When I was younger, I never really understand the principle of formations. In my view, I just thought that when it’s time for the game, just send the players out and everything would sort themselves out. I have known better!
Over the last few years, a lot of formations have come out from the box. The conventional 4-4-2 has been dumped with various coaches bringing their innovation. Pep Guordiola came up with the 4-3-3 with three forwards. Then later, brought a false nine formation that brought out the best Lionel Messi.
The Italians popularised the 3-5-2 formation and Antonio Conte used it to good effect with the Juventus side to win the Serie A for three consecutive seasons. Allegri came and changed it to a 4-3-1-2.
Last season, Rodgers brought the 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1, the formation became successful and even Nigel Pearson used it to escape relegation.
Ancelloti popularised the 4-4-2 diamond in the turn of the millennium and used it to great effect with that great AC Milan team. Rodgers again used it i the 2013-2014 season with Liverpool. Suarez and Sturridge were the two strikers with Sterling in the hole behind them. They were ruthless and blew teams away even before the 20th minute.
From the analysis of the team, it is clear that this Arsenal team would benefit from the switch to the diamond.
In our team, we have predominantly midfielders and even the wing players we use are actually midfielders. Oxlade-Chamberlain that seems to be the best winger we have is seen as a midfielder. Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott are actually strikers. Additionally, with Carzola, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky and co fighting for a place in the midfield and some of them shipped to the wings, the diamond would fully utilize everybody.
The diamond would look like this.
With the defence looking settled, it is the midfield that would be interesting. Coquelin would be the holding midfielder while Ramsey and Carzola would flank him on the right and the left. While Carzola might be that mobile, Ramsey would be able to cover lots of ground. The three of them can be so fluid that Carzola can assume a Pirlo role while the hard working pair of Coquelin and Ramsey flank him on both sides.
In attack, Ozil would of course the number 10 while Sanchez and Walcott/ Giroud would pair each other. Ozil can now assume creator-in-chief and would have two strikers ahead of him .
Sanchez himself would be free to roam between flanks and not limited to the left, a role similar to that he plays for the Chilean Team.
Reasons to support the diamond
1. More opportunity for our fullbacks to Storm forward as there would always be an extra midfielder to protect them.
2. With more space for midfielders, the players that feel better suited for a central role would be appeased. Ramsey, Wilshere and The OX have said numerous that they are feel more comfortable playing centrally, with the 4-2-3-1, it would not be possible, but with the diamond, their dreams can come true.
3. Ozil would remain in his preferred no 10 position. There would be no unnecessary shipping of the German to the wings. Instead, he would the main playmaker of the team.
4. Getting the best from Sanchez . The enthusiastic Chilean is capable of so much more than he is playing now and the Diamond would fully bring out the beast in him.
5. Satisfy Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck. With two strikers, the diamond would be good news for both of them as they have a more realistic chance of getting their striker role.
6. The diamond can also be changed to a chameleon formation. With the kind of players we have, we can easily change the formation with the wave of Wenger’s hand. Depending on the opposition, it can be changed to a 4-3-3, a 4-4-2 wing formation, a 4-3-2-1 or a 4-2-3-1.
If you were not convinced before, I am sure they are now. It is a possibility and one that would help the whole team.