Since the departure of the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Arséne Wenger has had no option but to switch his once title winning 4-4-2 formation, for a less successful 4-2-3-1 formation. In this formation, instead of having one holding midfielder and two box to box midfielders, Arsenal have played with a double pivot, which consists of two midfielders sharing the workload of attacking and defending.
However, last season Arsenal could no longer just "pass the opposition to death". The Gunners were often tactically outdone, especially in the big games against the likes of Mancherster City, Chelsea, Liverpool and even Everton. Going into these games, Arsenal had no tactical approach, which perhaps Arséne Wenger can be blamed for. Going into these games against top opposition, Arsenal were too open in the midfield as the result of the double pivot, resulting in Arsenal being hit on the counter attack.
With Jack Wilshere being fit, Aaron Ramsey flying high and Mikel Arteta not only bringing great ball retention, but being appointed captain, Arséne Wenger now must find away to fit all three midfielders into the team and the 4-3-3 is the perfect way. Arteta, who has been acting as the club's defensive midfielder, would play in the holding role, whilst Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere would operate just in front of him as box to box midfielders. If Arsenal do sign a new defensive midfielder, he would replace Arteta in the holding role.
One thing this formation ensures is defensive cover, like we saw in the Community Shield win over Manchester City, we looked fairly comfortable when defending and we completely dominated the midfield battle. The 4-3-3 formation allows one of the two box to box midfielders to burst forward and join the attack. This is how Aaron Ramsey scored his goal - Manchester City like seen here in this video, look as he bursts forward to join the attack, before being vien the ball by Yaya Sanogo:
Any central midfielder in the squad could play in this formation, Abou Diaby, Flamini and Rosicky could all play in this formation too, with Flamini acting as the holding midfielder.
One minor problem with this formation is the absence of a central attacking midfielder, the role which belongs to Mesut Ozil. However, with Arsenal's impressive rotation and one box to box midfielder bursting forward, the attack will still possess a lot of danger. Ozil is used on the wing for Germany, therefore he could feature on the left hand side for Arsenal, with Sanchez on the right hand side and Olivier Giroud up front. Once Theo Walcott returns, there is a good chance he will feature up front, but if he was to feature on the right, Wenger would have no choice but to play in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Nonetheless, in the fixtures - top opposition, the 4-3-3 formation would be the best option, like seen on Sunday, it really does provide defensive cover, which is something the Gunners certainly lacked away from home in the 12:30 kick offs. This formation should definitely be used if the London outfit don't sign a strong defensive midfielder to play in a double pivot.
Signing a defensive midfielder in addition to using a 4-3-3 formation could really turn Arsenal into title winners and not just title contenders. Taking points against the top teams is something Arsenal must improve if they want to win the league and many believe, this 4-3-3 formation will help them do exactly that.