It was our first away win in three months in the Premier League and that came as a result of Arsene Wenger’s decision to switch to the 3-4-3 formation.
The 67-year-old has faced much criticism alongside continuous calls for his replacement. The basis of those has been that the Gunners boss tactics are old and he has failed (or refused) to move with the modern trend in modern football.
Even though there might not be total conviction, Wenger proved he can still be relevant in the modern football by switching to the 3-4-3 formation which gave us our first away win in the league, ending a run of four consecutive away defeats.
Although, there were some positives to take from the tactical switch, there is still for improvements. It is not certain if Wenger would make use of this formation as he hinted that he may change formation against Man City in the FA Cup semi-final.
However, if Wenger were to make use of this for the remainder of the season, there are adjustments to be made and there are clues to take from Chelsea who have effectively utilized this formation this season.
Against Middlesbrough, the formation allowed Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to move around the pitch, dropping deep to collect the balls from the flanks while Nacho Monreal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were assigned the wing-back-roles but both the midfield and the defence were exposed.
Both Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey were not offered enough covering in the midfield who in turn failed to provide enough protection for the back three as it could be seen in Middlesbrough’s goal.
A top team like Man City could exploit that loophole. Arsenal still have league games against Leicester City, Tottenham, Man United, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland as well as the FA Cup match against Man City on Sunday.
It is better Wenger get his tactics right than to gamble and worsen the situation on ground.