On a day to forget for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, what did we find out about the Gunners from this subpar performance?
1) Formation evolving, but the players aren’t quite right
I was surprised to see how Arsenal lined up on Sunday. Lately Arsene Wenger has been tinkering with a new 4-1-4-1/4-5-1 formation and, somewhat naïvely, Wenger opted for this against the league-leading juggernaut.
This 4-1-4-1/4-5-1 does suit Arsenal with the attacking options they have, but certain players in key positions aren’t up to the job. Mathieu Flamini showed he’s not good enough to play the defensive pivot, arguably the key position, as he failed to provide the defensive cover needed.
Wenger watched a Chelsea side who have the sort of player he desperately needs, Nemanja Matic. The Serbian is a powerful, intelligent player who can read the play as well as he can break it up. Over 6’ 4” tall, very mobile and an excellent tackler; this sort of player needs to be top of Wengers January shopping list as he hopes to turn his season around.