Detailed analysis on Arsenal’s setup under Unai Emery and the importance of Aaron Ramsey

Here’s how Arsenal will set up in the near future under Unai Emery and why Aaron Ramsey along with Lucas Torreira will be key players for Arsenal under this new management style.

Not the best of starts for the new era under Emery, a loss against the champions Manchester City. This week’s opponents aren’t pushovers either. Chelsea, under their new boss Sarri will prove to be a tough contest. As suggested earlier Emery would take time to implement his style of play. Emery typically plays a 4-3-3 formation at PSG or a 4-2-3-1 formation which he played during his time at Sevilla. The main outlet of Emery’s play is via through balls from midfield and crosses from wings unlike the free flowing, Tiki-Taka style of play under Wenger.

This was basically how he set up his team at PSG. We saw glimpses of this during our match against City:-

1) He sets up in a 4-3-3 formation. Motta used to be played with two of Verratti, Rabiot and Pastore. What Motta used to do is slot in behind the midfielders and at times used to position himself as the third center back. One of the two CM in front of Motta hold his position and is used as a link between attack and defence. The other will play a free role and will play a more attacking role in the team. The Motta role will be played by Torreira at Arsenal and the free role will be taken up by Ramsey. Both will play a huge role in Emery’s Arsenal team. Will get back to this later..

2) Emery likes to play with attacking fullbacks, likes of Thomas Meunier, Dani Alves or Kurzawa. This helps the team to attack more from the wings as a player like Motta will play as a third CB during the time so the backline is not exposed during counter.

3) Emery typically likes the player who is positioned as a striker (Cavani at PSG) to drop back in midfield when he doesn’t have the ball. Hence we saw Aubameyang drop back allowing the player in midfield, Ramsey, to venture forward as well as allowing Bellerin and Niles/Lichtsteiner to play in a more attacking role or venture in the attacking third often.


Coming back to the importance Ramsey has in this team. There are indicators Ramsey will be deployed as a Raumdeuter in Emery’s team as we don’t have wingers who will score a lot of goals since the most likely combination will be of Mkhitaryan starting on the left wing and Ozil on the right wing.

Raumdeuter are typically “space interpreters”. The term itself is new and very few players have played the role. The term originated from Muller who used it to describe what his role was under LVG at Bayern in 2009-10 season. He played a key role for Bayern ever since as he has hit double figure in 8 out of 9 season since.

Raumdeuters typically play a free role in the team, usually difficult to pin down and occupy different different roles in areas depending upon the situation.

These players have high reliance on tactical strengths of the team. Also the moments are less obvious to the human eye and exploit the tactical qualities of the player.

This is where Ramsey ticks all the boxes..

1) Ramsey isn’t exceptionally fast, strong or an outstanding dribbler, yet he is always amongst the goals and assists because Ramsey is known to find and exploit space in the final third.

2) He has intelligent movement, anticipation and awareness.

This is exactly why he will be key to this Arsenal team. He will be criticized a lot though because it’s as difficult for pundits and fans to pin down what he does as much as the opposition. Everyone will appreciate the likes of Ozil and Mkhitaryan for creating the goals but few will realize the effort a player like Ramsey puts to make it possible.


Die hard Gooner. Always opinionated, not always right. Author of The Fans' View and The Rival Fans' View series.

Leave a Reply