Pep played a 2-3-5, how do you combat that formation?

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Lovely to read some of Per Mertesacker’s bromance infused comments about Petr Cech.

“You know that if they get a really clear chance Petr can do something about it,” Mertesacker said after Cech had thwarted Swansea before Arsenal took command in south Wales.

“He’s always someone who can save your day. That gives everyone a big lift, not only the back four. The way he is commanding and vocal makes him vital. He is one of our leaders and he deserves it.

“He has played at a high level and he is still very hungry and, no matter how successful he was at Chelsea, I think he gives our team that hunger we maybe need.

“He is an experienced player that everyone looks up to and he’s important for our structure as well.”

You just can’t help but love those words. I know I keep banging on about it,  but the keeping position for Arsene Wenger is one of those weird positions. Kind of like defensive midfield as well. Our manager treats it a in the same way as man who thinks he knows DIY…

‘No no babes, I’m sure about it. I can plumb our bathroom and fix all the fittings’

‘But Darren, you work in banking. I’m not sure you’re qualified to do this’

‘Babes, just f*cking trust me. I’ve watched 2 Youtube videos and I’ll save us a packet’


The above picture is an accurate visualisation of Almunia, Richard Wright, Fabianski, Chezzer and Ospina.

Now we have a Hollywood-esque A-Lister bathroom set up. It’s beautiful.

I just wish Wenger had addressed this years ago. Sign a keeper with experience who has been there and done it. Instead, we’ve flapped about like cat with a sock on its head and we’ve paid heavily for it.

Wenger should move for another DM. Again, a position we’ve ignored until we accidentally landed on Coquelin. If he picks up an injury, we’re back where we’ve been for the last 3 years.

Big January, as usual.

We have a pretty major game against Bayern on Wednesday. Away against anyone in Europe is tough. Away against a team that feel wronged… with a squad like the one they have could be pretty messy.

We have a few issues we’ve got to address. Firstly, Bayern know we don’t have a Theo, Ramsey or  Chamberlain. Which means we’re not quite the threat we were at home. They can press us and they’ll have loads of pace and a very fluid front line they’ll be utilising to the max.

They’ll also be pissed. Pep will have them charged. The crowd will be expectant. The atmosphere will something to behold.

So it’s going to be an interesting game. Can we play with the discipline we need to for a whole 90minutes? Can we go with a plan to unpick them?

Well, the game will certainly suit Wenger if Pep vs Wolfsburg is anything to go by. He dropped a 2-3-5 formation and put in performance of the season. The man loves a bit of innovation. Wenger used to drop 4 forwards when we chasing games back in the day… but 5 up top? Pretty sure that formation went out of fashion in the 30s!

Anyway, should be fun to see what he does. 5 forwards would be pretty mental.

Any of you tactical magicians have a plan to combat 5 forwards?

Let us know in the comments!

326 Responses to “Pep played a 2-3-5, how do you combat that formation?”

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  1. Louis Almeida

    Wenger Eagle – I partly agree with you and partly agree with Bamford. Ibrahimovic has always had outstanding ability. For a big guy he is very agile, strong in the air and can conjure up moments of magic. That’s why whatever team he plays for nearly always wins the league. I do, however, agree about his poor record. Ibra has a very bad record in big games and knockout games. I’m surprised nobody has ever mentioned this. He seems to be untouchable even though he’s never won a CL. That said, Ronaldo never won a CL and he’s the greatest striker in history in my opinion.

  2. Louis Almeida

    Rooney at an early age was what Ross Barkley is now X5. He had that explosiveness which made him a major threat, He doesn’t have it anymore. He’s probably played too much football in his career and is now tired. He and Drogba always scored against us though lol

  3. Nasri's Mouth

    Carts: But my point is that even at worse case scenario, it’ll equate to £150k pw.

    I think you meant best case ?

    And again, best case in your opinion. Do you know whether Rosicky’s clause included a pay as you play deal ? Same with Arteta.

    I doubt it did, but neither of us knows, so it’s just speculation to say either way.

    I’d say that given their ages, neither are on their original salary, but again, it’s speculation, and guesswork

    I’d agree that keeping Rosicky seems really weird at the moment, but let’s try to avoid putting up actual figures

  4. WengerEagle


    Fair comment, I’m not doubting Ibra’s qualities on his day in his prime for a second, he certainly was capapble of moments of magic and some of the best goals you’re ever likely to see but I just don’t understand how his average UCL record is overlooked and the fact he has such a terrible goalscoring record when it matters most.

    RE Ronaldo, he dominated a World Cup and IMO would have won the Champions League were it not for his knees.

    He missed 2 and a half seasons of football at his peak with Inter Milan, to come back and own a World Cup after that despite not being the same player physically proved his greatness to the world.

  5. Bankz

    Are we actually discussing Ronaldo on Legrove?
    there are some roads Wenger would never cross.
    I just hope he has enough sanity to strengthen the team in january as it’s most likely we’d still be around the top2 by then.

  6. Louis Almeida

    Wenger Eagle – Yes I agree with you. Ronaldo would’ve won the CL if not for injuries. He was the most complete striker I have ever seen. I do also agree that Ibra should’ve won a CL considering all the top teams he has played for and never suffered injuries like Ronaldo. His big game record is questionable.

  7. Kane


  8. gonsterous


    i second that… still pissed that we lost against sheffied wed. and our squad is paper thin but The team and wenger are doing a great job at the moment.. we need to continue the form through november, where we normally stumble and lose the title race… but still cant be moaning about arsenal at this moment in time !!!

  9. Emiratesstroller


    No question that we are playing very well at moment, but our offensive resources at moment are waifer thin with 8 players currently out injured.

    The problem is that it is always the same players who get injured so that decisions need to be taken as to whether we can gamble on their fitness in new year.

    My view is that at least 2-3 will not be match fit by January or more importantly be able to retain it in the second half of season.

    For that reason the club needs to be prudent and bring in at least one new player.

  10. Leedsgunner

    “Between, Arteta, TR7 and Flamini, were pissing away close to £200k pw.”

    More than enough to buy one WC proven superstar AM like Hazard or two young and coming ST and DM in the 19-22 age bracket.

    Paolo Dybala is struggling fitting in at Juve — might be worth putting out feeling now to see if they would be interested in selling and cutting their losses.

    On an another note, I think everyone is taking it for granted that Hazard will want to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona but I don’t think it is necessarily true. It is, granted most likely but I don’t think it is a foregone conclusion. Most Chelsea stars chose to come to Chelsea not only for the money but also because of the fact that it is in London. Now, if you are a disgruntled Chelsea star, but you want to stay in London, what are your choices?

    Tottenham? Maybe if you like Thursday night football, but not if you want to play in the Champion’s League. West Ham? Historically a midtable club albeit with a rich history.

    If you are used to top facilities and Champion’s League footie, there is only one realistic like for like in London, and that is us.

    If I was Gazidas, I would be working the phones like mad, persuading their best players like Hazard that they would be welcome here.

    If Maureen is shown the door, the new manager will want to put his own stamp on the team and I think given the right price, they would consider selling to us. Maureen will obviously hate it, but if he’s out the door he can’t stop Chelsea/Roman cutting their losses.

    Sure the present players at Chelsea aren’t performing right now, but that doesn’t make them bad players over night. We should be in there to snatch their best players to make ourselves stronger.

    It is quite possible with or without Maureen Chelsea won’t sell to a rival, but such a chaos at a club, creates unsettled players. As we know from bitter experience, you can’t keep an unsettled player for long if their mind is made up to go.

    Why can’t we be that destination? I’m not saying their players are necessarily better than ours BUT their best would undoubtedly strengthen us. You know if the situation was reversed they would be doing the same to us… and crowing about it too. I can leave the loud boasting but we should exploit their misfortune to our advantage.

    Just a thought.

  11. underrated Coq

    Anyone seen the latest Mourinho presser ? Some snippet

    ” I try to be every day. Not because of this. I try to be every day. If I’d only become a better coach because of bad results, then I’d be a really bad coach because, in the last 15 years, I’d never have improved. But I try and improve every day, analyse every detail of my work every day, preparing sessions, analysing matches, preparing matches. Every day. This is new for me. That’s why I’m a good one. I’ve not experienced this before.

    Yesterday a friend sent me some quotes of my press conference after the Champions League final in May 2004. I’d completely forgotten about it. In May 2004 I said that, one day in my career, bad results would come. I said that in 2004 after winning the Champions League final with Porto. One day the bad results will come and I’ll face the bad results with all the same honesty and dignity that I’m facing now as a European champions. May 2004.

    So, 11 years later, I resisted well to the nature of my job and the nature of football. 11 years waiting for this. It took time, but it’s come in a moment when I’m stable and strong to face it. ”

  12. SRG#FreeN5

    Even though Bayern will cruise through the group , there are some interesting theoretical possibilities .

    Possibility 1:
    –> Arsenal win all 3 remaining games and Bayern wins rest of the 2 games.
    Then Bayern and Arsenal will both finish on 12 points. We will finish first on head to head record.

    Possibility 2:
    –> Bayern loses 2 more games leaving them with 9 points . Olympiakos and Arsenal can qualify in that case

    But in all likely hood it is going to be Bayern will finish top , followed by Olympiakos and Arsenal.

  13. Marko

    Jose loses against Stoke on Saturday he can bring up all the imaginary quotes from 2004 he likes. He’ll be out of a job soon enough the massive cunt

  14. Nasri's Mouth


    That secret footballer article is factually incorrect on various points.

    I guess it’s probably better if ex-footballers talked about football, not economics

  15. Marko

    Hasn’t it been reported that that secret footballer guy is Paul Kitson? Hasn’t he always come across as a bit of an idiot or at the very least unreliable