Arsenal’s change to a back three following the 2-1 defeat to Brighton has paid dividends for Mikel Arteta.
Since the Gunners are unbeaten, winning four of the five games they’ve played, and have looked more solid in general.
However, the Arsenal boss is unwilling to fully commit to one single formation, fearing it would make his team predictable and easy to negate by the opposition.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s North London derby at White Hart Lane, the 38 year old was asked about his use of wing-backs in the current system, and said, “Well, we’ve changed a little bit our formation as you can see in the last few weeks, just adapting as well for the injuries we have and the issues that occur around the team.
“We need to be more flexible and willing on that adaptability. We cannot be so predictable.
“It’s an important thing to do that so that we are able to dominate different scenarios, different formations to improve as a team. We’re doing that.
“Regarding the flanks and the speed that we have, yes, that’s one of the main qualities that they [wing-backs] have.”
It will be interesting to see if the manager decides to go with something different than expected for the derby.
Does he risk the stability of the system to try and outwit his opposite number and play a different way? We’ll find out soon enough.