Mikel Arteta urged to make key defensive change and back new partnership

Mikel Arteta has been urged to do away with Arsenal's 3-4-3 formation and switch to a flat back four if he wants to win the Premier League.

The Gunners are on a run of just one win in their last four league fixtures, with their latest defeat at the hands of Aston Villa laying bare their defensive insecurities.

And former Arsenal captain Tony Adams – once a member of the club's famed back four – feels many of their problems could be eradicated by going back to a conventional strategy.

"I’ve questioned the defence on a fair few occasions," Adams told Sky Sports . "I’ve been crying out for a back four for the past five years I think.

"The thing about defending is you need consistency with a group of players.

"Even the last coach, I wanted Emery to put his best goalkeeper in and a back four and build from there, the foundations.

"All I’ve seen in recent years is chop and change, a back three. And Arteta’s done well, he won an FA Cup playing that way so I think it affected him going forward.

"I wanted at the start of the season for him to play a back four. He did it against United. I thought it was an outstanding performance."

Arsenal's most recent lineups have seen Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Rob Holding form the back three.

Get the latest Arsenal news straight into your inbox!

Mikel Arteta's Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.

You won't miss a single thing on their journey if you sign up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter, either!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.

The Mesut Ozil situation continues to hang in the background and there's plenty going on in North London to keep abreast of.

Want to sign up and follow Arteta's journey? Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka have then been operating in essentially wing-back roles on either flank, but Adams feels the system does not suit the players at Arteta's disposal.

"I think Bellerin’s having a tough time in the right-back slot," he continued. "Going back to the Villa game it was such a poor performance coming off the United game – I think Arteta was trying to be too clever.

"He’s gone back into the three, offloaded Bellerin to make the four in midfield.

"Tierney is in that kind of too narrow position, he's a left back for me. They’ve been defending in numbers but as individuals. They need a bit of togetherness.

How should Arteta set up his defence? Have your say below.

"Arteta’s got them back behind the ball but not necessarily them four as a defence, which has not worked for them."

One thing Adams was in agreement with though, was his choice of central defenders.

Despite David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi now being back to full fitness, Holding and Gabriel have impressed the ex-Gunners skipper.

Adams added: "I think Holding and Gabriel looks a fantastic new partnership. Put them together.

"I think they can be a [Steve] Bould and [Martin] Keown or Bould and Adams. But we defended as a unit."

Source: Read Full Article