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The Arsenal manager says he wants to tighten up midfield and play three up front...

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has emphasised the importance of Arsenal's new tactical approach to the forthcoming season as he looks to imitate Barcelona's 4-3-3 formation with flexible forward play.

Kolo Toure and, particularly, Emmanuel Adebayor's departures this summer, as well as the January purchase of Andrey Arshavin, have initiated a change in thinking by the Gunners chief.

Throughout pre-season Wenger has played the same formation with inter-changing forwards and a more compact midfield, simliar to the tactical set-up of European champions Barca.

"When you play with Arshavin you are never on your own, when you play with Theo Walcott you are never on your own," Wenger told The Daily Telegraph.

"Playing with strikers depends on the support you will get from the rest of the team.

"I wanted to see how it works because we have many offensive players and maybe we have to tighten up a bit in midfield to keep balance between offence and defence and I wanted to see how it works. I am quite happy with it." 

Ironically, the only other Premier League outfit who have regularly played the same way are Manchester United, but as a result of Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Real Madrid, they are likely to revert to a more traditional 4-4-2.

John Silk,

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