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A new formation?

A new formation?

So many have opinions on the manager, the players and the formation. But it's the latter I believe is the problem.

Don't get me wrong, with a fit squad I fully support AVB's 4-1-1-3-1 tactic, with Sandro as the defensive hold and Dembele in the middle. But we have injuries, players badly out of form, and a wafer thin squad. Against the Scum, I believe we should play to our fit players strengths; not put square pegs in round holes to stick rigidly to a system. And that means 3-5-2. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the time is now.

Let's look at why this is player for player. Firstly I would play Lloris in goal. Brad has done nothing wrong, but this system requires a quick sweeper-keeper and Hugo is your man. He will hopefully be fully fit after a game for France so stick him in. Now your 3 centre backs. We only have 4 anyway, but I wouldn't put Dawson in the side, his lack of pace against a fast Arsenal forward line could be telling.

Playing with Vertonghen, Caulker and Gallas would do two things. Firstly, it would help to counter wide men who have drifted in against us in previous matches. (Think Mata, Ben Arfa, Nani, Snodgrass, Morrison!!) Podolski and Walcott will do this for Arsenal. Simply by having an extra body at the back can make it more difficult for them.

Secondly it leaves an extra body at the back when we push forward and get caught, as has happened against Chelsea and Man City. Pushing Vertonghen back to his favoured role is also another plus point. The wing backs would be Walker and Bale. Walker needs a good old rest; I'm not sure he ever recovered properly from the injury before Euro 2012. However, Saturday's game is not the time for Naughton.

By playing Walker at wing back it would help relieve him of defensive problems he has suffered this season. I'm not saying he wouldn't defend, but it would help his positional play. As he goes forward he would hope Podolski comes back with him, and his job would be to track Podolski back as well. Again if Podolski cuts in there should be 3 centre backs waiting.

Gareth Bale may not like playing wing back but it's for the good of the team and he would still provide our best out-ball. Again he would be up against Walcott or Chamberlain and would have his share of defensive work, but we saw even against City how quick he can be from one box to the other with the ball at his feet. It would also stop him from drifting inside, although this has been less frequent this season.

I advocate playing 3 men in the middle against Arsenal and they would be Sandro, Huddlestone and Carroll. It would be a big game for young Tommy, but to be honest we haven't got anybody else if Dembele is not fit. Arsenal's midfield, if given time and space, can destroy Spurs. Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla. I wouldn't fancy two men in there against those lot - 3 midfielders is a must.

Despite their talent, if we got at them, stifled their space and retained possession (easier to do with 3 in the middle of the park) the battle can be won. Sandro can sit deep, Huddlestone is your man in the middle, with Carroll pushing on. Up front is a difficult choice. Dempsey and Sigurdsson have been nothing short of awful so far, although the latter has shown endeavour. Dempsey looks like he'd rather be anywhere else.

I would go two up front and have a go at Arsenal's shaky back line. Ade was our best player on Sunday, and his dislike for the opposition should fire him up. He can play the hole, helping to bring our midfield and on-rushing wide men into the game. Defoe has been excellent and deserves to start.

This means no place for Lennon, but after recovering from a knock, the bench should be ok, and what a sub to bring on once the Scum are tired. There are ways to get at Arsenal. They hate it when it gets tough, their crowd are as bad as ours when things go wrong, and our set plays have looked great this season, while they look very shaky. I fancy a belter of a game, with a few goals. Fingers crossed for a win!

Written by sebbaspurs

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday November 15 2012
Time: 8:54AM


have to say, Ive always liked the idea of 3-5-2, as long as you have the players to play it and we have. saying that, are we really in a position where we should be drastically changing a system when we consider how many injuries are making life hard for AVB and getting the best from what he is trying with a 4-2-3-1 perhaps ultimately evolving into a 4-3-3?
15/11/2012 08:58:00
I like the refreshing approach but it's really too drastic a change i think at the moment. People always forget with that formation the wide men are often forgotten, especially with our pacy counters the wide men will keep getting caught in between tracking backing and bursting forward. Maybe if we had a full strength squad we could experiment....
15/11/2012 09:13:00
To me, 3-5-2 with wing backs is effectively 5-3-2. If you play 2 genuine wide midfielders like Lennon & Bale together - then it may not be so defensive. The problem is that I do not think that 3-5-2 works in England. When I have seen it, it has failed because the oppostion punt the ball into the full back position, which either pulls a CB across (creating gaps) or pushes the wing back deeper (causing you to be a true 5-3-2). Plus when the opposition do get the ball in advanced wide areas, you cannot double up on him - which is what happened 2 seasons ago at the lane vs Wigan when Harry switched to 3-5-2, and Rodellega received the long ball in that area, had one defender to beat, and scored - winning the game. In reality we HAVE to stick to 4-2-3-1 because that is what the manager believes in. He will either sink or swim with it I guess. The squad definitely ISN'T wafer thin by the way - apart from up front, but we play only one up there anyway.
15/11/2012 09:28:00
We also have to play to the opposition - especially away from home and against formidable opponents in Arsenal. Bacary Sagna means that we certainly cannot play 3-5-2. The guy pushes up so high, that Bale would be too busy dealing with him, rather than the other way around - and Bale just does not have natural defensive instinct, so he would just end up leaving Sagna to his own devices. I am not a fan of 3-5-2, but it is worth debating, and perhaps someone can convince me otherwise....
15/11/2012 09:37:00
That formation relies heavily on the wingbacks getting up and down the field, with our reliance on Bale he will be exhausted after 60 mins. Tonys right, a team like arsenal would pick apart and punish any defensive fragilities that this formation would bring. I would give 4-3-3 a punt playing Sandro, Hudd, carroll in the middle, Ade, Bale and defoe/Falque up top (would say demsey would be ideal, but the guys been shocking). This should provide enough definsive cover whilst retaining an attacking threat. I do like the 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation but not for a game like this.
15/11/2012 09:41:00
Playing 3 at the back would nock Arsenal of balance for sure. But we have little or no time to train with it, especially with this being an international week.
Tactically Challenge
15/11/2012 09:58:00
I'm with you on that one Tony...i'm all for the formation however I would like to experiment with it at home against one of the lower teams first {although we can't seem to win at home in the PL at the moment} before we try it against Arsenal at the Emirates.
SA's No1 Fan
15/11/2012 10:00:00
His still around and what a cracker -
spu 4 life
15/11/2012 10:03:00
whatever the formation, i'd like to see us play better flowing football, actually put the home team under pressure for at least a little while at some point, and not concede in the last 5-10 minutes! Other than that i leave formation to AVB as i believe we are limited due to injuries and poor form of dempsey and siggy.
15/11/2012 10:07:00
''Catch them on the break'' - we have the highest conversion rate in the prem, so that has to be the way forward. The reason mainly for this stat is on away games, teams come to the lane and defend in numbers, when we play away it's on the home team to attack us, after all when has a home team ever defended in numbers, oh apart from chelsea in last seasons CL.
spu 4 life
15/11/2012 10:10:00
spu 4 life - I saw that, and he makes it look so easy... Oh look, I have scored another one... Can you imagine what Adebayor would have done in that position?? Not that anyway....
15/11/2012 10:11:00
As for Lloris, it is ridiculous now. I am a fan of Friedel, but this is starting to become toxic. If it were me, I would not have bought Lloris until January or Summer (if still around), and been fine with Friedel. NOW that we have bought the guy, he HAS to play. It is as simple as that. It is terrible management of the squad. You HAVE to look after the new signings. If they are not going to play early on, you make that perfectly clear when you sign them. Lloris expected to play, because he knew that his France captaincy and position is at stake. Anyone we try to sign in January will look at the Lloris mis-management, and think twice. It is blowing up, and now is still a time that we can switch Lloris in without looking like a major climbdown. Do it NOW.
15/11/2012 10:16:00
Tactically Challenge, I think AVB said that we did train with that formation in the lead up to the City game in case we needed to use it so the ground work may be there. Not saying we should go for it in this game though. Imagine the response from his critics if he drastically changes the system in the NLD and we get spanked! Also fi Bale tracks back like he did against City it wouldn't work, he really needs to remember his got responsibilities going back as well as forward.
15/11/2012 10:23:00
AVB please play Lloris. See it from his point of view. signed to be the second choice to a 41.5 year old free signing. Just tell Freidel you are looking to the future and then reverse Freidel and Lloris roles. Show flexibility and leadership, many actions you have taken have improved the team but this situation can not go on.
15/11/2012 10:31:00
Crazy. It's hardly a formation you can just change to on a wing and a prayer. The 3 CB's and the wing backs would have completely different roles from what they're used to. Just getting the width the left and right CB need, spot on, would take considerable practice. Too wide or too narrow and we'll take an absolute hammering from a side that has plenty of creativity and pace going forward.
15/11/2012 10:34:00
Another discussion on formation! Yawn!!!
15/11/2012 10:43:00
not really a game to be experimenting in is it. Just pick Lloris and Dawson infront of Friedel & Gallas and thats all we can do with the players available.
15/11/2012 10:48:00
I miss Harry.
15/11/2012 10:52:00
Forget the bloody formation. We need the right players in the squad and on the pitch. My patience with AVB is wearing thin already. Yeah we have loads of injuries etc but his management of the players is becoming a worry. I mean defoe bags a hatrick, looked good with Ade, so he starts with Ade and Dempsey who has been abysmal. He then takes off ADE who was controlling the game and brings Defoe on for 10 mins with that waste of space Dempsey still on the pitch!!? Sadly, and I do mean sadly, he has been making crazy decisions like this all season. Get the squad right, buy some real phuckin talent in January instead of these cheapy cheap Siggy and Dempseys and get it sorted

The latest comments from Lloris must hit home. I honestly think it’s just an Ego thing with AVB now. Im starting to see the stubborn selfish side that the chavs warned us about. If he is considering leaving after 6 months it really does show how he feels. Before I get dog abuse calling me fickle or an arsenal fan I was delighted with the appointment of AVB and have backed him. I understand that things may take time and we have been lucky with injuries, I also understand that to take a step forward we may need to take a step back. But if we disrupt the squad, lose our few remaining class players in the summer, its not just one step back we will be taking. It will be 10 years.
15/11/2012 10:53:00
It took bloody ages to write this article and coys1717 you have made me change my mind in a matter of seconds!!! Some people may say a fomation debate is boring, but I'd rather talk about that than go AVB bashing any day!
15/11/2012 11:01:00
Defoe is too one dimensional to be other than a stop gap, while a replacement is found. He can not hold the ball , pass the ball, remain onside, score a vital special goal, drop into a space to receive the ball, link up play, head the ball. But he is a great out and out poacher of goals. AVB has improved him a lot and used him well.
15/11/2012 11:05:00
Formations are only as good as the players you have to play in the desired positions. Young Klye Walker has been getting some serious grillings on this site, maybe it's justified but the guy is up and down that wing for 90 minutes. If he sits back and only defends, he'll be criticized for not getting forward and helping Lennon out. When he does that and finds himself out of position he gets grilled. Look at Danny Alves at Barca, always out of position but he has the luxury of a certain Messi that gets the team out of trouble. The simple thing is, if we convert more chances the pressure on the defence is less.
15/11/2012 11:07:00
And AVB states the London derby has come too soon for Dembele!
15/11/2012 11:13:00
I would imagine this will be won on the flanks. I would go 4-5-1 Ade up top, Bale and Lennon pushing up to support. Their defence is poor but we still need to stop a combo of Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla and Podolski. COYS.
15/11/2012 11:27:00
SpursOne2 - yep. Flanks are key - but don't discount Mr Cazola. We need 2 proper full backs for this game. I would still go for Vertonghen at LB, because I think that he could help keep Sagna at bay and occupied. Lennon HAS to go at Santos who is terrible. I am sure that we will flip the wingers a bit, just to mess with his head. But Sagna has one hell of a cross on him, and Santos is actually good on the ball. Arsenal are bound to unleash Walnutt at us, and Podolski is simply a fine player.
15/11/2012 11:35:00
TonyRich - Yeah hes is quality :-( Hes looked tired recently thou.. and he was made to travel to S America yesterday but didn't play. Podolski could be a handfull.
15/11/2012 11:50:00
I have no hope in avb on sataday. Especially if he plays Defoe, friedel and livemore. Be prepared for 90mins of boring defending.
15/11/2012 12:58:00
read the article as far as "However, Saturday's game is not the time for Naughton." why's that then? he played for norwich twice against the pikeys and got good reviews both games. so you think we should stick with a possibly injured, tired and out of form walker then do you? lmfao
15/11/2012 13:44:00
The formation didn't pick itself, the Head Coach picked it and sticks with it, despite it not suiting our players.
15/11/2012 16:33:00
Med1 What about our formation exactly doesn't suit our players? The only thing different between 4-4-2 and what we have been playing is instead of having defoe and Ade up front we have Dempsey playing slightly deeper. The area causing us the most problem is the creativity from CM and whether we play 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or whatever variation you want to come up with it doesn't change the fact that we are still relying on Huddlestone to provide our creativity. Thats the problem
16/11/2012 10:44:00
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