Sep 8, 2017
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Arsenal round-up: Formation change; Sanchez ready to return; Monreal on defensive issues

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Arsenal are going to welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow and the Telegraph report that Arsene Wenger is considering changing his formation. He had started the season with a 3-4-2-1 formation, but he could be ready to go back to the 4-2-3-1 that he has favoured during his managerial career. The team have struggled with defensive balance and a tweak to the formation might help solve that problem.

The Gunners need to be flexible when it comes to tactics and be able to switch depending on the opposition. Arsene Wenger appears to lack that and the 3-4-2-1 formation hasn’t looked to be well coached, which is why the Frenchman should go back to the 4-2-3-1. This is what he has coached for most of his managerial career and he understands what is required to make it successful. The lack of quality central defenders at the club is another reason why the change would be worthwhile, as there isn’t an obvious candidate to be the third centre-back.

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Alexis Sanchez is raring to go after the international break and ready to prove his quality in the Arsenal team. It would have been disappointing for the Chilean to miss out on a move to Manchester City, especially after an offer was accepted by the Gunners. However, he can’t afford to sulk and lose form in a World Cup year. His latest post on Instagram suggests that he has returned to North London with the right mentality.

The supporters will be delighted that he has remained at the club, but it will only have been a decision worth making for the club if he applies himself on the pitch. There are few better players in the Premier League and if he performs to his ability, he could help Arsenal to have a great season. It is encouraging that he looks ready to put the transfer saga behind him, but it remains to be seen how much effort he is willing to put in on the pitch.

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Nacho Monreal is the latest Arsenal player to admit defensive issues and attributes the problems to the negative atmosphere in an interview with the Evening Standard:

“I have to say that in the last three games we have conceded eight goals and this is a lot,” 

“This year we won the Community Shield. The problem is the last two games we lost and the atmosphere is a bit nervous, but I think from tomorrow if we play a good game and get three points, we will have more confidence and we will improve.

“We need to improve a lot. Our target is to win the Premier League, and obviously we can’t win it if we keep playing like we did against Liverpool.”

The defensive record at the beginning of this season is a huge concern and the main reason that Wenger should change back to a 4-2-3-1. It is the system that his players are most comfortable with and they can no longer afford to take risks. They need to rebuild their confidence and start to build up a good run of form, before they are cut adrift of the top.

Article Categories:
Arsenal · Transfer Round-up
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.