Here is Arsène Wenger talking about 4-4-2 formation. This video was uploaded on the 7th of May 2012.
Wenger is saying that “4-4-2 is a formation that is best suited for the dimension of the football pitch” and that “rationally, mathematically the best suited system to cover the football pitch”.
Gunners love the 4-4-2 because the original “Wengerball” was played with the most “rational” formation that saw their team play with a lot of combinations in a rapid and dynamic style.
However, since Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp left, Arsenal’s 4-4-2 formation lost some of its fluidity and “cut-throatness” it use to have.
Wenger started to us a 4-5-1 formation more frequently since his team’s run in the Champions League in 2006 and finally switched to a 4-3-3 formation to accommodate Cesc Fabregas’ skills better in 2009. Since then, Arsenal have played a 4-3-3 with one holding midfielder, two wingers and one striker.
When Arsenal did play 4-4-2 since then, the team tended to look more direct and dangerous.
Wenger, which has always said that a 4-4-2 formation is “the essence of logic”, will feel more comfortable in this formation – which is suited better to him and to the Premier League. His main star – Robin Van Persie – will also feel better with a partner.
With no Cesc Fabregas but with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud on his way(?) – it seems that Wenger is doing some reshuffling to get his team prepared for the return to 4-4-2.
Or this is just wishful thinking and Arsenal will keep on playing like poor man’s Barcelona.