By 1970’s Gooner
Does a football coach select his starting eleven according to who’s on form?
Or according to the system that is the most appropriate for the particular game coming up?
It’s usually a combination of both of course.
And if Robin Van Persie was available tonight we would not have been pondering the question posed in the title or trying to decide the formation.
It would have been 4 4 2 and the team would have almost picked itself. But now we have the new kid on the block.
Theo was spectacular against Slavia Prague and has given Wenger a real selection dilemma. Probably one he invited on himself!
Does he stick with Theo thus continuing with the 4 4 2 formation that he anyway favours or does he decide that 4 3 3 or even 4 4 1 1 would be more appropriate in which case Walcott may not be preferred?
Keeping Walcott on the bench has its merits and would be my choice.
The 4 3 3 system is very flexible as it can of course be deployed as an attacking formation using three forwards.
But at the same time you have three midfielders (Fabregas, Flamini and Gilberto/Diaby) who can, between them, protect the defence when the forwards lose the ball.
It can also be transformed during the game into a more defensive 4 5 1 formation especially if you want to keep the score or contain the game; by the two wingers tacking in to the middle of the pitch.
Additionally by keeping Walcott on the bench Wenger will have the option of utilising the high tempo impact that Theo can provide as a substitute if the team need a goal; just like it proved against Sunderland and Bolton.
If Theo is already on the pitch who can Wenger bring on that can change the game as dramatically as we have witnessed recently?
On the other hand starting with Walcott has its merits.
For a start he is on a high and there is nothing more that adds to the potency of a forward than scoring in the previous game.
But as important is his blistering pace. It could prove to be a very big and telling advantage considering that the Liverpool central defenders, Carragher and especially Hyppia, are not particularly blessed with this attribute.
Placing those balls behind Liverpool’s defence for Walcott to run on would be Fabregas’ brief and one, I am sure, he will excel at fulfilling.
And with the team on such a high after trouncing Slavia 7-0 it may prove too difficult for Wenger to make too many changes.
One he is more likely to make is Rosicky, who likes scoring at Anfield, for Eboue.
Will the other one involve Walcott?
That’s Wenger’s dilemma.
Ed: What do you think? Leave your comment below and cast your vote on the poll we have set up: “Who should partner Adebayor against Liverpool?”
Wenger enters the world of advertising but with a touch of class
We are all Goonerish now!