Arsenal’s 3-4-3 formation pulled out another (arguably) unlikely victory and it deserves a closer inspection as to what makes this formation work so well.
For awhile there, the jury was still out on the 3-4-3. It showcased some defensive frailty, not a lot of added pop and made the void at striker feel even more empty. But Arsenal has now sprung into fifth place with eyes on pushing up the table and at this point, it’s impossible not to see it for what it really is – this formation has made a difference.
Even in its fledgling stages, we can see what the formation is built to accentuate and, by that token, we can see what we have to look forward to, so long as the 3-4-3 remains intact, which there is no reason to abandon ship at this point.
The Gunners have lost just one match with this new formation and, while I hate to be the guy that points this out again, that one loss wasn’t all that terrible. Emotionally it was mortifying, but tactically, it wasn’t like they steamrolled us or anything.
Other than that, it’s been four wins and no draws. That’s a strong resume for a new formation.
So let’s dig into what exactly this formation brings out in the Gunners that we should have so much faith in going forward. We start with No. 5.
5. Less Reliance On Alexis
This is a huge deal. For too long, the Gunners had this convenient cop-out that every time they were stumped or struggling, they could just give the ball to Alexis Sanchez and pray. It was annoying because it became so predictable that even Alexis started to look bad.
This new formation distributes power across the formation. With the talent spread more evenly and the athleticism and ability speckled all over the pitch, Alexis sees less of the ball in desperate situations. Which means he isn’t just getting the ball when the Gunners are out of ideas.
Which keeps the team happy because they are more effective.
Which also keeps Alexis happy because he is getting the ball in more effective positions to do something with it, other than cut inside and lose possession (although he still does that pretty often too).
Check that off the list, what else has the 3-4-3 done for us?