Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side put to bed an unwanted record with their win against Middlesbrough on Monday night, having not won a league game on the road since a 4-0 victory at Swansea in January.
What was more surprising for Gunners fans, some of which were probably expecting a similar performance to that at Selhurst Park a week previous, was Arsene Wenger’s bold decision to shift to three at the back for the first time since a 3-1 win over Derby County in 1997.
The Gunners boss opted for the trio of Laurent Koscielny, Gabriel and youngster Rob Holding, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nacho Monreal deployed as wing-backs, and although the performance was far from a classic, there were some positive signs.
While the Frenchman’s future is still very much in the air, the latest reports – specifically from Mr. Arsenal (The Mirror’s John Cross) – are claiming that a two year deal has been signed, with the idea being that Wenger will oversee a two year long overhaul of the playing staff.
Whilst that sounds a huge departure from the norm for Wenger, could his shift from the status quo at Boro be a sign he is beginning to move away from his seemingly unchangeable mould as a manager.
It is clear that there needs to be some serious change at The Emirates over the coming months, after a season of disappointment far more serious than the running joke of finishing fourth.
With that in mind, and with it looking as if Wenger is going nowhere once again, a move to join the swathes of top clubs utilising a back three this season could be the first sign that the former Monaco boss, famed for doing things his own way for so many years, could well be ready to buck the trend and go all out this summer.
The spending started last summer, with big money splashed on both Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka, however, the big names, and even bigger fees, are what the fans want this summer, if Wenger is ready to deliver that then it could be quite the off season for fans in north London.