Arsenal go three at the back! Middlesbrough v Arsenal teams

Arsenal team news 2016

It’s Premier League action tonight as we face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

We so need a win, but who knows what will happen with this Arsenal team in this kind of form.

Here are the official line-ups.

Boro: Guzan, Barragan, Ayala, Gibson, Fabio, Clayton, De Roon, Leadbitter, Ramirez, Downing, Negredo

Subs: Dimi, Friend, Bernardo, Forshaw, Traore, Bamford, Gestede

Arsenal: Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud

Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi

Follow the game and chat with other Gooners on the Arseblog live blog

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72 Comments on "Arsenal go three at the back! Middlesbrough v Arsenal teams"

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Looks more like Gabriel at RB. No?


Ok I take it back.

Runcorn Gooner

More worrying is our old friend Anthony Taylor will try to referee the game.Stay on your feet Granit.

Little Mozart

With three behind him tonight, Xhaka should be fine for avoiding last-ditch fouls. These could be fampusblast words though.



David Corrigan

What the hell is your fetish if that is in your autocorrect??


I also thought it was a 451 by the list then the tv line up shows a 3421, at least with 3 centre backs we cant concede 3. Hopefully.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Thats what I thought. But This is something that is exciting. This is what Wenger should have done more often, instead of the boring same old every game, no changes, no freshness ever.

If Wenger had been more flexible and pragmatic in the past things would have been better.

Don’t know who this will pan out, but whatever the result, the change of tactic gets a thumbs up from me. At least he is trying something new instead of the same old tactics with a lets see it it works this game attitude.


Wenger changed formation?
We are playing 3 at the back?

…. Wait what??
Shit’s getting serious even for him.
Despite us being shite for a while, I am excited for this match. XD

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

Agreed. Will at least be nice to see us try something new


A good game to try the tactic. Middlesbrough haven’t won a game in about 6 years, so you’d think we could have a chance of defending well.

If we Fuck up, arsene is insured – the players couldn’t adapt to the new system in one game…


Feels like we haven’t won a game in 6 years either.


three at the back…did we changed our manager or something

Mein Bergkampf

I can change, I can change! Look!

Crash Fistfight

Yes, unfortunately tactics aren’t about naming a set of players and putting them in a formation. It’s about working on the training ground, making sure they know what to do, when, both as individuals and as a team.

When there is a framework of discipline and organisation to fall back on, the inherent ability of the players can take over. No amount of passing drills is going to make them any more creative, even if it is useful for creating ‘automatisms’ (although I would argue that actually repeating the same kinds of movements during competitive action is better for creating understanding).

If and when we beat a shocking Middlesbrough, it won’t suddenly mean 3 at the back is the answer and be an indication that the manager is suddenly adaptable.

No way

Passing drills surely improve passing. Improving creativity is something different.

Crash Fistfight

You’re right. We pass the ball very well, backwards and forwards in front of the other team’s 18 yard box.


Please don’t rain on our parade with reasonable argument. It’s something different and that’s exciting in itself currently.

Bacary Lasagna

Is it not just that we’re playing Gabriel at RB and Holding instead of Mustafi? Or is Ox playing RWB?

No way

The team on here looks like a 442 to me but that twitter graphic says differently. It will be exciting all the way to kick off


Website clearly states it as 3 at the back too, apparently. Heady days!


And what about Monreal then!


It’s posted by Arsenal. Does that suggest a PR stunt to make fans more upbeat about a promising change when in fact it’s the same formation/system as usual? Will soon see…


The old dog’s learnt a new trick!

No way

We played 3 at the back in arsenes first season


Three at the back? Tactical changes? What sorcery is this? Whatever it is it’s welcome, change is needed.


I’ve been waiting for this experiment!


I’ve been waiting for it WITH Bellerin in that wingback position, but from how it sounds he’s needing a rest and recovery.


sure its not monreal, kos, holding, gabriel at the back?

Bacary Lasagna

Just checked twitter, it’s right! Three at the back, this is going to be interesting.

Burn Baby Burn

3-4-2-1 is not how to cope with our defensive issues. Really hope someone twatted the graphic.


Wow, makes a change from the 2 at the back we usually play

Mr Wood

This is different!


Change! Something’s different. YAAAAY!
Genuinely intrigued, at least he’s finally trying something different and I can get behind that.


Ooooh mustafi booted out

Tdot Gooner

SMH! Desperate much?


I have always thought we have the team to play Chelsea’s kind of formation. However, I still fear as we maybe are not very used to it. I pray for the team. Really hope this works.

David C

TV coverage had it as a 3-5-2 with Ozil behind Sanchez and Giroud.

Change is good, now up to the players to represent.

Sp*ds and LiverPOOP players said their coaches played them with 3 at the back with no warning this year. A formation cannot be an excuse.

Let’s go!


Interesting, very interesting

Lord Bendnter

Wait whaaaaaat!!??
*Someone pinch me


I’d have published it as 442 with Gab at RB then surprised them during the game with 343 formation. Boro now have 45-60mins to asjust pre kick off

Joel Carter

Wenger’s back!!!




I’ll believe it when I see it. At the moment I see Gabriel and Monreal as FBs, Xhaka and Rambo as DMs, with Ozil in front of them, Ox wide, Alexis wandering and Giroud up front. Pretty much a normal line up.


Ok, Arsenal website even has team announced as 3-4-2-1 so maybe that’s right.

Stringer Bell

Drop Mustafi Walcott and bellerin which is warranted. The only down side is Ramsey gets a start. Coyg. Let’s build a bit of confidence for next week and get to 3rd cup final in 4 years.


Gabriel is playing right back
where is the formaton change or am i going mad ? Bellerin is on the bench.


Three at the back and three in midfield (plus passenger Ramsey).

Why no Elneny?

Crash Fistfight

Whilst not wanting to turn into santori, Elneny isn’t as good as some people seem to think. He’s not as bad as santori seems to think, either, however.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Because 11 players not 12 start.

Original Paul



Funny how this change feels genuinely exciting – something that was missing for the last couple of months!

Wright on the money

I can see that Arsene has learnt that the formation works for Chelsea and Man City so let us give it a go.

I don’t want it to happen but I can see us losing it doesn’t matter on the formation of the players aren’t on the managers side then we won’t win.


Wait wait wait when did we announce Allegri?!


Blogs, it would be great if you could post the actual formation in the future so we can see how the team is lined up.


Catalyst for change, eh?


What happened to Mustafi and Welbeck?


Wenger trying everything now. Desperation is a stinky cologne.


Definitely looks like the same formation with Gabriel at RB in place of Bellerin. Glad Holding is getting a chance, can’t be any worse than any of the other CBs of late. Good to see Wenger at least trying to make some changes instead of sticking with players like Walcott and Bellerin that are not performing well at the moment.


Our outside backs basically function as wing backs anyway so it makes sense to put an extra cb back there anyway


its not 3 on the back..cause Monreal is playing.the line up looks that way but when playing Monreal will be LB and Gabriel will be RB..they are just playing mind games..mustafi probably not match fit.


Why not? Our right side has been a feast really

fed up

I would like to see a 3-2-4-1 formation with the 3 at the back staying in defense, the two in front protecting the defense/pushing the opposition out wide/driving forward through midfield, the 4 midfielders come strikers would interchange and drive the opposition mad and the 1 up front would hold the ball up/be an Ariel menace/score goals!!!


This is it, the catalyst for change. Three at the back!


So many defenders, i feel spolt

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...
He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

So, I love this team, I always will, steadied myself for another game and after an uninspiring first half I turned over to Guardians of the Galaxy at half time. I didn’t turn back, call it a sixth sense, or the Arsenal being predictable but I think I made the right choice watching this brilliant film.

Wright on the money

Doesn’t matter how many defenders we have if you have no decent ones on the pitch. It is a school boy error I always got told have a solid defence and you can win games we haven’t had one since Adams and Keown.

All downhill from here until a manger comes in and starts again and straight away needs to buy a decent back four and a decent keeper.

Wyn mills

Honestly many of these players are nowhere good enough. Ramsey slows it all down. He needs 5 minutes to make up his mind what to do next. Fucking clueless and crap at winning second ball. The whole team play as though it’s a training match.

Wright on the money

Still not convinced that was a lucky win for us but I’ll take it.


Was a tight game, Ozil actually played well tonight defended well and made tackles. And scored a goal, Sanchez was pretty quite bar the free kick, a great goal mind you. A win and 3 points, that’s the spirit gunners!


Being saying this for weeks! Gives us so much more protection! Would play mustafi instead of Gabriel tho and bellerin instead of the ox out wide! Carzola and xzaka might have a good partnership their if they both learn to sit, both can pass and play! Gives ozil the free role he needs but must work hard on using the balk well, Sanchez will b class coz he will get the freedom to run where he wants, giroud will b good their for know but think that if we keep this formation we must look to buy a keeper, centre half of a very high quality, but would like to see holding come through, a world class holding midfielder to partner either carzola or xzaka! A world class striker like dybala, lacazett or benzima! Think we should get rid of Gabriel, Rambo Wiltshire, coqulan, Walcott, Montreal or Gibbs Jenkinson,so we can accumulate a decent fund pot to improve the squad, would like to keep the ox for a while to see what comes of him, not convinced by iwobi by let him grow a bit before my final judgment,