Emery will want Ramsey tied down swiftly and then be looking for Specialist Defensive Midfield Partner for him.

Now that we know who our new Head Coach is, the conversation and speculation turns to the formation Emery will want to play and the existing players and new additions he require for that system.

It seems from what I read that many observers figure he will want to return to the 4231 that served him well in Spain. I assume this is based on an assumption that they figure the 433 or even 424 he deployed at PSG was in some way forced upon him by having to accommodate the huge marquee signings of Mbappe and Neymar.

I am not an expert of French Ligue 1 but I do like a good tactical discussion and looking at the formations he has utilised I can see he favoured two deeper holding midfielders in whichever formation he has played. Whilst I also feel that, he is happy to be flexible beyond that.

On the face of it, he has an embarrassment of attacking options at Arsenal, well at least in numbers. IF he stays true to form, selects, and back four with a double pivot, he will have potentially eight or nine players vying for the four staring berths in the advanced positions whether that be a 2 2, a 3 1 or a 1 3, if you follow my logic.

Obviously, there are some many variables here and to explore them in detail now. Certainly not before we see whom the three Amigos and Emery bring in to supplement the first team playing staff and whom they deem surplus, is largely pointless. Those discussion can become more informed as the summer moves on and we hear more from the new coach, but the two deeper roles are worthy of touching upon now.

I think the 2-midfield roles are interesting because, ahead of contract negotiations at least, we have five players competing for two positions. Ramsey and Xhaka are certainly the players in possessions of the shirts now, with Wilshere, Elneny and Maitland-Niles the three pushing their cases. The reason I think this dynamic fascinating is that of the five, you could easily argue that none are the type of defensive midfielder; Emery has always used and sometimes used two of, in the past.

Young Maitland-Niles arguably looks the most natural fit for the role, although some would say either Enemy. Wilshere or Xhaka could operate there. For me, none of them is the purposed built DM that our new coach would see as a go to and particularly is, as is suggested he wants to build around Ramsey.

Build around Ramsey?

The simple fact is that if Emery wants to use the Welshman in a two-man midfield then I would find it hard to believe he would see any of the other four as his ideal partner. If Ramsey is allowed to play to his strengths and break forward when appropriate, his partner simply will have to be Maitland- Niles, unlikely, or a brand new signing.

The alternative of course is that, like Coleman did for Wales, Emery opts to play Ramsey further advanced, which would mean Xkaka plus one other just behind him. These would leave Ramsey in a two behind two strikers, with width from the full backs or in a three behind a sole striker, which of course raises questions about Ozil’s role. (A subject for a whole other blog no doubt!)

As I said, we will need to wait and see but the hierarchy’s first order of business, with Emery installed, is to tie Ramsey down to the long-term deal. A deal, that despite the suggestion his agent has made, has been on the table some time now. If they succeed, it will dictate that one of the next signings will be a specialist, disciplined defensive midfielder.

Fans of Xhaka and Wilshere may argue differently but let me remind you that this is a coach who won the Europa League in 2016 with Grzegorz Krychowiak (just relegated with WBA) and Stephane Mbia, on loan from QPR, as a defensive midfield pivot. He then went on to upgrade Mbia with Stephen Nzonzi, signed from Stoke City and went on to life the trophy again for a third successive year, with two out and out defensive midfielders.

A younger Nzoniz incoming?

Mark my words, if Ramsey stays then a high profile defensive and mobile midfield specialist who reads the game well, is incoming. He will be mature enough to have developed top game intelligence and instincts but young enough to allows us to offer a good long-term deal. We are looking at a 26/27 year old I suspect and I will leave you continental football experts to tell me who is should be. Who is the man to replace Gilberto 10 years to late?

Until next time…




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5 Responses to Emery will want Ramsey tied down swiftly and then be looking for Specialist Defensive Midfield Partner for him.

  1. Anonymous May 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    Where is kelechi Nwakali

    • Dave Seager May 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

      He was at MVV Maastricht on loan

  2. DEW May 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

    Whatever Emery is planning, I want to see a competitive team next season. He should be the man that puts Arsenal at its rightful place. He has to be responsible for his team performance.

    There is especially one thing I don’t like right now, he has told us enough about the quality of the squad, his belief in young players and giving them chances and so on. I am guessing he may not telling us the truth, instead he may be making himself cover page of Kronke profit magazine.

    Several times before Wenger has told us he is 100% responsible for the failures, but at the end of the day he blamed lack of patience and small group of extremists for keeping the club reaching glory. What a joke after 22 years!

    This is not about putting unnecessary pressure on him. He can do whatever he believes he wants to do. Arsenal fans are the most patient football fans in Premier League.

    But he has to be responsible for his actions.

    • Dave Seager May 25, 2018 at 6:41 pm #


  3. Victor Thompson May 26, 2018 at 11:57 am #

    Your analysis shows just how imbalanced was the team that Wenger had. I agree that Ramsey should be the key man in midfield and once we agree on that, then, as you say, we have no enforcer from out of the four or five candidates for the remaining two or three places.

    I don`t think there is any point in trying to formulate the shape of our midfield and defence until we know who he gets for the destroyer`s role. I will be glad to see Bould gone because he seemed to be nothing more than a yes man for Wenger. Now that he is gone, there is no footprint left on our method of defending which you would expect from a man who was part of our best ever defence and continued on to coaching. It looks to me that Bould had long since settled into a comfortable, secure job with a decent salary. He actually had no accountability for the shambles of a defence which we had. I agree with DEW above, that there has to be accountability from the manager down and we cannot allow anyone to sit back and rest on their Laurels.

    The intense pressure on the top 6 teams for a top 4 place demands that those tasked with getting results do not accept the pedestrian, backwards and sideways football Bould & Co. tolerated.

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