3 steps for Arsenal to move back to 4-2-3-1

Arsene Wenger fielded a 4-2-3-1 against BATE Borisov as the Gunners finished off the Europa League group stage with a bang. Arsenal started playing a 3-4-3 last season as a makeshift formation to deal with a spell of crisis.

The Gunners manager may go back to his old setup and use an extra midfielder, which will help Arsenal’s style of playing. Wenger knows the defensive problems faced by the team and the load on the wing backs that may not be enough for a long title challenge. To avoid that, he may slowly go back to his old formation. Here’s what has got to happen for that transition to be followed by success.

Hold on to Mesut Ozil

There is almost no one better to play right behind the striker. Ozil can wreak havoc when he is in form. He can wreak havoc by drifting towards one flank and play decisive balls that will be taken care of by the likes of Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal have produced great number 10s and Ozil may be the guy who recreates that kind of spark and propel the team to victory. Re-signing him is absolutely key if Wenger wants to make the shift to a flat back four.

Get a proper defensive midfielder


And that has to be someone who enjoys the dirty part of the game. Not a player who runs way too less for the Premier League, stays injured all the time or tries through balls with a success rate of less than 10%. Arsenal have been linked with players like William Carvalho and Danilo Pereira. Wenger needs a strong guy who is ready to run after opposing number 10s for 100 mins- twice a week. This will let Mesut Ozil do his job. Having Granit Xhaka in that role was a huge reason behind Arsenal’s troubles last season- he is a CM and not CDM. And a 4-2-3-1 needs a specialist in that role.

Get actual wingers


We do not have wingers in the team. Someone who can cut in, is ready to run up down the flank continuously and can cross the ball is very important. Alex Iwobi wants to be a central attacking midfielder, Danny Welbeck’s preferred position is at number nine, Theo Walcott is unreliable, Alexis is about to leave and Wilshere or Ramsey are not wingers. That leaves us with Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. We need players who are suited to the role and has the quality to get us back to the top of the pile. Emil Forsberg and Nabil Fekir would be welcome additions.

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