Mikel Arteta’s time as Arsenal manager has been an indifferent one to say the least.
The Spaniard has guided his side to back-to-back eighth-placed Premier League finishes as the Gunners failed to qualify for any European competition for the first time in 25 years.
Technical director Edu has tried to address squad issues by spending in excess of £150million on six different players this summer but results are yet to improve as Arsenal currently sit 20th in the league having lost all of their three openings fixtures without scoring a single goal.
The Gunners’ sixth summer signing, Takehiro Tomiyasu, was brought in on deadline day for a reported £17million and Arteta may have hinted that the Japanese international’s tactical versatility could result in a system change to a three-at-the-back formation.
When asked about the signing of Tomiyasu Arteta told the club’s media: “We followed him for a while. We needed a full back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre-back, can play in a back three, Tomi has this capacity.
“He is 22 years old but he has some really good experience in Serie A and at international level and with the qualities we are looking for.”
Arteta’s comments on Tomiyasu’s capability to play in a back three may hint on the Spaniard’s plans to move back to a 3-4-3 system, having enjoyed success with that system towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign as Arsenal won their 14th FA Cup trophy, defeating Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final.
Over the course of the last 12 months, the former City assistant coach has favoured a 4-2-3-1 approach but he received hefty criticism for deploying this formation against the Blues a fortnight ago.
A large section of the Gunners’ faithful were left shocked after he failed to match up Thomas Tuchel’s three-at-the-back system considering the north Londoners defeated their rivals last season by doing exactly that.
Arsenal could deploy Tomiyasu alongside Ben White and Gabriel to form a formidable back three in an attempt to rectify their recent defensive woes, having already conceded nine times in just three matches.
Source by Football London