Arsene Wenger has admitted that he needed to change something in order to snap his side out of their poor form during Monday night’s 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
The 67-year-old played with three at the back for the first time in 20 years, following in the footsteps of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who have all switched to a 3-4-3 system this season.
The Gunners were rewarded with just their third win in their last nine Premier League outings, and Wenger believes that the new formation made his side more solid at the back.
“Yes, it is the first time in 20 years. That shows you that even at my age, you can change. Sometimes when your team lacks confidence, just to have something new to believe helps them to focus. The fact we conceded three at West Brom, three at Crystal Palace, I felt it was needed,” he told reporters.
“It was a committed game that we needed to win. In the first half, it was tight because they defended very well. We were tested just after half time when they came back to 1-1. We were tested mentally and we found a response to win the game. That is what we needed and that’s what we wanted.
“Of course, Middlesbrough did fight because it was one of their last chances to stay in the league. That’s why we never gave up. We maybe rode our luck a little bit one or two occasions on crosses, but overall, we were a bit more solid defensively.”