We’re beginning to see a change in the general formation within the Premier League. Being more used to the 4-2-3-1 formation, for the balance in midfield, Chelsea may be proving it a system of old with their 3-4-3 which has turned their season from dud to a lit fuse to the title. Now Wenger is very unlikely to change but for the sake of speculation here is how Arsenal should lineup with 3 at the back.
Goalkeeper and Cente Backs
Cech is the obvious candidate in between the sticks with him hardly, if ever, putting a foot wrong in goal. Now with the centre backs there could be debate for Monreal or Holding but I’ve gone with Koscielny, Mustafi and Gabriel. Kostafi are the clear first two candidates with Koscielny on his favoured left side and the commanding presence of (future captain?) Mustafi to lead the defence. So I understand, Gabriel may seem to some as ‘a risky option’ due to his rash play and tendencies but on his day he is a ferocious, beast of a defender that can put down any attacker going (just ask Lukaku). However, the main reason for the three choices is the athleticism brought by all. With a defence that athletic it allows our team’s attack more freedom and opposing attackers less the final third, making them perfect for Arsenal.
Joel Campbell would have been PERFECT for the left side of this duo but he’s off in Lisbon so that’s not an option. My two on each side would be Bellerin and Gibbs. Bellerin has the pace, recovery and defensive abilities to really make the position his own, he only needs to improve his crossing to be a truly world class full back. Gibbs now 27 is in the last chance saloon yet is still very capable of being world class too. Gibbs is athletic, quite fast and his crossing is great too, only his ability to track back is in doubt but, minus that, he and Bellerin would be great on either side.
I really love a lot about Francis Coquelin, I love his passion, his game and his loyalty…but Xhaka offers more ability. Xhaka is strong defensively (though not as strong as Coquelin), composed on the ball and has excellent distribution to boot, he would be ideal in a defensive position in the midfield. Ahead of him in the 2 centre midfield spots should be Ozil and Ramsey. Ozil was obviously be in the team but I’ve always believed that Ozil would be perfect in a centre mid spot: his world class vision, passing range, technical ability and his budding love for a goal would in some ways make him the heir to Santi Cazorla, only better. Ramsey proved his quality in the PSG game with his never ending effort, his passing, his tackling and his offensive threat. He can slot in and defend with Xhaka and push up and attack with Ozil and this formation would make him key to linking defence and attack together.
My front men would be Alexis Sanchez as a centre forward and Oliver Giroud as the main striker. Anyone who watched the Euros will have watched the Giroud-Griezmann combo and will know how effective it was. Giroud is a fantastic hold up striker and lays off the ball to runners whenever he can. He is also a better striker than most give him credit for with aerial strength bailing us out on multiple occasions this season. Despite this if your asking who’s world class in the striking department, it’s Alexis Sanchez. His dribbling, movement, finishing, pace and passing are all on point but he doesn’t have the discipline to stay in the box. Now if Giroud and Sanchez were to work together then we would have the presence in the box and the silky smooth skill to ruin most of our opposition and dominate in attack.
The final team
Gibbs Ozil Ramsey Bellerin
Koscielny Mustafi Gabriel