Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who sits, Nasri, Theo, or Arshy? Should Arsenal Play 4-2-3-1?

Morning all. Not a whole lot going on this week. I really wish I had a lot to write about but there just isn't anything to write about. Everyone is away on international duty for the next week plus, so stories are few and far between, but I'll try to come up with something mildly entertaining as I drink my morning coffee.

First off we may as well start with some transfer rumors, and the first one is Raul Albiol of Valencia saying he would be interested in a move to one of the "big clubs in the Premiership." While I don't watch him week in and week out I do think he's at least the type of defender that would be a good addition to our squad, and with Gallas not getting any younger and Valencia being cash strapped, it could maybe happen.

Gael Clichy has been linked with a move to AC Milan, and was asked about it by a reporter.

"I don't know anything.

"I am very happy at Arsenal. It is true AC Milan are a great club. It is flattering to know you are followed by such a team."

I think Clichy is the type (hopefully) that would like to stay at Arsenal for a long time so I don't really see a lot to this story. Hopefully we'll secure our Champions League spot for next year pretty soon and that should kill off some of these transfer rumors of our big players leaving. Clichy hasn't been at his best this year but there is a reason that AC Milan are following him and a reason he was in the team of the year last year, and that's because he's absolute quality. Not only that but he's a perfect team player, never runs his mouth, and always has a great attitude. He's the type of player great teams are made of.

Alright so on to my main topic today, and that is one I have been discussing with Joaquin over the last few days. With the return of Cesc soon after the international break, where do all of our attacking midfielders play? Obviously Cesc, being the captain and being brilliant and amazing, gets in the side no question. But what about Theo, Nasri, and Arshavin? While Theo was out and Cesc was out there was lots of space to move Nasri and Arshy around, but with all of them healthy, as well as having Adebayor back up front, it does give you lots of options.

Of course this is a good problem to have, much better than having everyone injured like we did, but I really want to know what you all think. What is your ideal first eleven for Arsenal with everyone healthy? I suppose mine would look like this:


But Joaquin had an interesting idea that I'd like to throw out there now. What if Arsenal switched it up and ran a 4-2-3-1? I know 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 are Arsene's ideal formations but with the players we have a 4-2-3-1 could work effectively. Have a look at this:


Obviously RvP and Eddy at least have the ability to play in that line of 3 instead of Theo, Nasri, or Arshy too if needed and Ade and Nik can both play a lone striker role fairly well. I think it's something that should be considered maybe because the possibilities are endless. Imagine what all of those guys on the pitch at the same time could create. I'm actually about to try it out on football manager now and see if they can pull it off. Not that that is a good sign or anything but its still fun for me.

So I want to know your opinions on this one. If we stick with 4-4-2, where does everyone get into the team, and what do you think of at least the IDEA of the 4-2-3-1? It gives you something to think about over the international break at very least.

Hope you all have a good day. Cheers.


Joaquin said...

Thanks for the shout out, we played that formation with much success against Roma at the Emirates. In that 3 attaching mids you could have any of Nasri, Arshavin, Rvp, Vela, or Eduardo on the left. Diaby, Rvp, Nik, arshavin, Nasri, Edu all capable of playing through the middle. Wide right Theo, Nasri, Eboue..., Nik, Arshavin. We will see if he tries it again.

Jamesgillesp said...

Hey Kyle, the 4-2-3-1 you suggest is essentially what we have played in the last few games. I think that this is is the best way to intergrate our midfield and striking options before Cesc returns, and we may see it continue. It is a very interesting devlopment, and it seems to provide a little more in terms of lethal attacks than the 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 that Wenger favours.

Mike said...

Seems like a lot of Arsenal fans are having these formation debates as we take a look at the players we will soon have available. At ArsenalAmerica the debate has been about a 4-3-3, but its not all that unlike what you have suggested here.

I am all for whatever gets our best attackers out there. My bigger concern is having some effective play at defensive midfielder. Wenger seems intent on giving Denilson the opportunity to be our guy at DM, but as crazy as it sounds I think Cesc might be the best player we currently have to fill the role. It is a bit of a waste of Cesc's ability, but I think if I had to win one game for Arsenal, I'd stick Cesc at defensive midfielder and Nasri or Arshavin at attacking midfielder.

Anonymous said...

to mike cesc at dm your a chop

Connolly's agent said...

The curious thing is that we're already playing a 4-2-3-1. Never had two out-and-out strikers, always had one dropping deep to link-up (van Persie, Eduardo, ARshavin etc.). Never had genuine wingers, always used creative types on the wings to cut in, with wing-backs providing width.

So it's not that big a stretch to imagine Nasri-Arshavin-Walcott as the attacking midfield, with Fabregas and Denilson as the defenders. Kind of exciting, really.

GPS Justin said...

I'd suggest a 4-3-2-1, and perhaps some switching around as the match goes on, and I;d reckon Walcott should sit out. It's the UCL, and he's been out for a while so place him on against Man City- home crowd.

7 matches in April, get ready!!

nycgunner said...

actually we have been using a 4-2-3-1 formation in some games recently but that's down to the absence of cesc. wenger has had to move away from the usual 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 to balance the team and give us that creative spark. but having cesc as a CDM is absolutely a waste of his talent. you may as well keep him on the bench and play song! it's just not gonna happen.

also, theo (as much as i love him) should NOT be starting. he still has ways to go before he can be a regular starter for us. he runs out of ideas after half an hour and he still needs to work on his final ball. for the moment, he can be a good impact sub for us when defenders are tired and he can use his speed to his advantage.

so once cesc comes back, expect us to switch back to our usual 4-4-2 system with arshavin and nasri on the wings. question is who will partner cesc? it will be denilson most probably. he has come a long way since the start of the season so here's to hoping their partnership at the end of the season will be of stark contrast to the one in the beginning. cheers!

rabshaqa said...

If we are playing European teams we can play RVP/Edu as lone striker but not against English teams. Ade is a good lone striker against Man. U./Pool/Chelsea.
Arshavin is a must against English sides. Theo and Vela should only play after the hour mark.
Bendtner can play anywhere upfront or on the wings.
Finally the reason we are not losing games nowadays is because we play with two holding midfielders. So when Cesc comes back, he must play behind the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 or on the wings in a 4-4-2. The reason for that is if we play Cesc with only one holding midfielder, then we might lose a game and our season will be over.

Aaditya said...

yes, we have been playing something like a 4-2-3-1 in recent games. However, the real ability this team has really shows when RVP, Arshavin, Nasri and Bendtner can all play in 3 of the front 4 positions.
Nevertheless, a 4-2-3-1 should be the way to go, even after Cesc comes back, probably to the tone of:


Walcott, much as I like him, is not ready to start but probably come on at the hour mark, as is the case with Vela and Eboue. Bendtner has also really developed and should get the occasional game. Adebayor, let's see, he does'nt look commited enough on the pitch any more and his heart is probably in Milan anyway

GunnersFan said...

Yeah, 4-2-3-1 would be interesting, but isn't that really just a 4-5-1 with a little more definition?
Anyhoo, the back 4 is pretty well established, Sagna, Gallas, Toure and Clichy. We are certainly lacking when it comes to DM, but Denilson and Diaby can hold it down. I do agree that Fabregas is a viable option at DM, and might be the best player we could put at that position, but at the same time he is much better slightly forward. Walcott can start but we don't need him to on a regular basis, and his pace is all the more significant when he comes on around 70 minutes. How about this:
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Nasri Fabregas Arshavin
van Persie

Walcott, Eduardo, Eboue, Silvestre, Diaby, Djourou or Vela, and Fabianski as subs.

Eboue can hold down the right side or as DM, but I don't think he has 90 minutes in him at the moment.
I suppose you could put on Bendtner instead of Djourou or Vela, but I think he's rubbish, at least when it comes to scoring. I don't know how many more times I can take watching him hold his face with a look like "why didn't that go in?" when he pushes a shot wide, especially with that dumb haircut he has. Maybe he uses different boots shooting in practice? In any case I hope we sell him this summer and use the money to solve our DM woes.
But what are we going to do when Rosicky comes back (if he does). I say sell him too, bring in another DM or a 22-25 yr old CB. I think our team is a little too attack heavy, and while I like having all the options up front, it doesn't make sense to not have a stronger defense.

Anonymous said...

Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Walcott Fabregas Nasri
Van Persie Eduardo