Arsene Wenger has hinted that Arsenal could play in a 4-4-2 formation next season with Lukas Podolski leading the line alongside Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal fans have speculated all summer as to how the new recruits might fit into last season’s 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formation; many assuming the left-footed German will start in a wide position while the Frenchman takes over from Robin van Persie in the centre.
Given both players have stayed in London to work on their fitness it looks as though Arsene Wenger won’t have a chance to experiment until the friendly with Cologne on August 12. Nevertheless, the boss hasn’t been shy about outlining his vision for a revamped frontline.
“I think Podolski will play more central for us,” he said in Beijing.
“Giroud is a different target man who would be more the player in a 4-4-2.
“He knocks the ball down, protects the ball well, makes play for his partners, and is a very intelligent player who has great physique, as well as being very strong in the air.”
It has been quite some time since Arsenal regularly played in a 4-4-2 formation. Last seen in the Premier League during the final season at Highbury, it was gradually phased out in favour of 4-5-1 during the run to the Champions League final in 2006.
Thanks to @SiuFay for transcribing the quotes from a friend’s recording of the event where Wenger was speaking. Well worth a follow while the team are on tour in Asia.