Playing to Arsenal's Strengths: Possible Formations for Next Season

Brian SonCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  Arsenal fans participate in a planned rally in support of their manager Arsene Wenger before 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)

So with my Internet blowing out for the three days when Emmanuel Adebayor news was buzzing around, I pretty much missed the whole hype of everything having to do with Adebayor. Since I had already previously addressed Adebayor's value to the team in an article before all that happened, I doubt I would have chipped in much anyways.

While catching up, however, I soon got tired of the same old crap about the same old guy, who (let's be honest) we all knew had a strong possibility of moving away anyway. So it got me thinking about stuff besides Adebayor, and my brain churned this out.

Pretty much I'm going to throw out some formations that would play toward Arsenal's strengths, give a lineup of how I think players should be played, and type up whatever my brain feels like spitting out at the time. Feel free to critique every formation I think of and by all means, supplement my list with your own. Enjoy.

Oh, and since these formation ideas were formed when I had Ade in the picture, I will refer to his position as AdeReplace for this replacement, and for a DM role, I'll just put DM.

So here I go...



The typical English 4-4-2. For me, this formation always seemed a bit boring and constricting for Arsenal's attacking tendencies, but I'll see what I can think up for this.

So the lineup in my brain would be this:

Sagna - Gallas/Vermaelen - Toure/Song - Clichy

Walcott/Arshavin - Song/DM - Fabregas - Nasri/Rosicky

RvP/Arshavin/Eduardo - Bendtner/AdeReplace

This seems to be favored among a lot of people who say that we started playing worse when we changed to a 4-5-1 due to injuries and such. However, I think the 4-4-2 is a bit old fashioned, dull, and as I've said before, ill-fit for Arsenal's attacking-heavy lineup. While it does give some form of stability to both the back line and the forward line, the midfield often time seems a bit congested with all these midfielders running around. If I were Wenger, I would most likely try to move away from this setup.



This is a personal favorite of mine. I enjoy the possibilities of this formation, and I use it when playing football games like Fifa 09 and PES 09 (Yea I know those aren't even close to being realistic, but hey, my article, my thoughts)

My lineup would be:

The regular back four


Fabregas - Nasri/Arshavin


Eduardo - AdeReplace/Bendtner

Anyways, assuming we either land an experienced DM like Matuidi or Cana or the plethora of other high profile DM names being thrown around the Arsenal camp right now or Song/Diaby step their game up immensely, we can't really use this formation to it's full effect.

With a good DM, we can set Fabregas in a role slightly above the DM, but behind the other CM, which gives him a free roaming role where he can lay deep and pick out long passes or push up to get deeper in the attack.

The problem with this formation would be that it would make Arsenal play more centrally since we would be playing without any LM or RM's, unless of course the wide backs pushed up a great deal.

I doubt this formation would actually occur because we love our Walcott and Rosicky too much, but I think it would be an interesting formation to try out, perhaps in preseason matches.


4-2-2-2 (or could be 4-2-4)

I actually only got this thought stuck in my brain 'cause I heard somewhere on the news that Roma plays a 4-2-4, and I had to see how it would fit if Arsenal used the formation.

The lineup:

Back four

Fabregas - DM

Arshavin/Nasri/Walcott/Rosicky (they can all either play on the wings or in the middle)

Arshavin/Eduardo/RvP - Bendtner/AdeReplace

This formation again would give Fabregas the deep lying position just above the DM, in a Xabi Alonso-esque place. He would have to play a bit more defense, but would give him the deeper role that he says he enjoys more. It would be interesting having two CAM/CF as well as two strikers. 



The good old 4-3-3 that is favored by a lot of people because of its attacking style and the success it has won over at Barca. I see this as a very useful formation as well since we have very capable wingers in Walcott who will only get better with his roadrunner pace and Rosicky and Nasri on the other side with their skills.

The lineup:

Back four

Fabregas - DM - Nasri/Denilson

Arshavin/Walcott - RvP/Eduardo/AdeReplace - Nasri/Rosicky

Problem with this would be that RvP would either have to go back to the wings or learn to play more like a frontman more than like a CF. Can't think of any other problems at the moment for this formation


Well there you are; a couple formations thrown out there. Feel free to point out mistakes I made, differing opinions of these formations, and other formations that you think would suit Arsenal's style of play. Thanks for the read and enjoy commenting.