Thoughts On Van Persie’s Position And Formation Change

Ever since Chamakh signed for Arsenal there has been a question, how will the Moroccan play with Van Persie in the same team. Arsene has in the past mentioned that he will look at various options including a change in formation, something that many fans have been demanding.

Intriguingly enough, we saw Van Persie in a deeper role against Wigan in the Carling Cup. Some thought it was a 4-4-1-1 kind of a system, others felt it was a 4-4-2 and some others including myself thought it was the same formation that we use with Van Persie playing in the attacking role normally reserved for Cesc.

Ideally, we want our best players on the pitch. So this is an important decision for Arsene and an interesting discussion for the fans. I hope it isn’t rendered pointless by another injury but for now there’s no harm in enjoying the possibilities even if it’s only in our imaginations.

Regular readers will know I’m a huge Van Persie fan. I believe the Dutchman has incredible talent and is unique in many ways. His positional sense, vision, movement, technique, and confidence around the penalty box are fascinating to watch. He’s also made considerable improvements to his finishing with both feet and head. To me, that makes RvP the perfect player as a central striker in a 4-3-3 or in the hole in a 4-4-1-1.

In contrast, I don’t see him as a winger at all even though he’s played on the wings for a significant part of his career. The point is not that he can’t play as a winger but more that his best and most unique abilities are wasted on the flanks.

The issue is complicated a bit when we bring Chamakh into the picture. The Moroccan has been impressive in the central role and many would love to see him there for the rest of the season as well.

Moreover, he doesn’t seem the type who can change his game to that of a winger. I find it difficult to visualize Chamakh as a player taking on defenders and whipping crosses in. If he does have to play on the flank it will be pretty much similar to what Bendtner did at the start of last season i.e. receive the ball in the air or ground, hold it up, bring the midfielders into play, interchange with the striker once in a while, try and get into the box when the ball is on the other side. Obviously his heading ability would be very useful on set-pieces and attacking crosses at the back post. It’s not exactly the description of Premiership’s average Joey Winger but it did the job for Arsenal, especially when RvP and Cesc were in sublime form.

If Arsene does go with that option, we will see Chamakh on the right and Van Persie central but they’ll swap positions frequently.

The other option would be to change the formation to a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2 and play two strikers or Van Persie in the hole. I actually like this option but the problem is that we cannot fit Arshavin into this system. If we go with four across the middle one of those just cannot be the Russian. His work rate is not at the level where he can help out at both ends of the pitch, something that will be mandatory in a four man midfield. Similar argument can be made for Theo or Vela. Even though they have a better work rate than Arshavin, I can’t see them succeeding as a regular wide midfielders.

I can still visualize this system with Nasri and Rosicky in the wide areas while Cesc and Song dominate the centre. Van Persie just ahead of them and Chamakh leading the line would make it a fairly balanced system. I can also see Diaby or Wilshere coming into one of the central positions if either Cesc or Song is not available.

The problem however, is that I find it very difficult to see how Arshavin, Walcott, Vela, or Denilson will ever fit into this system. One might say Arshavin can play in place of RvP when he is injured but will the Russian be happy to sit on the bench in most games? And personally, I’d prefer to see Arshavin on the pitch whenever he is fit. That follows from the same thought I mentioned above – we need to have our best players playing.

Another issue is that in this formation we won’t have a good backup for our wide players. For instance, playing someone like Denilson on the right could be a stop gap but it will reduce our attacking impetus. In contrast, playing someone like Theo or Vela will always be a risk defensively.

On a positive note, this formation might bring the best out of Sagna and Clichy but it’s taken them a long time to adapt to the new system. Do we really want to go back to square one?

Essentially, if we move to a 4-4-1-1 we might end up reducing the choices we have and the combinations we can create. There will be some positives but it could also lead to a few complications.

One solution might be to have a flexible system and switch between the two formations based on the opposition and the availability of players. I’m all for it but Arsene seems to have a very strong notion of staying with a fixed system with players having flexibility within that formation.

Obviously, if we change formations the players will have to cover different areas. The central midfielders will not have that much freedom to move forward, the wide players won’t be able to move around as much as they do right now and so on. Perhaps, training for this is very different than training for our present flexi-rigid system? That could explain why Arsene likes to stick with it. Another reason could be that with years of experience Le Boss believes the 4-3-3 is our most efficient system. Difficult to argue with his knowledge and experience so I’m just putting my thoughts forward.

To conclude, I’d like Van Persie to play in a central role without too many defensive responsibilities. He has a phenomenal work rate but that should be focussed on movement up front and for pressing, creating openings, and exploiting them. Even when he drops deep it should be for a creative purpose and not because the midfield isn’t able to bring the ball out. Wenger will have to tweak his starting line-up and system to accommodate this or leave Chamakh out (on the bench or on the flank).

 


77 Responses to Thoughts On Van Persie’s Position And Formation Change

  1. Filip says:

    I feel that if Wenger was doing the training and I was picking the starting eleven and the substitutions , we could be champions. His substitutions certainly can not ever be worse than Roberto Mancini`s but need improvement.

    • desigunner says:

      🙂 I guess many of us feel that way but I’m sure that opinion will change if the responsibility fell on our heads.

  2. 9jagun says:

    4-4-1-1 will be a better position to fit in vp with roscisky and arshavin still playing vp is technical and can give some dangerous passes as well.

  3. puppyguts says:

    Wilshere Song

    Nasri Van persie Arshavin

    Chamakh

    if song drops his songdinho act and holds, with jack just in front this is our best formation for Saturday, VP has awesome vision and i believe hes qualities are best suited to play behind a central striker.

  4. david lawlor says:

    il sum it up nice an quick… van persie to start most games when fit…. chamack on bench….bentner sold…vela on loan….. an bring in a young striker a real wizkid unlike vela an bentner 1 for the future an nutrie him for next 2 years dat has same potienal as drogba… he is defeintly a 100 per cent gona play the same formation… also bring in verguton vermonator ex partner in crime… the dutch goalkeeper an the premer league will be ours…… uh god yes

    • Tulio Kinsly says:

      David Lawlor,whose gonna pay for those investments? and how much do you reckon it will cost? wake up mate and look at your clock, whats the time? Its Wenger’s Time!

      • david lawlor says:

        Wake up wake up, tulio says… sweet jesus u dont hava clue mate do u? Over 10 million for bentner over 5 million for dojuro, add 10 mil to it and its a cool 25 million there is the answer to ur stupid question on investment…. i feel like we got a great shout for league, fa cup an carling dis season so sliverware will be ours dis year regardless of any changes… barca to gud 4 champions league…… however if we want total league domination for d next 10 years we need des players in asap….. Footballers i mentioned are on the market at the moment wit cash strapped ajax so my question to u tulio is why not? We are so close to gretness….

    • sob says:

      Bendtner is very important and cannot be sold. If it happens that both RVP and Maroun are injured, he is the man we rely on. Remember how he helped last season. He just has to be patient. After all, he is only 22.

  5. AC Gooner says:

    Enjoyed your article very much.

    Although I understand nothing about strategy at ALL. And sometimes I think it is over-rated. I am a simple person and all I want is to see our best team on the pitch. I have no clue how RVP and Chamakh will play together or all three with AA23 but I cant wait to see AW try. Throw in some Cesc magic and some TR7, Nasri, Wishere – on some days soon, Aaron Ramsey. On some days Theo substitution. Mix it up with some spicy Mexican ingredients on the odd day and let Vela in there.

    Makes your mouth water.

    Just hope RVP stays healthy, we all do, we win something and Cesc thinks its worth his while to stick around (mind and body).

    Then Wenger gets my sympathy for who to play.

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks and yes it’s mouth watering indeed. I don’t know much about these things either but I like to discuss and learn, that just makes watching the games a lot more interesting.

  6. arsene wenger says:

    van persie will offer us a perfect chance to pick the team depending on who we are playing, sometimes chamack, sometimes van persie, sometimes both . we have to become less predictable, give teams more thinking to do. we have to start playing more strategically with our team selections at times

    • Mark says:

      Arsene knows! C’est tres bon to see your comments here, monsieur!

      Jokes apart, I think more players means more flexibility.
      However, Chamakh and RVP are in no way substitutes for each other, and have styles that are quite complementary! Must play them together as the 1-1 in a 4-4-1-1 or the 2 in a 4-4-2/4-1-3-2 formation.

      I just hope Fabregas is ok with dropping into a deeper role when RVP plays. Maybe Wenger could go back to the days of ‘beautiful football’ with Flam (now Wilshere/Song) and Fabregas pulling the strings, and Ade (now Chamakh) & RvP up front with Hleb & Rosicky (now Arshavin/Nasri/Rosicky) doing their thing in midfield, and Gibbs/Cruise/Clichy/Sagna running the wings..

      Of course we also have the pace of Walcott and Vela in our arsenal 🙂
      It’s basically a good thing that RvP is back, but as long as he’s FULLY fit, I don’t think there’s any doubt about his position..

      • desigunner says:

        I don’t think Cesc will have any problems in dropping deeper. In fact, if RvP stays fit and we start dominating like we did in 07-08 I think Fabregas will be more than happy to revert to that role.

  7. GunnerX says:

    I think RvP is best suited in the second striker role. I’d also like see us play different formations from time to time, kind of keeping the oppo on its toes. But seriously with our current squad depth,it might be more successful to base the formation according to available and preferred starting eleven.

    • desigunner says:

      I talked a lot about changing formation last season but I’ve come to believe that Arsene puts in a great deal of analysis/thought into the system and doesn’t like to change it just like that. Was it due to a shortage of personnel due to injuries? Just hoping this year we do show more flexibility.

  8. Nasri212 says:

    I don’t think integrating RVP into the team will be a problem at all… look at it like this:

    A fluid 4-4-1-1 with this line up:

    Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny/Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Nasri, Fabregas, Song, Arshavin, RVP, Chamakh

    Nasri, RVP and Arshavin will be a rotating triplet throughout the match with Fabregas and Song maintaining that Central Role pinging throughballs into the path of attacking players.

    Second string line up would follow the same tactics but with these players:

    Schezeny, Eboue, Djourou/Koscielny, Squillaci, Gibbs, Walcott, Wilshere, Denilson/Frimpong, Vela, Rosicky, Bendtner/JET

    We have a very large squad and a lot of hard games coming up so rotation is the only thing we can do try and ensure wins … for once we have a very large pool of talent to pick from , Wenger just needs to find a tactic which suits the team perfectly whilst giving a good balance of attack and defence

    • SomeRandomGunner says:

      4-4-1-1 is not fluid at all , i dont think we can play a 2 man midfield again. We struggled to keep the ball against Wigan so much. And against Wigan RVP was pretty static or he was always in between the lines did not provide a passing option to Theo or to the midfield. I was a bit surprised to see RVP not having a shot too or into a goal scoring positions which he normally does in Central striker role despite being marked by 2 CBs, and Bendtner was moving around a lot there was lots of space for RVP.

      In 4-4-1-1 teams will crowd us out in the midfield and stop the supply to the forward. An occasional 4-4-1-1 might do like in carling cup. When our whole play goes through the middle and having one man less in the middle is suicidal.

      I think in CL games RVP up front and Chamakh on the bench is our best option. Chamakh can be an impact sub on the wings. Against physical teams and cups Chamakh can replace RVP , preserving RVP is one more point i.e using him only in important games.

      • desigunner says:

        I agree it’s difficult to see a two man central midfield working for us right now. But it can change if we work it out in training. Right now Fabregas runs all over the pitch. In that case he will have to put a lot more effort in the central area and leave the attacking third to the man in the hole.

    • Am says:

      U forgot Ramsay to atleast make the bench as your including injured players.

    • desigunner says:

      I’d be scared if Arshavin was on the left of a 4 man midfield because he would drift in far too often and won’t track back as much as needed. Add the fact that we have only two central midfielders and we would have a problem of balance. Of course that’s just an opinion and I might be wrong but right now it’s difficult for me to visualize Arshavin as a midfielder on the left.

  9. dw says:

    AA chamakh VP

    Jack nasri
    Song

    Van can play on the right he plays there for holland
    , it is still a 4.3.3 he will still drop in that hole and move around thats how he plays
    He played on the right aganst wigan ,when fab comes back you take jack w out , and thats your best arsenal team
    We need this team against man u and chelsea so he needs test it now and see if it works.

  10. Martinzgooner says:

    Aw has said it in official website that… Either rvp or chamakh could be pushed to the wing. I dont see rvp going to the flang.

  11. dw says:

    Chamakh
    Ashavin v persie

    Fabragas
    nasri song
    Gibbs vermaelen Djourou sagna

    Schezeny

    Aganst tall teams il play diaby and take out nasri teams like
    Chelsea stoke bolton, this team we win us the leauge and give us a good chance in the champions leauge

  12. Ieuh says:

    Have a look on this:
    This is mine formation that can adopt most of our good, talented players of 4-3-3.
    GK: Szcerny
    Defensive line: Gibbs, Vermaelen, Scquillaci, Sagna
    Midfield: Nasri, Fabregas, Walcott
    Forward: Arshavin, Chamakh, Van Persie

  13. santori says:

    Desi,

    One of my fav subjects. Formations.

    Having (continuously) berated Wenger for poor tactical choices, its refreshing to see him experiment with RVP in the hole during the CCup.

    I don’t think we should be too fixated with formations suffice to say that switching from 4-2-3-1 in attack to a 4-4-1-1 in defense might actually make us more water tight.

    Here’s how I think we can accomodate everyone (and possibly even a new striker if opportunity so arises;)

    4-4-1-1

    Midfield :

    RW : Nasri/Walcott
    CD1 : Song/Denilson/Rosicky
    CM2 : Fabregas/Wilshere/Ramsey
    LW : Arsharvin/Diaby/Vela

    Libero Striker : RVP/Fabregas

    CF : Chamakh/Bendy/(someone new?)

    Basically RVP is first choice in the hole. Fabregas a close second (He should revert as first choice next to Song). Arsharvin and Nasri can also fill in the slot as and when necessary.

    There is surplus talent in central midfield. On occasion when shutting shop, we can afford to take out the libero position and have say Diaby or Rosicky covering.

    Of course there is also potential to revert to a strict 4-2-3-1 when necessary or open up to a 4-3-3 when opporunity presents itself.

    We have plenty of options and players to fit in. I don’t think Andrei is necessary a handicap if we are now able to swap him in field when necessary. If his concentration level tallies off, we have players to replace him (Vela in particular who should be groomed as his eventual replacement…provided he shows more hunger)

    Meanwhile if RVP is succesful adding us a new dimension in this Bergkamp position of his, there will be implications for Fabregas (and consequently Wilshere)

    All in all though, RVP will add that unpredictability we so lack around the edge of the box because he is liable to pop up anyway. This particularly so in a 4-4-1-1

    Plus he will ad height and presence in the final third and hopefully allow us to convert more of the chances we keep throwing away. The more we do this, the more it will relieve the pressure off the backs.

    Shooting practice please. 🙂

    • desigunner says:

      Well said 🙂

      I’m not too confident of Arshavin on the left but that change can be made based on the way the game is going i.e. if we are under pressure on that side. My other worry is that Arsene doesn’t normally make these kind of changes soon enough.

  14. ruelando says:

    VP is not a center forward in any sense he loves to go to the right flank so that he can get to shoot with his left foot or to cross, which i think is one of arsenal missing ingredients and thats where Chamakh will come more into play if VP is on the right flank.
    Some people will argue this point but please watch your matches for holland or arsenal and you will see the proof.
    In our previous matches he is wide with no one inside to get the ball , thats why we should be glad for Chamakh and the type of player he is and will become with better service.
    And i will say this with no apology that it will be the most foolish thing arsenal would ever do, to put van persie in the Chamakh position.
    We have to be able to adjust our system of attack for different teams and this most be done soon we are too easily read, the diaby situation was a stroke of genius by wenger and i think that would and allow him to drift about throw off the Manures if we put van persie there and allow him to drift about.
    i would definitely love to see it against fulham.

    • SomeRandomGunner says:

      He loves to stick around the middle and provide killer passes, he is not a center forward who wants to knock down the aerial balls.

      Did not you see Holland made him CF after Arsenal moved him as a CF in a 4-3-3 ? He is as difficult to play as Messi in that role(CF) , getting crowded and providing the killer balls to others. He occasionally moves to the wings to pull the defenders out of position.

    • desigunner says:

      I guess you should watch the first 11 games from last season once again. RvP was phenomenal in a central role far more effective than he will ever be on the wing.

      The kind of chances he created for Vela in the Wigan game or the assist he had for Fabregas’ goal against Wolves is something Chamakh just can’t do (no disrespect).

  15. messi says:

    For the game against Fulham I’d go with the same team that mainly started at Aston Villa:

    ……………..Fabianski……………….

    Sagna, Squillaci, Koscienly, Clichy

    ……..Denilson Song Wilshere………

    ..Rosicky…..Chamakh…..Arshavin..

    Subs: Sczeszny, Eboue, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Van Persie, Bendtner

    Arsenal 3-0 Fulham: Arshavin, Chamakh, Nasri

    But knowing our defending we’ll probably concede a goal from Clint Dempsey, the good thing is Bobby Zamora and Moussa-Demble are not gonna play as they’re both injured. So it should be a good game with a lot of possession and chances.

    • Red Viking N21 says:

      No Nasri !!!
      Our best player at the moment,
      Lol, ur a joke

    • desigunner says:

      I guess you wanted to mention Nasri somewhere but forgot 🙂 He’s there in the goalscorers list but not in the team or the bench, lol. First ever goal scored from the crowd, eh 😛

  16. Gordon says:

    Van Persie must play on the right..!! He will score a ton of goals cutting in onto his favoured left foot just like arshavin does with his right.. Nasri is best suited to play behind the forward with song holding and fabregas playing that xavi/xabi role.. With 433 the team is very fluid do you’ll get alot of movement from ash van and nasty anyways.. Bendtner sub after chamakh has ran for 60-70min.. Walcott sub when a team tried to come at us leaving room behind for his pace.. Wilshere sub when we need fresh legs in the mid others are just fringe..

  17. lee says:

    4-1-3-2 maybe? to fit our BEST team together
    …………..Fabianski…………..
    Sagna…Koncielny…Vermaelen..Clichy
    ……………..Song…………….
    Nasri……….Fabregas…….Arshavin

    …………RVP……………………
    ……………..Chamakh……………

    or a 4-2-3-1 where fabregas falls back next to song to really “pull the strings”

    • golds73 says:

      Yes, 4-1-3-2 might be a possible solution, if the following points are followed:

      1) Song stays as a pure defensive midfielder and doesn’t venture forward during open play, which means Alex doing much like what he did last season. No more Songinho!

      2) Rvp tracks back to the midfield whenever we lose possession, otherwise we stand to lose out in a 2 vs 3 in midfield when we play an opponent deploying a 4-3-3 formation, like Chelsea.

      3) Nasri and Arshavin(or whoever plays as the wingers) track back to help Sagna and Clichy respectively when they are doubled up by the opposition wingers and full backs.

      The problem with Arsenal using a 4-1-3-2 is that we are using so many attacking players at the same time on the pitch, and so we lack defensive cover, especially when we lose the ball(Song can’t be everywhere on the pitch to help out). So, the attacking players need to track back and help out when we lose possession.

      • desigunner says:

        Very interesting points.

        I do agree the slight risk is in relying on too many attacking players to be defensively alert. If they can’t do it once or twice we could concede a soft goal and make it hard for ourselves as it would open up counter attacking opportunities for the opposition.

        On the other hand, this side could score against almost any defence.

    • gathoni says:

      iam of the similar opinion.

  18. samir nasri says:

    right now i like the 4-3-3 with nasri and arshavin operating on the flanks

  19. boozy says:

    i’d really like to know how you arrive at this conclusion.
    1. arshavin CANT play in a 4man midfield.
    2. vela and theo CANT play thier either.
    3. Chamack cant play on wing(not that i want it)
    4. that 4-4-1-1 reduces our options as opposed to 4-3-3.

    • desigunner says:

      Well it’s just my opinion based on what I’ve seen.

      I think Arshavin drifts in far too often and doesn’t have the positional sense or technique to make consistent defensive contribution that will be needed if he is on the flank in a 4 man midfield.

      Similar arguments can be made about Vela and Theo although they will certainly be better than Arshavin.I thin they’re both the occasionally sprinting types whereas the 4 man midfield needs constant running up and down at a steady pace.

      Chamakh can play on the wing like Bendtner did last year but he won’t be as effective as Nasri, Arshavin or Walcott simply because his strengths are different from those players.

  20. Gunner says:

    I would say, stick to 4-3-3, with RvP, chamak, and ashwin given specific instruction to keep swaping among the 3 of them within the game. all 3 of them are talented to play in any position in the final 3rd.

    this way, we can play a very fluid frontline which opp cant do any form of man marking, and all 3 can create massive confusion.

    Of coz in order to do this, the entire team must be drilled to understand the movement of the front 3, without getting confused themself. it will be a nightmare if we failed to confuse opp, and ended up confusing ourself. LOL

    • desigunner says:

      🙂

      That happens with smaller teams quite often and even with Arsenal now and then when the players make different runs and the ball goes somewhere else. Good fun to watch when it happens to others!

  21. reality check says:

    song
    nasri tomas
    arshavin
    rvp chamakh
    i know its imaginary but it works on fifa for me.

  22. SomeRandomGunner says:

    I think for Bordeaux he played more as a CF drifting large to the wings and arriving in a bit late into the box to meet crosses. In that way he does not have to compete with two CBs for headers also he can run and attack the ball where he has space. As you said RVP has to play through middle. Chamakh can certainly play on wings but will i drop Nasri for Chamakh ? No . So I think our first 11 will leave Chamakh out , 3-4 weeks back the problem was much simpler drop Arshavin out and put Nasri on left and Chamakh on right. Now Arshavin cannot be dropped.

    So i would replace RVP with Chamakh in our current 11 .

    • desigunner says:

      Arsene did make an off-hand mention of playing RvP behind Chamakh. Let’s see how it goes in the next few weeks. Should be fun and enlightening.

  23. arvind says:

    we can talk all we want about the formation but until the team sorts out its defensive woes it wont make a difference..

    • desigunner says:

      Will constant moaning about that make a difference? I guess it could have a negative impact if the crowd at the Emirates starts groaning at small mistakes. Can’t see a positive side to this.

  24. kudzie says:

    I do not agree with your assessment that Chamark can not plan as a winger. At his prvious team he was playing as a winger/cum striker. He has actually adjusted his game so that he can be a centerforward. That is why you find that he makes unnecessary passes and is not as selfish as other cenral strikers. I remember when he first played for morocco he was a winger

    • desigunner says:

      I’ll be happy if he can do that. I don’t mean to belittle his abilities or anything, this is just my opinion based on what I’ve seen.

  25. Karthik says:

    4-3-3, with the advanced midfild role slightly modified. RvP starting on the right, and on occasion, drifting inside, with the advanced midfielder drifting outside(think Samir).Team:
    Goalie
    Back 4
    Ramsey/Cesc/Rosicky Song/Diaby/Denilson/Wilshere

    Nasri

    RvP Chamakh Arshavin
    Similarly if AA23 drifts in, the advnce MF can go onto the left flank, thus liberating both RvP and Arshavin to play in their favoured role, while maintaining the good old 4-3-3.

    • desigunner says:

      Sounds interesting, we’ll just need a lot more discipline and defensive effort from the two midfielders.

      • Karthik says:

        If Song stops his wandering up front, he and Cesc could play, with Cesc donning a more Xavi type role. Wilshere and Ramsey would do well in this role in my mind.

  26. Arsenal4 says:

    Nice topic to start the weekend.

    Agree that best players should be on the field. That’s said we need to accommodate RVP, Fab, AA & Nasri eventually.

    Having said that i don’t think we should change formation at all.

    In home games/goal searching :

    Chamakh

    AA RVP Nasri

    Fab Song

    In away games/defensive focus:

    RVP

    AA Fab Nasri

    Wilshere Song

    > I always think that RVP better off as a hole striker, he can pass, makes room, strikes from outside and take defender from deep. Better than be a headless chicken central striker.
    >Fab, can make play from deeper which he’s very good and visionary he then can have 4 options AA, RVP, MC & SN. BTW, he can’t run anyway so for a more advance role is a bit too much for him.
    > when play a little bit more defensive we need to keep the ball and need people that can strike out of nothing – Chamakh needed to be served while AA, SN & RVP can make something out the blue.

    So- i don’t think we need to switch the system.

    When we had Adebayor we managed to get Robin there – guess how many goals Ade got a season? 30.

    • desigunner says:

      Good point about having different systems for home and away. I guess it would also depend on the quality of the opposition and their tactics, something I forgot to cover in the article.

      While Ade did get a lot of goals we didn’t have someone like Arshavin on the wing that time did we? Hleb always put in a solid defensive shift and the same can be said about Rosicky or whoever else played out wide.

  27. critic says:

    nasri has a knock on his knee. I wud be pleased if he is not risked against fulham. Wenger says he has good squad depth and i agree completely with it. It’s time to show it to people who don’t. I hope he doesn’t risk nasri in this cold, i mean what’s the point in having a big squad if u keep pushing ur best players???

  28. Jenkinson says:

    We played 4-2-3-1 against Wigan and that is how we’ll probably play tomorrow:
    Fabianski
    Sagna Squillaci/Djourou Koscielni Clichy
    Song Wilshere
    Nasri van Persie Arshavin/Rosicky
    Chamakh
    With van P and Nasri both prepared to come deep we have good defensive cover and a very flexible and powerful strike force.

  29. Am says:

    A change to 4-4-2 or the 4-4-1-1 (just another way to say 4-4-2) would not work at all.

    4-4-2 would not work aswell over the course of a premiership season.

    Reason: 4-4-2 needs high energy Centre Midfielders, ie: Essien or Viera.

    Why: Because the players need to have stamina, pace and power, to go forward with the team and then be the first players back to help the defence.

    Why cant it work at Arsenal: Song is good in current formation as he can pick and choose when he goes forward, when he does Wilshire/Denilson/Diaby whoever is playing will cover him.

    Fabrigas will have to do more defending than he usually does, which will take away from his attacking flair. (dry up almost a quater of our goal last season) its no surprise that a change to 4-3-3 also changed Fabregas goal scoring ratio.

    I think Van Persie could play on our left wing and change for Arshavin every now and then in a 4-3-3.

    • desigunner says:

      I’m not sure our players lack energy. I think it’s more to do with balance than with energy and that’s the reason most big teams are switching to three in midfield. For instance, Chelsea have the likes of Mikel and Essien but they still play three in the middle.

  30. Jonathan says:

    We should field this squad:

    Chamakh
    Arshavin RVP Nasri
    Fabregas Song

    • Jonathan says:

      With Nasri dropping back to the midfield and having the other forwards interchange will allow our team to play and dominate a game ala Barcelona… If Barca can field a team with Villa, Messi,Pedro, Xavi and Iniesta we should be able to play with Chamakh, Van Persie, Arshavin, Nasri, and Fabregas… Lets allow our posession to be our defense. And if we lose the ball, pressuring the other team until we get it back could be as effective as Barca’s

      • desigunner says:

        I think Farca can do it because La Liga is very different. Much less physical, slower, and more open. I don’t think they’ll succeed with that style in the Premiership. Although it does work against the bigger EPL sides in Europe, playing that way week in, week out would be very tough, especially once you get all those kicks.

  31. Arsenaler says:

    it think that arsenal should play a 4-3-2-1.

    sagna———–.squilacci——-.vermaelen—–.clichy
    wilshere========fabregas========nasri
    ………………arshavin………R.V.P…………….
    ………………………chamack………………….

  32. Phil23 says:

    We were never going to change formation… Our best formation is 4 2 3 1. In fact, thats the best formation in modern football right now. I’ve said it before but I cant be bothered looking through the archives, RVP is the perfect player to play in Cescs role. He will change the way our formation works though as he can’t swap around with the defensive mids like Cesc can. Luckily, he can go wide so that Nasri can drop deep. Chamakh and Van Persie together are going to be something beautiful. We are going to be so much more lethal in and around the box. We will probably concede a fair few more goals but for every one we concede by having VP in mid, we will score 3. This combination is not going to be ready for the United game as im sure we will take a small amount of time to adjust. With Van Persie playing slightly deeper we have finally got the 5th attacking threat i have been wanting so badly. Barca have Villa Ineista Xavi Messi and Alves. When they are missing just one of those players they are a much less potent team. Now we have our answer, Chamakh, Arshavin Van Persie Nasri, Cesc. Even better, we have potent weapons off the bench like Walcott, Gibbs, Wilshere, Rosicky and Bendtner. Barca of course have Pedro and Bojan but I have a feeling if we meet Barcelona

  33. Phil23 says:

    We were never going to change formation… Our best formation is 4 2 3 1. In fact, thats the best formation in modern football right now. I’ve said it before but I cant be bothered looking through the archives, RVP is the perfect player to play in Cescs role. He will change the way our formation works though as he can’t swap around with the defensive mids like Cesc can. Luckily, he can go wide so that Nasri can drop deep. Chamakh and Van Persie together are going to be something beautiful. We are going to be so much more lethal in and around the box. We will probably concede a fair few more goals but for every one we concede by having VP in mid, we will score 3. This combination is not going to be ready for the United game as im sure we will take a small amount of time to adjust. With Van Persie playing slightly deeper we have finally got the 5th attacking threat i have been wanting so badly. Barca have Villa Ineista Xavi Messi and Alves. When they are missing just one of those players they are a much less potent team. Now we have our answer, Chamakh, Arshavin Van Persie Nasri, Cesc. Even better, we have potent weapons off the bench like Walcott, Gibbs, Wilshere, Rosicky and Bendtner. Barca of course have Pedro and Bojan. I have a feeling if we meet Barcelona in the latter stages of the CL it will be the clash of the two best teams in the world with not much difference in class.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree change in formation is not that likely. I guess it’s more about finding balance rather than playing with numbers and you’re right it will take some time for the players to gel. Hopefully Song will cut out his Songinho act (hilarious comment above) once we have all these players on the pitch.

  34. […] Thoughts On Van Persie’s Position And Formation Change Ever since Chamakh signed for Arsenal there has been a question, how will the Moroccan play with Van Persie in the same […] […]

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