It may have worked at Old Trafford on Sunday and in the Champions League last season but Arsène Wenger is not sure whether he will persist with a 4-5-1 formation away from home this season.
A couple of years ago, the Arsenal manager was an unwavering devotee of 4-4-2. In recent years he has changed. He played a lone front man in the 2005 FA Cup Final and for the majority of the Champions League away games last season.
His decision to use Emmanuel Adebayor on his own up front at Manchester United was influenced by the loss of Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie to injury. But it worked wonderfully. The tireless Togolese striker even struck the winner four minutes from time. However, despite the success, Wenger will only use that system where necessary.
"I don't know if I'll use it in all away games," he said. "I did it today because I thought it would suit the players I started.
"I did not have Van Persie or Thierry Henry but normally we have a lot of strikers. I have to find the model that is best adapted to the players.
"We know Adebayor has the ability to play up front but Thierry is a world-class player and we need him. This is a team sport and we never can forget that.
"However Adebayor brought what we needed today. He went in behind always and kept the ball so that the others could join in. The system also allowed us to control the middle of the park with Tomas Rosicky, Cesc Fabregas and Gilberto."
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 18 Sep 2006