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Arsenal First 11 Nearly There, Lineup Almost Set

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  Abou Diaby of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at Emirates Stadium on May 24, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
A BashirContributor IMay 31, 2009

Looking at the players on Arsenal, you would think it would have won a few trophies by now. But a list of injuries, some poor tactical decisions, too much faith in youth, a tight transfer budget, and four years running; Arsenal has not even won a Carling Cup.

However, if you look at the team manager Arsene Wenger could field if it was fit, you begin to wonder what might have been. One of the problems is that Wenger doesn't know what his best team is. Well, to simplify it a little and work from two axioms:

1. Do not play players out of position.

2. Do not play formations that the players do not understand.

So how would I line up Arsenal? I would play four across the defence with a holding midfielder with two attacking midfielders and two wide attackers with one striker up front. You may call it 4-3-3 formation.


Sagna, Gallas, Djoure, Clichy


Fabregas, Nasri

Arshavin, Van Persie


Before you say it, I don't think Toure is out of position as he started off as a midfielder—and I feel that defensive midfielder is his best position.

Arshavin and Van Persie are in the positions which they are most effective—behind the front man and not in midfield. Fabregas and Nasri have the quick feet and work ethic to play in midfield (yes you can think of them as the Xavi and Iniesta of Arsenal).

Now the $64,000 question: Would Wenger ever play that formation?

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