According to Football.London, Luis Enrique has been earmarked as one of the potential candidates to replace Unai Emery. The Arsenal boss reportedly has only one month to recover from an awful start to the campaign and save his job, failing which, the Gunners will have to find a replacement.
Enrique, in that regard, does appear like an interesting option. But, is he really an ideal replacement for Emery? In this article, we will talk about the prospects of Enrique potentially taking over charge at Arsenal and what changes he can bring to the table.
Juego de posicion
What makes Enrique such an appealing coach is his Juego de posicion style of play, which focuses on player positioning through set patterns of movement. It mainly revolves around dominating possession and follows the tactics of Pep Guardiola, who pretty much invented the scheme during his time at Barcelona.
Therefore, we can expect Enrique to profess a similar style of play at Arsenal. So the focus will once again be on playing the ball out from the back, much like what Emery does. However, the ex-Barcelona coach could embrace a 4-3-3 shape, where he would employ at least one holding midfielder. The number six will be tasked with the responsibility of easing the transition from defence to midfield.
The potential axing of certain players
It won’t be surprising to see Enrique getting rid of technically incapable players like Sokratis, David Luiz and Calum Chambers. None of them are particularly good on the ball and offers very little quality in the build-up. It is a reason why Arsenal have struggled in the ongoing campaign, except Emery hasn’t done anything to resolve it.
The fact that both Sokratis and Luiz are incapable of providing laser passes, in between the lines, makes Arsenal less efficient in the build-up. Enrique, in that regard, might rely on the market to sign technically gifted defenders, who can fill that void in the Gunners’ backline. Marc Bartra, for one, could be an exciting option.
A more calculated pressing unit
The presence of players like Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Dani Ceballos will enable Enrique to employ a complicated pressing scheme, which can nullify the influence of opposing ball-carriers.
At Barcelona, the Spaniard perfectly utilised the traits of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets, making his team quite effective in the second line of press. He could replicate that scheme at Arsenal as they boast the services of some of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League.
A free-flowing offensive unit
Emery has had difficulties identifying an ideal offensive shape due to the overabundance of choices. Enrique, however, may employ a 4-3-3 setup, where the three attackers will be given a free-flowing role in the final third. It is quite similar to how Barcelona play under Ernesto Valverde or Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
Both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe like to move into a central area of the pitch, making them an ideal fit to the 4-3-3 scheme, with Alexandre Lacazette leading the attack. However, keeping hold of both Auba and Lacazette could be imperative from Arsenal’s perspective.