Against Napoli and West Bromwich Albion, Arsene Wenger played similar starting XIs with the rather novel characteristic of playing five players in midfield who like to operate centrally. While this formation worked successfully against the second place team in Serie A, Arsenal had less success at The Hawthorns. The nature of the midfield base pair, the lack of width in attack, and the opponentai??i??s set up all played important roles in two different outcomes. Same Midfield Base Pair, Different Roles In the Napoli match, Arsene Wenger played two holding midfielders, with Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta as the 2 in Arsenalai??i??s 4-2-3-1, operating primarily as a midfield duo that sat in front of the back four. This type of formation gave Arsenal a solid defensive presence in the center of the pitch. It allowed the full-backs to bomb forward, and it let the front 4 stay high and play with remarkable fluidity, as they did not have to concern themselves […]

TheHardTackle's Guest Author Nicholas Godden notes how the Arsenal project is quickly unraveling in the hands of Arsene Wenger. From ceding the advantage in the North London derby to Tottenham, to even relying on cynical long-balls entirely at odds with the beautiful game, Arsenal are beginning to resemble a nightmare Arsene Wenger just cannot wake up from.

Join Guest Author Parth Pandya as he reports on some eagerly-awaited upcoming clashes in the UEFA Champions League.

The Champions League round of 16 kicks off on February 15th, with four exciting matches on the cards in midweek. TheHardTackle's Guest Author Parth Pandya gives a comprehensive preview of the teams that are scheduled to play this week.

Transfer Watch – Arsenal FC

Arsenal, after spending 6 trophy-less years have their task cut out as they challenge for the premiership crown yet again. Wenger has kept the 'cream' of the team intact, and no 'big names' have left Arsenal this season except probably William Gallas. THT's Sounak analyses the transfers and the team strength to understand if they are good enough to win the league next season.