Is Arsenal’s 3-5-2 here to stay?
Arsenal’s conversion to 3-5-2 so late in the season took many by surprise. It was a bold move that paid off with Arsenal lifting the FA Cup trophy for a record 13th time having finished the league season as the in-form team – sadly that run of form was a point too late to stay in the top four for an even more astonishing 21st consecutive season.
When Olivier Giroud joined in 2012 I wrote something about how 3-5-2 might improve Arsenal defensively and bring the best out of the group of players we had. In 2017 I would have been less convinced that it would work but it has seemingly freed a lot of players to showcase their strengths. Defensively Arsenal are much stronger and they are gaining fluency in attack with every match.
Will Arsenal start next season with this formation or will summer purchases see us revert back to type? Were I the manager I would stick with a formation that has shown great promise in its infancy and see where I could take it. I believe it’s a formation that could see the group of players we have crowned champions without considering what new additions to the squad can add to the mix. Biggestfreebets have the best selections of free bets available so if you would like to look ahead to next season and place a bet on the Gunners, make sure you take a look at their site before signing up to ensure the best deal.
Sticking with the 3-5-2 could offer us the best of our previous system as well the flexibility to change tactics in match without the need of a substitute. Arsenal’s game-plans would be enhanced by a flexible system that allows them to effortlessly transition from defence to attack and react to opposition tactics if we find ourselves on the back foot.
A 3-5-2 also extends the career of Per Mertesacker as he can play as a sweeper. This is crucial because it keeps one of the best readers of the game in the club mentoring younger defenders. Arsenal need to avoid the situation where influential players approaching the end of their careers are snapped up by other clubs and extending their playing career delays any departure.
Koscielny, Mustafi, Gabriel, Monreal and new signing Sead Kolasinac are all capable of playing as fullbacks which has seemingly helped them adapt to setting up in slightly wider positions. This could easily be adapted in match to revert to a 4-1-4-1 as a centre-back goes wide and one of the wing-backs pushes up to fill in as a winger.
We could also change formation to a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 or 3-2-2-3 (the ‘WM’ formation made famous by Herbert Chapman) at will. I know it’s not Football Manager but all it would take would be a shout from Bould to completely change formation which could have the effect of a substitute without wasting one too early on. I would be surprised if we revert back to 4-1-4-1/4-2-3-1 next season–I think 3-5-2 is here to stay–but however we line up next season I think we’re in for a great season and I can’t wait.
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