We face Sunderland this Saturday at the Stadium of Light and here I am on Tuesday night wondering whether we will see something different from Arsenal this weekend. I think I mentioned it in the aftermath of RVP’s injury but today I’m going to give it full attention.
Traditionally, Wenger has preferred the conventional 4-4-2 with the striker popping up at the flanks just like Henry once did and another idiot who tried to do the same but to no avail but this season saw something new. Yes, there were the occasional 4-5-1 tactics but never for prolonged period of time. Ever since we kicked off at Goodison Park, Wenger has implemented the 4-3-3 formation with RVP as the focal point of the attack. Now that the Dutchman is out for the next 6 weeks, and the next best choice of Bendtner is also suffering from injury, therein lies a possibility that I want to explore. Could Wenger switch his formation once again?
I may be wrong and I wouldn’t mind be proven so but I doubt Eduardo can operate as the focal point of the attack. No offence but he lacked the physical built and roughness to withstand constant abuse from the opposition defenders. Unless the ball is played to feet, I seriously think he will have a hard time trying to win the ball. It is also hard to envisioned him going past players once he has the ball at his feet. He is not the quickest around (ok, fine. There were the few times which he managed to go past players by playing the ball forward). Does he need a partner to be properly efficient? I leaning towards a yes.
With the current mini-crisis in terms of strikers, I personally think it would be best for Wenger to either revert back to the 4-4-2 formation or change the 4-3-3 to a tighter unit with less emphasis on the 2/3 of the front trio to stick to the flanks. This will reduce the chance of Eduardo being isolated up front on his own. Provided Diaby is still out injured, Rosicky and Nasri could both come in and interchange the midfield role. When in defensive mode, it allows the team the chance to go 4 in midfield to cope while still having 2 outlet for counter attacks in Eduardo and Arshavin. The former both possesses defensive qualities that is very underrated. While both may not the best of tacklers must as Gilberto once shown, positioning is the key.
Having them there will still allow Fabregas to operate in the role which he obviously revel in. This season’s formation allowed him the oppourtunity to roam further forward without being stuck up front the entire time like what happened towards the end of last season. He could always drop deep and collect the ball or make the late runs into the box, much like how he is positioned in Spain’s national team. The 2 in Song and Diaby operating further behind is also helping to contribute to Fabregas’ incredible scoring record this season.
Then again, the game is still another 3 days away, so I will let that linger for a while. Till tomorrow.