Arteta: We are five or six players short of a 4-3-3

Date published: Tuesday 1st December 2020 8:38 - Sarah Winterburn

Mikel Arteta has explained that he wants to shift Arsenal permanently to a 4-3-3 formation but lacks the players in “five or six positions” to play that system.

Arteta won the FA Cup with Arsenal last season but has had a disastrous start to this season with three consecutive Premier League home defeats leaving them in 14th.

They lost to Wolves on Sunday with something close to a 4-3-3 formation, with Joe Willock playing as the most advanced midfielder.

Premier League winners and losers has questions for Mikel Arteta

Arteta has been speaking at length to DAZN about his plans, saying: “For me the way we occupy space and who is going to move in there is more important than the formation.

“And from there we have some very similar players that are not used to play in those positions so we have to keep changing the formation a little bit.

“We want to move to a 4-3-3 but for that, you need a lot of specificity in every position but now in five or six positions, we don’t have it.

“The aggressiveness, the effectiveness, the amount of steals we make in opposition half I think we have been very steady against some big clubs.

“I think that what we miss is in the opponent’s area and the last part of the pitch. We have to find the key in the attack, that last decision, that last pass, that last cross to create a goal situation, a goal, a shot, a corner, etc.”

Arteta was asked about his plans for the club and said: “Long-term being able to compete for every important tournament we play, play on the Champions League consistently. Mid-term to experience an improvement in the way we play, our style and the DNA of the club.

“And short term to keep competing like we have in every game and improve every phase of the game and that’s the minimum we have to sustain now to aspire at the end of the season to be close to the other big clubs.”

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