Wenger discusses back three and top four

Arsène Wenger changed his system on Monday night, playing with a back three in our 2-1 win at Middlesbrough.

After the match, the manager explained the change of formation:

on going to three at the back…
I felt that we were recently a bit vulnerable defensively and to give a bit more reassurance to the team. Recently we faced many direct games, I thought before the game maybe they’d play with Gestede and Negredo and go for a very direct game. Those are the reasons.

on whether he felt it worked well…
It worked well in the first half, we didn’t give any chances away and we were quite solid on set-pieces. In the second half on one or two occasions, I felt we could have been a bit more dominant in the air, but overall yes.

on it being the first time in 20 years he has played three at the back…
The first time in 20 years, that shows you that even in my age you can change. But sometimes when a team lacks confidence, just to add something new to believe helps to focus and overall the fact that we conceded three at West Brom, three at Crystal Palace, I felt it was needed.

on where he thinks this leaves the rest of the season…
I don’t know. For us the clarity is there. We have to win every game to have a chance to get into the top four and starting tonight. I think we give a bit more, made it seem a bit more serene, you could see that in some occasions we were a bit overcautious tonight and played with situation we are not used to, and hopefully that will give us a bit more confidence.

on it putting the team in good shape for the semi-final…
Let’s focus on that. You have a little break from the Premier League now and after the end of the season will come very quickly. Sunday, let’s prepare well for the game. We played City two weeks ago, we play them again on Sunday so it will be completely different because we are at Wembley and it will be interesting.

on admitting that the top four was gone without a win tonight…
Yes. Mathematically it is still possible even if it is difficult, but we have to give it a go.


More polls to come later in the season!

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

UEFA Champions League
Ticket Info