WOA Analysis of the new 433 formation…

Afternoon all… it’s official, the International break is here and just as soon as we’ve got into our stride have some players have returned from injury… bang, the International break suddenly hits us… if I am correct after this series of games, the next one is in February, so we’ll have a full 12 to 16 weeks to concentrate on all things Arsenal before our players are taken away and injured again.

With Holland, Spain and England both having already qualified for the World Cup, the likes of Cesc and Theo and RVP shouldn’t be too hard pushed… but of course a few of the team are still not qualified, so I’d expect Arshavin, Gallas, Sagna and Rosicky to play this week and next, and we have to cross our fingers to hope they don’t get injured.

So today, it’s time to look at the 433 formation. And we all saw the formation in it’s full effect on Sunday as we absolutely mullered Blackburn. My dictionary doesn’t recognise the word “mullered”, so please do let me know, I hate those little red underlines, especially when the only alternative is “fullered”…!

There have been good times and back times this season, 5 wins (Everton, Fulham, Wigan, Blackburn and Portsmouth) and 2 losses (Man United away and Man City away). In all seven games this season, we’ve played the 433 formation and in principle it has proved that it has worked, even in the two games we lost.

Against Man United, we dominated the game and were in front, before two individual errors lost us the game – one from Almunia (albeit with a Rooney dive) and an own goal from Diaby. Against Man City, we were 1-1 with not long to go – we took off Denilson and Song, and that was the key factor that unbalanced our formation. Eboue, Diaby, Cesc, Rosicky, Eduardo, Van Persie and Bendtner all wanted to go forward in search of a winner, leaving no one covering the defence and the counter attack play basically undid us – I doubt we’ll see Arsene make that mistake again.

But looking at the five wins, with the exception of a very hard away game down at Craven Cottage – the games against Everton (6), Portsmouth (4), Wigan (4) and Blackburn (6) have seen us score a lot of goals… in fact with 24 goals in the Premier League this season, we’re the leagues top scorers and with 10 goals conceded, we’ve also got the best goal difference.

In some of my previous articles, we looked at Cesc’s opinion of the 433 and how it gave him more freedom to express himself and Theo Walcott also believes this formation will ultimately allow him to play some of his best football:

“I haven’t [set a target] really but I would be happy with 10 goals or more. We’ll see.  I think this formation gives you more license to go forward so I should be among the goals a bit more this year. There is a lot of interchanging throughout the positions, which gives defenders problems because they come across a different player. It’s a good formation. In the Under-17s at Southampton we played this exact formation and I seemed to do quite well on the right side. Hopefully I will fit into it quite well again.”

All in all, it looks like we’re all agreeable to the new formation – thumbs up to Arsene… and whilst we’re talking about Theo Walcott – it was quite endearing to hear how he got Thierry’s autograph after the game, something you probably don’t think professional footballers do to one another, but in reality, it’s amazing to hear and an accolade to how highly Thierry is regarded by his former team mate.

“It was brilliant seeing him today. When your hero is here watching [and you have] his No 14 shirt on, it is a fantastic feeling. I got him to sign a ‘Walcott 14′ shirt so that’s going on the wall next to the one he signed when I first joined.”

And talking about former team mates, Adebayor has been in the press talking about his stamp on Van Persie, saying he shouldn’t have done it and that he regrets it… he then goes on to condemn Arsene Wenger and tell the press how Arsenal wanted him out… I’m not going to repeat myself about the whole Adebayorgate saga when he lied to all the fans and courted himself to all the European clubs – although I think I just did – something that seems to have been forgotten. Arsenal made you Ade, acknowledge and thank rather than swipe and kick.

Anyway, let’s not let that distract us from our otherwise awesome start to the season… more of the same boys!

  • dj eboue

    Cesc’s goal vs Blackburn counts as an assist for Rosicky.

  • http://oleole.com/blogs/upthearse ArsenalAdam

    Nice little blog mate. I´m going to do my best to keep reading it. I think another turning point in the Man City game was the fact that Ade wasn´t sent off for either of his stamps. But I haven´t really thought about the Song substitution before now. Fair enough.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I am convinced the 4-3-3 formation suits us as an attacking team but as a defensive team we have a whole lot of work to do still.

  • Arsefan101

    I think Alex Song has been outstanding just in front of the back four, is it a 433 or a 4-1-4-1?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    It’s more of a 4-2-1-3 with both Song and Denilson/Diaby being the defensive minded players and cesc in the central free roaming role feeding the front 3.

  • Arsefan101

    Yeah very true… maybe more like a 4-2-4 with Cesc really being like another striker!!!

  • Yemi

    I think the more attacking form of cesc comes from the fact that rosisky is on now and both can switch positions. Dis you see the passes being thrown by rosisky in our last match?

  • Arsefan101

    Rosicky is amazing… when Arshavin and Rosicky are on either side of him, Cesc can really excel.

    Just wait until Nasri comes back and replaces Diaby, we’ll be total football!!

  • Steve

    I’d call it a 4-2-3-1.

    Was listening to Gabriel Marcotti the other day. He was doubting if this formation could work for us without RvP. His argument being that the 1 needs to be comfortable receive the ball in tight areas and bringing one of the 3 into the play. I think he has a point, not convinced Bendtner could be as effective. Edu should be comfortable here, but I’ve never seen him up front “alone”.

    Seems to be working really well so far tho. Really suits our attacking play and gives us plenty of room to include our many “attacking midfielders” in the 3 (Arshavin, Cesc, Rosicky, Theo, Bendtner, Eboue, Vela, Nasri, Ramsey, Wiltshire)

  • Steve

    Oh…. and it’s great to watch.

    An old coach of mine used to say a good formation ecourages you to move around when you have the ball, but keeps it clear who has what job when you lose it. Think this formation encapsulates that.

  • Sun10

    In my opinion wenger chose this new 4-33 formation just to accomodate the plenty of attaching players available….

    Song + the back 4 are the only fixed part in our formation.

    And as far as attach is concerned there is no fixed role. Its just anyone can roam around the opponents box and support the attach when we have the ball. And when we loose it, everyone try and win the ball high up the pitch.

  • Berth

    Win the league or trophies – that is enough for me. Though it has to be said that the formation has made us playing again. But still that defensive worry lingers. Who will be our safing grace Nasri or Denilson? Only time will tell.

  • syah

    4-3-3 is sexy. i bet other managers out there are just drooling over the way arsenal plays. arsene wenger is brilliant. i keep wondering if 4-3-3 is just a phase lower than something even greater. im a fan of attacking football. who knows maybe one day arsenal would play with only 2 defenders and win trebles after trebles. hehe.

  • sam

    Read somewhere, perhaps not so reliable, that Wenger has had some talks with Sol Campbel for a return (at 35!). Any thoughts, can any one shed some light?

  • vj

    no sol might only come and train with us, maybe his experiance can help our defenders, we still have some defensive problems with our wing backs, not sure if it really is a 4-3-3 with vermaelen and gallas having scored so many it really is a true arsene wenger play with everyone really in a free role about the pitch, arshavin switching from left and right van persie dropping back sometimes gallas vermaelen attacking, there really is no rigid formation which is why we are soo good doing forward. It is perfect for people like walcott nasri rosicky diaby denilson fabregas arshavin merida ramsay wilshere, to name a few, hopefully no imjuries after the matches and then we must push on with the league. cant wait to see how much nasri has improved