Something is better than nothing
Arsenal finally got off and running in the 2021-22 Premier League campaign when they ran out 1-0 winners against Norwich at the Emirates last weekend, in what read like a dominant performance despite the scoreline.
Despite Arsenal putting in an improved performance overall off the back of additional quality coming back into the side, Mikel Arteta’s troops were hardly impressive despite registering thirty shots by full-time.
The Gunners still only managed a single goal and there were moments where Norwich could have maybe found a way back to nick a point, and truthfully, the match did play out like a 19th versus 20th does. But was it enough in the end? On current evidence, it’s hard to be upset with three points as a result, but many of the same issues remain.
Arteta – who still hopes the club can climb back into the European places next season – still has many questions to answer, and the onus is on him to find the right tactical solutions to push the club up the table once again akin to last season when Arsenal started flying post-boxing day. But overall, the three point haul was still three points and something is better than nothing.
But how can Arteta perpetrate improvement via the tactics board? Here are three ways Arsenal could line up against Burnley to bag another three points.
Arteta’s Arsenal in a traditional 4-2-3-1
The most familiar of the three options, one key feature here would be the inclusion of Alexandre Lacazette ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front. Lacazette has shown himself to be more adapt at dropping deeper in different phases of play to combine with those in the attacking midfield positions while also quite capable of setting up the likes of Bukayo Sakain the final third to try to unlock the England youngster.
Arsenal with a proper holding midfielder
Something many Arsenal fans have wanted to see for a few years now has been a 4-3-3 featuring a dedicated holding midfielder to shied the back four. This deployment would highlight summer signing Sambi Lokonga, who has considerable experience in being deployed in that role during his days at RSC Anderlecht. This would also not only allow Kieran Tierney to spend much of his time in the final third as a creative outlet, but it would equally tap into Ainsley Maitland-Niles box-to-box capabilities, which maybe you would not see as much of with just a single midfield duo. The need to attack quickly and decisively would be the key, however, which would certainly suit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé to the ground.
Three at the back has worked in the past
Likely to never be considered moving forward would be a three-at-the-back deployment that would feature both Lacazette and Aubameyang in a forward pairing, but with the aim of utilizing Lacazette as a mobile center-forward to link play in the half-spaces while creating roaming room for Aubameyang to run the channels and make himself available for service from one of Tierney, Lokonga, or Martin Ødegaard. It could be an intriguing option to get Burnley out of their stubborn shape at the back as the Clarets are sure to sit deep and look to frustrate Arsenal for the duration of the 90-minute period.