David Luiz – A change in formation for 2020/21?

So I believe we are all distraught and confused with the announcement that Luiz will stay another year and that we are also betting on two injured players (Soares and Mari) to strengthen our defense next year…It is just amazing that the club would trust players that have not been great since joining the club (Luiz) or have not really played due to injuries (Mari, Soares)…

I was left dumbfounded but I also have a lot of faith in Arteta and the only justified way he would push for Luiz to stay is if he is going to change his formation to playing with a back 3. Luiz was outstanding in a back 3 set-up at Chelsea and he had some good games with PSG in that set-up as well so for me, it leaves no doubt we are going to move towards a back 3 set-up and given our current squad and our perceived lack of financial muscle, I d say that we have only have one option, which is to play in a 343 set-up with the following players:

Leno – Holding, Luiz, Mari – Bellerin, Partey, Xhaka, Tierney – Pepe, Laca, Saka

Martinez – Mustafi, Chambers, Saliba – Soares, Torreira, Douzi, Kola – Nelsson, Nketiah, Martinelli

So you see, only one purchase in midfield and you see some players missing. If Laca goes, then Martinelli or NKetiah would start at CF and we would then probably move for a player like Fraser or Willian on the wings but I think Laca will stay in the end because if Auba goes and Laca goes, Pepe will want to move as well…
Anyways – this is the only explanation I came up with to understand Luiz extension…

Back to the drawing board



36 Responses to David Luiz – A change in formation for 2020/21?

  1. Thank you RC78 for the post and for trying to explain something that’s seems inexplicable 😉

  2. mikesteeden says:

    Martinelli is, or better put, the key up front. As for the rest, I am with you.

  3. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post once again RC. I’ve given up on trying to decipher our transfer and contracts dealings. I never thought we’d pay that kind of money for Pepe (even if paid in instalments) I guess we either trust the management or we don’t. It is clear from his comments that Arteta values Luiz. He may bring a lot to the dressing room or he may be deployed in a back three where his attributes will be maximised and others can cover for him when he goes missing.

  4. I have to agree about Martinelli, very disappointed that he’s not started yet.

    Maybe tomorrow he’ll get his chance.

  5. Aaron says:

    Go youth. Sell of of our assets right now as they are not even getting a whiff of CL in the next 2 years.
    Buy some young talent that is not connected to Kia, and give Arteta a fighting chance to save his job. End of….

    Peaches, Martinelli has a serious knee injury he is not playing the rest of this season and probably some of next

  6. LBG says:

    Sorry RC, any ” new ” shape with Luiz in the back line is a disaster waiting to happen. I would accept Holding Saliba Mari, if they are given a good chance, even with mistakes, to make it work.
    Bellerin has forgotten all that he once possessed as a quick, wide attacking wing back, and only has a future with us there with a left sided midfielder who continually plays diagonals inside the opposition left back for him to run onto. He cannot beat a man and would also need to be taught to cross a “Liverpool fullback cross”. ( Hate to use his name in script, but XHAKA is not that left sided midfielder).
    I still believe Pepe will come good, but believe Martinelli (when fit again) and Nketiah should be given a proper chance over Laca and him at the moment. Saka is a given.
    Invest what money we have in Partey and then persist with that shape and players. To plagerise, “Go Youth”.
    All, of course, my opinion. Sorry if sounds dismissive, RC.

  7. LBG says:

    Since, I’ve dismissed the X man and Bellerin for that matter, and until we can find an “Alonso left sided midfielder”, why not try Smith-Rowe centrally ahead of Partey (or even a German World Cup Winner) and Soares as right wing back.

  8. LB says:

    David Luiz is understandably not flavour of the month but it shouldn’t be forgotten that for most of this season, (sounds odd to write that) he has been our best central defender.

    I like most, are excited about Saliba but we don’t know how well or how quickly he is going to adapt to the EPL, will he be Pepe or will he be Martinelli?

    The resigning of Luiz might have been reconsidered following the the injury to Mari, we are assuming that his damage is less than Leno for example but are we certain?

    Just read that Martinelli has a serious injury, of course he has why am I not surprised, shakes head marches off to make another cup of tea………….

  9. RA says:

    Good stuff, RC,

    For most of his career Luiz seems to have been the butt of criticisms for not having learned to avoid the repetitive errors he makes – or he is just the plaything of Gary Neville.

    What is not much mentioned by pundits, if at all, is that he can be terrific when he stops worrying about whether his Side Show hair is just right, or not, and concentrates on leading by example.

    OK, he is no spring chicken, but if he gives us time to regroup and get younger, hungrier players in and bedded down, then I feel keeping him for another year is justified.

    In my opinion, admittedly as a faux expert in such matters, he would make a far better defensive midfielder with very useful passing skills.

    With regards to Mikel saying that he wanted to keep Luiz, that might well be true, but if he secretly would like to see the back of him he is hardly likely to say so publicly while Raul is the transfer kingpin — if he still wants to keep his Arsenal job.

  10. RA says:

    I am impressed that most bloggers on AA are trying to make the best rationalisation of a rum deal, and me too — tho with a heavy heart.

    [Walks off thinking – We’re doomed Mr Mainwaring!] 🙄

  11. fatgingergooner says:

    At the beginning of the season I said that Luiz was a player who would give you 25-30 solid games a season, and the rest disasters. We knew what we were buying and tbh he was an ok buy at the time as we were put in a desperate situation with Koscielny leaving an already poor defensive unit. That defensive unit is still poor and that’s why he’s got another year deal. I hate to say it, but we need him! That’s how terrible our defence has become. To add insult to injury we’ve now signed a sub RB in Soares and a back up CB in Mari. My only hope is that Saliba comes in and is better than Maldini because I really don’t understand what we are doing. Bottom half here we come.

    If I was in charge I’d be looking at bringing in Tyrone Mings and Kalvin Phillips. Both English, powerful, technically good enough, and at good ages. Wouldn’t break the bank either. I just can’t get my head around us wasting £13m on a player just because he’s left footed. Surely Ake or someone like that could’ve been persuaded to leave a sinking Bournemouth ship?

    Clubs a joke right now.

  12. LBG says:

    RA – “can be terrific”
    His centre back “errors” were evident and often catastrophic throughout his Chelsea days, ( and pundits were calling them out then). That is why he was moved to play directly in front of the defence, where is responsibilities were forward, in passing range, shooting, even rampaging forward making ground.
    If we ” need” Luiz, as Ginger suggests, we are in even deeper shite and the Brighton or Burnley centre backs or Mings will turn us down knowing his “influence” will take preference. Clear out all the dead wood and start whittling saplings.

  13. fred1266 says:

    Hi lbg how art thou mate

  14. fred1266 says:

    I wore my merci arsene jersey on fathers I still really appreciated it thanks again for it

  15. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC for your last 2 posts. Not even a mention that we kick off soon and not a Guendouzi anywhere in the squad!!

    I was intending to come on and say that I may be in the minority of people who thinks that Luiz for another year is a good idea, and lo and behold both LB and RA have already got there.

    As FGG says he will give you “x” really good games and then a few disasters, but there have been many games where we have all referred to how he has been imperious in defence.

    Added to this the experience that he brings as a player who has been there done that cannot be ignored. Not only that but he transfers this knowledge willingly to the youngsters in what can only be described as a proper “captains” way.

    The interesting statistics from the Brighton game show one major deficiency; the midfield battle area. Once again we were practically non existent in our tackling and ball recovery in midfield….our old Achilles heel.

    It seems Arteta has inherited the very same issue that have plagued us for years. As such I am personally fully fingers crossed about bringing in a player like Partey. However beyond this we probably already have options to better in this position from within.

    It seems to me that Douzi, Ceballos, Xhaka are all a bit too samey and not really quite one thing or another in their midfield identity. None of them seem to be that athletic ball winning type. Torreira is but we haven’t had him as an option, but maybe it is time to try AMN as a deeper midfield ball winner.

    Beyond him I really don’t see why we couldn’t try Luiz in that role, as we have mentioned before. If we could have 2 ball winners who are comfortable running with the ball and can pass then the defence is better screened and the link to the attacking players ahead is better.

    If say we could line up with 2 of the 3 from Saliba, Holding, Mavropanous and possibly Upemecano with 2 of the 3 from Luiz, Partey and AMN sitting in front that CD, it looks far better to me than many of the combinations we have seen over the last 2 years, and should solve this problem area of a lack of ball winning ability.

  16. Aaron says:

    Nice poachers goal. Eddie.
    Xhaka with some nice passes, but Bel having a horrible start. Should just push the ball back and inside or just into space up the wing.

    Though Saka was hurt thank goodness he is ok.

  17. LBG says:

    Hi Fred
    The Vines boys are all well, although havent seen each other face to face given lockdown.
    Had a very eventful trip to South Africa at start of virus.
    Meanwhile totally unconvinced by Xhaka and Bellerin. Why is Eddie the only one pressing. Where is the creativity in midfield.
    Glad you are getting some use of the shirt. Stay safe.

  18. RA says:

    A better display than I expected — but Bellerin and Xhaka are going to just throw it away eventually – or will they get helped out by the others??

  19. fred1266 says:

    Pepe anonymous

    Ceballos just a waste imo

  20. A win at last 😁😁😁

  21. fatgingergooner says:

    Motm was Martinez for that save he made which ultimately won us the match. Excellent. Saka and Holding good too. Southampton were shocking.

    Anyone else fallen out of love with football over the lockdown? Just lost interest really. Happy to follow Arsenal but sick of VAR, pundits, and sick of how important they’ve made it seem.

  22. Aaron says:

    Clean sheet, something to build on.
    Saka played well as did Auba and the defense in a back 3 without luiz.

    Back to the training ground mates to work on everything.

  23. Hi FGG, hope you and your family are all well and have survived the lockdown. I agree with you about falling out of love with football. Although if we can continue in the FACup I might get excited 😉

  24. LB says:

    A win, woooooo, feels quite unusual, I managed to miss half an hour after half time due to dinner and poor recording skills so as much as I would like to help I don’t really feel in a situation to write about the game.

  25. fred1266 says:

    Am I the only one not impressed by the game today both goals was rather fortunate

  26. fred1266 says:

    How is south Africa LBG

  27. That’s fine LB, don’t worry. I took my dinner to eat outside during half-time and fell asleep 🙈
    If anyone has any thoughts on the game then email them though to arsenalnuts@live.co.uk

  28. LB says:


    The standard of the football left a lot to be desired, I think most people are trying to squeeze some enthusiasm out for the win.

  29. LBG says:

    Fred, SA, I could write a book!!
    Precis, arrived with no corona virus. 10 days later President announces no flights. Gambled they would still let OUT people. 8 days later flew out on last but one BA flight from the Country. Marshal law begins day after. Rubber bullets and water cannon being used.
    Regarded ourselves as very, very lucky!


    Thanks 78 and hello everybody. I like David Luiz. Hes a good player and seems to be into helping young people, offering a shoulder to cry on for the youngsters after they have been told off by Mikel etc. Hes a good man and if he had been a 1970’s entertainer, he would have been completely innocent.

  31. RC78 says:

    Latest rumours:
    – Arteta keen on Willian, Partey, Fraser and…Ings
    – Douzi on his way out

  32. LB says:

    I have been slightly out of the loop, can someone explain what happened with Guendouzi and Arteta, thanks

  33. Sorry RC78 only just noticed your email.

    We have a New Post ………………

  34. LB – your question is in the post …………. hopefully your answer will come too.

  35. fred1266 says:

    Wow LBG sorry to hear your drop was uneventful and I thought mines was bad(seeing arsenal lose all their games)

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