The 3-4-3 Discussion

I saw the 3-4-1-2 discussion but this is actually a different formation so I thought I’d start a thread to discuss the change.

So the pros and cons


Defending, clearly a problem we’ve had, the CBs will always be back, which counters are too many players forward problem. And then we actually have specialise

Sort of the same point BUT it covers the gap between the midfielders and defenders issue

We’re stronger in the air, curtesy of 3 heading machines attacking the ball.

We’re stronger at set pieces. No coincidence that we scored from 1, had a goal disallowed from 1 and defended them well.

It covers the weaknesses of Xhaka, Ramsey and when he returns Cazorla.

It lets Alexis and Ozil play more narrow and forward

We have good ball playing centre backs, so it makes use of them. It also makes it easier for them to defend.


We can get overrun in midfield and we may sacrifice possession

We may create less chances

You really need a dynamic CF, something Giroud is not suited too.

The football isn’t great

Question: Will we stick with it?

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Yes (well him and Xhaka) and it was poor position but that was a set piece when we had all our CBs up the field. We’re usually caught exposed 4v3 or 4v2 on counter attacks in normal play and that didn’t really happen yesterday. I also reckon if we started with Bellerin as wingback he probably recovers against Aguero. As would Kolasinic if we signed him. Monreal for his qualities doesn’t have very good recovery pace.


I would try Danny/Theo upfront with Alexis.

I think there are two separate discussions. The first is the formation and the second is the mentality. What made us good against City was a defensive mentality where we covered gaps, nobody strayed too much and we were deep so there was no space behind and that in turn helped the defence because half of our fuck ups are when defenders are running back against their own goal. We’ve played like this before and got results against City with a back 4 so I think the defensive solidity etc. was maybe more a mentality and discipline thing rather than just changing up the formation. A back 3 doesn’t necessarily mean a defensive team so it’ll be interesting to see it against someone we’d expect to beat (after a bit of practice).

We have most of these cons in all formations so I’m happy to stick with this one for now. What I think is good about it is that it gives players like Chambers and Holding who are clearly decent the chance to play and be protected a bit more and it makes up for the lack of height at set pieces with Alexis up front.

I’m happy enough for the football not being great. I’d much rather spend 90 minutes watching us put in a professional performance that’s a bit less adventurous than watch us for 40 minutes and think “I’ve got to turn this off I can’t watch these jokers anymore”.


Its still too early to tell though its refreshing to at least see us trying something different. Welbz should be in the starting line up over Giroud with this formation for sure though.

Shouldn’t the ideal lineup here be Monreal, Kos, Holding, Mustafi, Ox, Xhaka, Ramsey, Özil and Iwobi, with Alexis up top?

Just don’t understand why Iwobi has all of a sudden been pushed out of the picture and the Alexis CF thing been discarded after working well…If anything 3 at the back should suit having a more versatile striker like Alexis at CF.

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it wasnt working that well though. For a period of time we were playing some incredible football, but the goals weren’t remotely sustainable and the stats bods all knew (and evidenced/published/said) it wasn’t going to last.

Alexis gets goals because he is a mad talent, world class perhaps. But he is imo less a great striker and more just a complete forward who can slot anywhere and do a job. I’d wager him at CB is pretty tasty tbh.

I’d imagine this lineup would allow Iwobi to fucking thrive. Zero defensive work playing either side of the striker for a start. But him being out is vital imo. He should never have been starting so many games for a club of our stature, and it’s important that he has to fight for and earn his spot.


Because his form tailed off and he’s a younger player. Sometimes it’s better to take them out of the picture. Especially when the entire fan base turned against the team. Sensible management from Wenger.

Besides, he really hasn’t been good enough for a while now.

It wasn’t really working, unless Theo ran into the space vacated by Alexis as he dropped deep. Quite often we didn’t have anyone in the box when the ball was in the final third. That’s a big problem because you can’t create chances if there’s no one to create for. We scored despite the system not because of it. And when we won we often did so by the skin of our teeth.

I think we need a genuine pacy forward in the system, for me our best bet is Welbeck and then Theo. Welbeck transformed our play when he came on against City. If we get a better mobile CF great but until then it’s Welbz for me.

I didn’t watch second half of last season, so I don’t know how well this formation worked.
But personally I hate it.

It allows average/defensive players to become good but crowds the area for better/attacking players to perform at their best.

There is no wonder why average players like Moses & Ox(although he has been good) prosper because they get more space to work with; but they are no Dani Alves.

Midfield is weird in this or Wenger is using it weirdly. I only see Xhaka ever in the middle. Ramsey is either up the field or Elneny is on wings covering up for wingbacks.

Last season people were saying we have the players for 343 but I don’t see that.
Ozil is best in middle. Bellerin is not doing well. Xhaka doesn’t have pace to cover so much ground even if he has more space with the ball now. We need Per’s /Kos’ reading of the game.

Midfield is bigger annoyance for me. I enjoy midfield play. I prefer watching videos of midfielders owning the game compared to watching strikers scoring goals. Going from 3 midfielders to 2, one of whom is cleaning up on others is just not my preference of midfield play.

I know trend demands this formation but gosh I am starting to miss 442 in just 2 games.

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Wenger doesn’t know how to use the formation properly which is why we’ve revered to a back 4 in so many of the games we’ve played 3 at the back.

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He doesn’t have the players to do it. It was just an emergency solution.

The notion that Chamberlain propers/has been good is such bollocks.

Last season was terribly dull and tedious, but at least it had a short period where we were playing somewhat decent football with the Iwobi-Alexis-Theo-Özil front line. This one looks much worse, where you just know that it’ll still be October and we’ll still be complaining about how stubborn Wenger is to change away from the 3-4-3, before he finally makes the change maybe a month or two after.

I really need to find another team to watch with at least a passing interest, Arsenal is taking the joy out of (watching) football for me. :frowning:


Support Parma, and then you and Luca can go watch some games together :kroenke:

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The players or the know how.

I’ll pass thanks :slight_smile:

Both. An emergency solution is just for a short period of time. When you have almost fixed your problem (trying to finish in the Champions League last season) you have to abandon it. We are at the start of the season. There is no need for 3 at the back anymore.

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It doesn’t seem to matter what system we play btw. When there are similarities between the 4-2-3-1 and the 3-4-3 of that things that go wrong. There is only one conclusion. One that has been obvious for ages, but all we can do is wait.

until he dies? I reckon he probably will be given another few years contract from those limp wristed wankstains of a board, i feel that Arsene is the real owner of Arsenal even though he has no shares in the club the fucking guy will be here forever it feels.

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