Antonio Conte had an instant impact on the Premier League, introducing a ground-breaking 3-4-3 formation at Chelsea which was later to be replicated by Tottenham and then Arsenal.
Some have suggested that Arsene Wenger is looking to continue with the system next season, but can it actually lead them to Premier League success?
Well, according to the bookies it’s unlikely. Most have got the Gunners ranked as outsiders for a top-four finish again next year. However, if you are into your betting, then be sure to make money next season using the matchedbets.com‘s method.
Wenger first made the tactical switch back in April against Middlesbrough – his side getting an important away win that ended a torrid patch of form. The change in formation clearly had a positive effect on the players, with the men in red following that up with an impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup the following week.
Perhaps the main benefit of the new shape is an extra body in midfield, which in turn allows for an extra person to boost an attack. This is vital for the Gunners, who relied far too heavily on Alexis Sanchez last season going forward.
If he does leave – the Chilean is linked heavily with a move to Manchester City or Bayern Munich – then this extra body in midfield will be even more important. It will ensure the Gunners continue to be a potent attacking threat in his absence.
It also releases the attacking potential of Hector Bellerin, allowing him to bomb forward and cause havoc down the right wing. Similarly, on the left flank, new signing Sead Kolasinac will be able to continue creating assists, as he did last season for Schalke.
Another player to benefit is Mesut Ozil. The system allows the German to drift in and out of midfield, to find pockets of space and to have more attacking options when he does receive the ball – in much the same way as Eden Hazard has been able to for Chelsea.
Nevertheless, not all the benefits are attack-related. The Gunners defence were caught out on a number of occasions last season, however the switch in formation led to a drop in goals conceded.
Before the 3-4-3 was adopted, Arsenal conceded 1.3 goals a game, but from the Boro game onwards, they conceded only 0.58 a game. Having three dedicated centre-backs meant that they were better able to react to counter attacks.
What’s more, in Kolasinac and Bellerin, Wenger has two fullbacks he can trust to be able to recover quickly in case of a breakdown in attack. Taking everything into account, it certainly seems that 3-4-3 can work for Arsenal next season and could well lead them to a Premier League title.