be the creative forces, in turn allowing Thierry to be the goal machine. Gary Neville calls 4-2-3-1 the “4-4-2 Con”. He’s right, only difference is, 10’s used to be regular goal scorers as well as playmakers hence making it look like two strikers.


#findramblingpete…. oh wait, hes back now so I dont have to do this anymore. CMON U GUNNERS


Whatever the formation, please put 11 players capable of winning the next 5 matches at least. Else we’ll be out of contention for any trophy before December sets in.


A midfield diamond is the only way we could really play it with the personal we have but I can’t see it being too effective due to the lack of width


That’s why I reckon the diamond formation is simply a waste of time in pretty much every league, for pretty much every team.

It worked for Milan back when they had Gattuso/Pirlo/Kaka/Inzhagi to accomodate, but only because of how bloody good they were (the rest of the team…not Inzhagi) and because it was in Italy; probably a few others, but not many.



Little Swede In The No14 Shirt

… or when fancy just chucking mertesacker up top a la 2011-12


when we get hit on the counter attack and concede looks like were playing 2 2 1 5 “suckerpunched”


ROTATION!! just might help us pick up fewer injuries?

Andy Mack

I don’t disagree but most of our recent injuries have happened after the player has just been rested for a game.


Yes… well Arsene perhaps balance would have been easier to find if you had bothered to sign a f***ing DMF!


Don’t need a DM.

Melo, MVilla, Wanyama, Capoue, Gustavo… all shite.


Nah, Capoue is a good player who can’t compensate for the shitness of the rest of his team and Gustavo is decent enough, we should know better than anyone that a tonking comes out of something other than all your players being shite. The others though, fair point.


And yet we blame arteta and Flamini for those tonkings


I don’t think our midfielders are physical enough for 4-4-2. If teams like Man U want to use a 5-3-2 then go for it, but I still think we are best with a 4-2-3-1.


I wonder if he also spoke about the £170m in the bank and not buying players in the positions needed and why we charge more than any other club IN THE WORLD to see our team scrap with spuds for 4th.????


Well, apparently it isn’t true. We don’t have THAT much money to spend anymore. Or at least that was what was reportedly said by Ivan Gazidis at the AGM. That we’re not sitting on this big pile of cash. He’s wondering where everyone got that idea. I think he forgot that he’s been talking up our financial power in the transfer market for the past 2 years. Only for him to then go ‘Where did you get the idea that we had shit tonnes of money to spend?!”

Andy Mack

We have just spent quite a big chunk (by our standards) this summer.


we took quiet few back too with cesc/djourou/vela/vermalaen deal, and we made more improve sponsor deal . by our standard its a lot but clearly we have quiet a bit left . and we could make more room by affloading player we dont use like podolski/campbell


I’m not arguing our spending. I’m just asking why he said one thing in summer but something completely different at the AGM? We either do have money to spend and compete or we don’t. If we did, we should’ve been throwing cash at the best defenders and defensive midfielders Europe has to offer until one of them accepted. Look at Manchester United, they want to be at the top again so badly that they’re willing to spend whatever it takes to get there. Ivan Gazidis made it sound like we would do the same with our financial status, clearly that… Read more »

Andy Mack

Although money is important, it’s too important to some players. We want players that want to play for AFC (and AW) rather than someone that’s just using us for a year or two until he gets a better offer (Adebayor and Suarez names springs to mind). You’ll always have the problem of players being a fan of their childhood teams but some are just interested in €€€$$$£££ (see the number of guys that would rather earn mega money in Eastern Europe/FSU instead of playing with good/very good teams at a high level in Western Europe).


Stapletonjudascum and Alan Alan Sunderland 2 real strikers in 4 4 2. The original and best SAS.

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Ummm I’m with Wenger on this. Everyone thinks a formation is shit until a bold man comes along and leads the way.


The club is run by a bunch of bankers.


We are a self made club.

As well we should be careful about money.;)


Frankly formation…. It’s really moot the ideal which I feel is what Wenger is trying to achieve is no fixed formation and interchangeability through a game. Thereby if we need more security, the link player in midfield drops closer to the DM and we become a 4-2-3-1. if we need to push up field and attack them higher up, the link man joins in and we become a 4-1-4-1 (particularly against poorer quality and stubborn teams that sit deep) if we are chasing a goal, we can pinch in one of the wide attackers nearer to the CF and the… Read more »


It’s the way I think we play best, I remember someone from the Invincibles talking about how Vieira knew when he had to sit deep and protect or when he could do his rampaging thing, the kind of organic understanding of the game and the system that it is pretty difficult to truly instill. Sometimes just having one guy who can bawl out exactly what to do and then actually have the rest of the team listen to him, can work but it’s better to have players that can do it naturally. Hence why we tend to have intelligent players,… Read more »


I like the new arseblog format BTW.



Don’t forget Diaby. He’s been the new Curies for a while now. And now he’s fit.


*Vieira. Fuckin auto correct.

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