Arsenal legend Tony Adams insists that manager Mikel Arteta must stick with a back four on a regular basis in future games in order to improve results
The former Gunners defender believes the 3-4-3 has worked very well in domestic cup competitions but if they are to progress to become a team challenging in the Premier League, they need to change system:
“I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season. It [three at the back] wins you cup games, it doesn’t win you league titles. If he wants to build for the future. I think he’s got problems with Hector, I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all. But I’d like him to go to a back four. They’ve got Gabriel now, get him a partnership. They’ve been unlucky at the start with Holding going down but get them into a back four. They look like they’ve a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.”
Arteta did play 4-3-3 against Sheffield United before the international break but his system versus Manchester City was more unusual with Willian playing through the middle.
It does seem as though the Spaniard is being a bit too clever for his own good at times. He looks to be more focused on the opposition threats rather than looking at how his own team can hurt opponents.
However, as Adams says, perhaps the signing of Thomas Partey will change Arteta’s mindset in that regard. With a strong presence in midfield, it may allow the Gunners boss to move away from playing three centre-halves.