Little over one week after Arsenal picked up three points against Leicester City in their Premier League opener, Arsene Wenger opted for a change of tactics in his second game of the season away to Stoke City.
Wenger chose to reintroduce Shkodran Mustafi to the Arsenal back line in an unorthodox back three, consisting of the German, Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal. A tactical decision that failed to pay off as the Gunners fell to a 1-0 defeat against the Potters.
With Arsenal's defensive frailties coming under scrutiny after the defeat, Wenger released a statement via the Arsenal club website explaining his decision.
The French manager defended his tactics, saying: "We conceded three last week so I changed a bit because Mustafi came back and Holding had lost a little bit of confidence,
"In pre-season, centrally, we did quite well. When you lose a game, you lose a game, but we didn’t lose against Stoke only because of bad defending on the ball."
There were positives to take away from the match as Arsenal displayed a similar resilience and goal scoring threat as in their opening day victory over Leicester, with new boy Alexandre Lacazette having his second goal in as many games disallowed for being marginally offside.
Wenger went on to comment on his sides' misfortune in front of goal, saying: "When you have the number of chances we had away from home and you don’t score, you can always complain about the offence and defence.
"We’ve lost one game so I can understand [negativity], but overall I believe that there were a lot of positives in the game. We created many chances, we had great domination, but unfortunately we dropped three points."
Such a bold change of tactics has proven to pay dividends in past seasons, one notable example being Antonio Conte's Chelsea, though in this instance Wenger's attempts to remedy an ailing element of his side has failed to come good.
Arsenal's next match comes against Liverpool on Sunday 27th August, and many will be hoping the Gunners' trip to Anfield will see their return to winning ways.