So last week i made a post about how Arteta has changed the formation of the team from the pre lock down 4-2-3-1 (4-4-2 defensive shape) to a 4-3-3 It received mainly criticism for being over analytical.
4-3-3 formation when Leno has the ball
4-3-3 defensive shape. Arsenal midfield mirrored city midfield. Willock (8) and Xhaka/Ceballos (8) man marking the 8’s of city.
A common 4-3-3 trend against the opposition 4-3-3 is to have your 6 (Guendouzi) pushed up to press the opposition 6 (Gundogan) which is why you would see Guendouzi so high on the pitch.
The formation change brought some interesting pattern plays which is what i was hoping for, there were lots of chances in the making in first half which lacked quality from the players. Arteta mentioned it in his press, that too many young players close to each other will do that. The issue was though, that the man marking Willock provided would never have been seen from Mesut, which is why i think Mikel did’nt consider him for this game, but not the sole reason.
Another intersting aspect was the Leno long pass to the striker, which is something city has been doing since Ederson was purchased.
Overall, i was actually positively surprised with a lot of aspects. The City game came at the wrong time and player injuries did not helper either. The game against Brighton is going to be much more interesting in terms of how we play.