Wenger: We’ll start with three at the back


Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will continue to deploy three centre-backs when the new season starts in August.

The Gunners implemented a 3-4-3 system for the first time in 20 years during a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on 17 April and maintained it during a strong end to the season that included 10 wins in 11 games and ultimately an FA Cup triumph.

“We’ll test many systems,” said Wenger when asked about his tactical planning for the season ahead.

“At the moment, in pre-season, we are in the continuity of the end of last season. In some games, we will play with four at the back and some with three, but at the start of the season we will certainly play with three.”

With Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Rob Holding still on holiday, the Gunners will rely on Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal and youngster Krystian Bielik for the friendlies with Sydney FC, Sydney Wanderers, Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Width will be provided by Sead Kolasinac and Cohen Bramall.

The boss also touched on his aims for the season, making clear that he’s hoping Arsenal will challenge in all competitions, including the Europa League.

“The goal is simple: to win the next game and win every single game. The Premier League today is highly competitive, there are six or seven teams who can win trophies and every single trophy is very difficult to win.

“We want to fight for the Premier League, we want to fight again for the FA Cup and we play in the Europa League and we want to win that. We have to prepare well to do that. We finished last season well, we won 10 of the last 11 games and we want to continue that and start in a very strong way.”

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