awdysonGuess I'll start at the back...

I like this guy. You can hear dedication and intelligence every time he speaks. I think it's just a matter of time before he adjusts to the league. Oh and it's really hard for me to turn down a man that has such potential to affect set pieces at both ends.

Vermaelen and Koscielny:
Paired these two due to their similar style of play. They're both relatively quick, dominant in the air, and aggressive tacklers. I can see Per setting the defensive line while these two respectively stomp out threats and swing to cover. Vermaelen's forward runs are among the most impressive I've seen from a CB (with or without the ball) and Koscielny seems to be honing that skill as well.

There seem to mixed opinions on him. I'll come right out and say I like both how he plays and where I think he's headed. His tackling and aerial ability afford the CBs to wander, and he just doesn't seem to lose possession unless he's trying for a piercing pass. Considering how impressive some of those through balls have been this season, I'm willing to let him gamble.

I think LB is our weakest position. Santos just doesn't seem to know how to play as a British fullback. That said, he has shown considerable skill cutting in from the flank. I keep finding myself wondering what the hell he's doing making a run at a time like-- oh... carry on my friend. Making him into more of a LWB might do him some good.

Again, we have a fullback that leaves something to be desired defensively. In Carl's case though, it's probably something he'll improve with time. Regardless, I do still like the idea of shrinking his defensive responsibilities. He's got a surprising quality in his cross, and it'd be nice to see him whip a few more in rather than just handing possession to Walcott.

"Recycles Possession" If you read match reviews, you've probably heard this phrase used to describe Mikel's style of play. Though a bit tired, it is an accurate description. The man is phenomenal at shifting the assault around the pitch. He's something of a withdrawn talisman. Having him centrally located means there's almost always an redistribution outlet for attacks.

Rambo seems to finally coming into his own. His confidence and creativity are climbing, and I think they've still got a ways to go (a good thing). With Arteta and Song anchoring, he is able to wander. The majority of Ramsey's scoring chances have come during aggressive runs, and I can only see this freedom as a good thing at this stage of his development.

Here's that Bergkamp role that many believe he would thrive in. His shot accuracy and power have been as impressive as I've seen, and it's as if there's blood in the water anytime a shot rebounds. Combine this with that amazing ability to role off defenders, with or without possession-- the man really is a nine and a half.

He's your chance to prove yourself, Theo. Honestly, I think the pace and first touch that make him a decent winger would carry over well to a poaching role. Whether or not he refines his shot and learns to take defenders on is to be seen.

Substitutions and Formation Changes:

With such versatile defenders in Vermaelen and Koscielny, any of the CBs or WBs can be subbed out. So, with one personnel change - say Gervinho for Jenkinson - we could fall back to our standard 4-3-3. With six able defenders starting, this would also help get in a few youngings (Coquelin, Frimpong, Miquel, Ox-Cham) during games we have a late lead in.

Rosicky has been doing well lately (MOTM vs Montenegro). He'd provide solid cover for either of the two advanced men. Coquelin would have enough defensive support to deputy for Song and Ox-Cham could be used to mix things up at RAM or possibly SS.

Arshavin is a decent like-for-like replacement for RVP when needed, whereas Gervinho and Ryo are options if a wider striker formation is desired.



nvrGervinho's leaving? Didn't he just arrive?

Our defence is shaky even with 4 men. I can't imagine with 3. This attacking full back thing needs lots of working on to get the coordination right. I don't think we have the option to do that at this stage of the season.


JimmyGuitaristA 3-man defence with with attacking full-backs would basically become a 5-man defence in the defensive phase of play, like Napoli do sometimes. Unless you're like Barcelona and play with a true 3-man defence with no wing-backs at all, like they sometimes do. If that's the case; No. Arsenal are defensively awful at the moment. Whether it's just a confidence issue they're having at the moment or they just have terrible defenders, I'm not sure, but they're so easy to get in-behind. They play with such a high-line, but they don't even press the man on the ball.


mojojojo101Switching to a 3-man defense is not something you can do mid-season, it requires a lot of effort to learn how to play positionally in a 3 compared to a 4 .

For me Arsenal just need to swap to more of a counter-attacking philosophy, they have the players available, Gervinho/Walcott's pace would be deadly on the break, coupled with RVP's clinical finishing I doubt very manteams would be able to cope, especially if they have over committed going forward.

Of course, being a counter attacking team does rely on a stable and reliable defense, something it's safe to say Arsenal don't have right now.