Arsene Wenger has two separate formats for his 4-2-3-1 formation this season. At the start of the campaign, he fielded two wide forwards, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott, either side of Santi Cazorla, with Olivier Giroud upfront. That gives Arsenal pace on the flanks, and a classic number ten between the lines.
However, in recent weeks Wenger has experimented with Cazorla drifting inside from the left, the role where he made his name at Villarreal. This changes the balance of Arsenal’s attacking department: Cazorla becomes an extra central midfielder and helps dominate possession, while Jack Wilshere can play higher up the pitch, in the ‘number ten’ role.
It’s tricky to guess which system Arsene Wenger will favour for this weekend’s North London derby. Arsenal’s left-winger will be facing Spurs right-back Kyle Walker, who is impressive going forward, but has been poor defensively this season. Attacking him might be wise, but Wenger will also want to guard against his storming forward runs. However, neither Podolski, who jogs back half-heartedly, or Cazorla, who was caught out by Philipp Lahm when moved to the left against Bayern, offers a perfect solution.
Instead, Wenger might look at the midfield zone, where Cazorla’s movement into central positions should allow Arsenal to pass around Spurs’ three-man midfield. If Wilshere and Cazorla can get in behind Scott Parker, Arsenal might cause real problems; and with Cazorla scoring Arsenal’s last three goals from that left-sided role, it seems likely Wenger will continue with his ‘new’ system.
This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.