Why should Emery start with two strikers up front in most games
Arsenal under the new regime of Unai Emery are still pretty much a work in progress. Players are very visibly still trying to get accustomed to the new system being deployed in training sessions and games.
The Gunners have a 50-50 win-loss ratio so far, losing the opening two tough games, and responding by winning two games before the international break.
Emery prefers a conventional 4-2-3-1 formation, with two wingers, a number 10, a striker, a midfield pivot and a back-four. The usual starting line-up hasn’t featured two strikers start together. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (bought for £60m) has been preferred to lead the line, while Alexandre Lacazette has been chosen to be a super-sub, just like Olivier Giroud was under Arsene Wenger.
However, just before the international break, Emery started with both strikers against Cardiff City. Aubameyang was positioned in the inside left channel, and Lacazette (bought for £46.5m) led the line against a defensive Neil Warnock team.
In that game, both strikers combined beautifully to score the second goal. There was a grave evidence of how they both can play for each other when required.
Having Aubameyang on the inside left channel forced Cardiff to defend deep as the Gabonese forward took some very dangerous positions, especially in the second half.
So if that is anything to go by, Emery can try to deploy that formation more as the season progresses. Arsenal will become a more dangerous team on the attack, especially on the counter-attack when there are two strikers up front ready to test the defence.
With the style of play the manager prefers, he can change his formation to two up front and diamond midfield. That way, especially in games where midfield battle is important, Arsenal will get an upper hand with the pressing game in a diamond formation.
Given that both Aubameyang and Lacazette are lethal in front of goal, the Gunners will have two players from whom they can expect goals aplenty. They can also press from the front, not allowing easy possession time to the opposition goalkeeper or centre-backs.
Arsenal have quality in abundance. The only thing Emery has to do is use them at the correct time in the right formation. In some games, having two strikers and a diamond midfield can be a lethal weapon to exercise.