Having qualified for the Champions League last season after a late surge, will Arsenal need to make some drastic changes before they take on Europe's elite? Arsene Wenger will have consistency to rely on in the Premier League with the managerial merry-go-round working in his favor. Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea starting the season with new managers, this will bring new staff, players and tactics, this does not always work out as the owners had planned.
Arsenal will have to make some adjustments to the team from last season and will have to use the reported £70million budget wisely. Gonzalo Higuain is a top class International but with the back injury he suffered in 2010, he will not play the 30+ games which Wenger will need him too, maybe Arsenal and Wenger should look elsewhere. Wayne Rooney is looking for a new challenge but Wenger will have to be very patient with the England International and this may cause some disruption in the dressing room. Rooney for all his talent can be volatile and Wenger will consider this before spending a huge chunk of his budget in him. Gareth Barry will bring nothing to the Arsenal team as he has lost some of his pace and his next move should be looking for a left back role instead of engine room. Arsenal have enough engine room players so it would be an unfruitful signing.
Arsenal can call upon a good back four with only minor adjustments. Bacary Sagna is a one dimensional player and Wenger needs a full back who can defend not run fast, Gael Clichy was the same and he left for Man City, nether can defend particularly well so their running power is deceiving. Arsenal should look at replacing him with a defender not wing back. In midfield Arsenal have a number of quality players but many of them have done all they can for Arsenal and it will be time for them to move on. Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Gervinho should be considered to be the payers to move on as they are injury prone and aging. Upfront Wenger has a different headache as which players does he start? Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud have been the main forwards for Arsenal recently but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will need more games if he is too improve, so he is the solution for Wenger. Play 442.
If Wenger goes into a 442 formation with a solid back four, the full backs can overlap but they are mainly there for width and support of the winger. The center backs would be there as just center backs, no frills. In midfield he would need a defensive midfield which will drop into center back and make a solid three when an attack breaks down, by doing this he waits until the full backs have recovered and then moves up into midfield. The other central midfielder is a box to box type which starts the attacks but also wins the ball and passing sensibly, think Vieira and Gilberto for the midfield. The wingers would cut inside to create a play maker role form out wide like Messi does to great effect for Barcelona. With both wingers cutting inside it would allow the full backs to add width if needed. The forwards would have to be set up in a technical player and natural finisher roles, having these roles would encourage the wingers to get behind the back four and also make the space for the natural finisher.
Wenger has the back four already and may need to move Per Mertesacker and Sagna on to get a quality player in the likes of Toby Alderwiereld of Ajax and Mateo Musacchio of Villarreal, both players would fit into the system and provide cover in multiple positions. In midfield Arsenal have the box to box player sorted in Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta but the defensive midfielder will need to be of better qulaity, Sami Khedira of Real Madrid and Felipe Melo of Juventus would fit the bill. On the wings Arsenal have plenty of options and quality ones so he will save some of his money in that position. Upfront Arsenal need to make a decision, is Theo Walcott a natural off the shoulder forward or not? If not he will need to go as he looks like a nervous school boy out wide and contributes not very much to the team. Giroud is a great player to have around but he may be limited, if he can handle this then Wenger can relax a little. Fernando Torres of Chelsea could be the natural finisher and Javier Pastore of PSG would be the technical player.
Arsenal have a good number of good forwards but he will need class players to get his team back to the top. His young players through the system tactic worked for a while but ultimately he will need to draw a line under that part of his Arsenal era and start a new one.