The Steps to Fixing Arsenal (The State of Arsenal Part III)
This is the third part in my series regarding the current state of Arsenal. Parts I and II can be found here:
Part I: http://bit.ly/r2ERic
Part II: http://bit.ly/oVBAmT
In Part I, I discussed how Arsenal has been selling itself into mediocrity since 2005. I think this was extraordinarily evident after the blowout loss at Old Trafford.
In Part II, I discussed how the first step to returning to greatness would be to sell off the players that have either lost their form or never had it at all.
In Part III, I will discuss the moves that need to be made in order to stop this rapid descent.
Change in Formation
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Arsenal has used a number of different formations under Arsene Wenger.
However, I believe that the two best formations that would suit Arsenal the best with its current talent would be the following:
If Arsenal wants to be a more offensive team, then they should employ a 4-3-1-2. With four defenders, three midfielders, one attacking midfielder, and two forwards, this formation would allow for Arsenal to be effective in the counter attack. It would also allow for the two forwards to be in the box a majority of the time—something that Arsenal has been very poor at lately.
However, if Arsenal are looking to be a bit more defensive, then they should employ a similar formation, but with one twist. I am referring to the 4-1-3-2 formation. Basically all that would need to be done is for the attacking midfielder to be substituted with a defensive midfielder. While it is only a small change, it is enough to change the dynamic of the play of both teams on the field.
The Positions of the Players in These Formations
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For the more offensive formation, Van Persie, and a player I will name later, would be the forwards. Gervinho would play behind them as the attacking midfielder. Jack Wilshere, another player to be named, and Aaron Ramsey would be the midfielders. Bacary Sagna, yet another player to be named, Thomas Vermaelen, and Laurent Koscielny would be the four backs.
When switching to the more defensive of the two formations, I would have Alex Song as the defensive midfielder, and would then move Gervinho to one of the forward positions.
The New Players: Edinson Cavani
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In just 35 appearances for Napoli, Cavani has scored 26 times.
In addition to scoring goals, Cavani serves as the "X-Factor" in Napoli’s offense, and he would be called upon to play the exact same role with Arsenal.
One thing that Arsenal have lacked this season is a presence in the box, and Cavani would help to solve that problem. Working alongside Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi, these three have created one of Italy’s most potent attacks. Pairing him alongside Van Persie, and allowing him to finish what Gervinho, Ramsey, and Wilshere create in the midfield, would greatly improve Arsenal’s attack.
He is also only 24 years old.
The New Players: Eden Hazard
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Bringing in one of the best young talents in Europe to cement Arsenal’s midfield should be a no brainer.
In addition to just being talented, the 20-year-old Hazard has worked with Gervinho before, and would fit in well with both Ramsey and Wilshere in the midfield.
There is a reason that the Belgian midfielder has been linked with a move to Arsenal for a while, and his presence on the field would change the whole dynamic of the Arsenal attack.
The New Players: Mats Hummels
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It was painstakingly obvious after the game at Old Trafford that Arsenal needed major help in the defense.
While I do not think the defense is as bad as that performance indicates, they still definitely need a change.
One defender that would change this is the 22-year-old Mats Hummels. At 6’3", Hummels has size. However, Hummels is also one of the cleanest defenders is Europe and knows his position on the field. Furthermore, Hummels is deadly on the counter attack and would add an unexpected boost to the offense as well.
Arsenal’s New Look
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Formation One: Forwards – Van Persie & Cavani; Attacking Midfield – Gervinho; Midfield – Wilshere, Hazard, Ramsey; Defense – Sagna, Hummels, Vermaelen, Koscielny.
Formation Two: Forwards – Van Persie & Cavani; Midfield – Wilshere, Hazard, Ramsey; Defensive Midfield – Song; Defense – Sagna, Hummels, Vermaelen, Koscielny.
Subs: Marouane Chamakh (FW), Carlos Vela (FW), Theo Walcott (MF/FW), Andrei Arshavin (MF), Kieran Gibbs (DF), Vito Mannone (GK)
Both of the formations offer the team something different, but both would be effective in the appropriate context.
Ljungberg, Henry, Bergkamp, Pires
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Arsene Wenger has £80 million to spend on transfers. While he might have to spend nearly all of it to bring in Mats Hummels, Eden Hazrd, and Edinson Cavini, it would be well worth it.
In the last few days, Wenger has said that he wants three more players, and these three would fit into Arsenal perfectly.
Furthermore, none of these players are above the age of 24, something that Wenger is sure to like.