Laurent Koscielny claims that the recent formation change has added solidity to the Arsenal defence and improved confidence throughout the team.
The Frenchman captained his side to their third FA Cup final in four years on Sunday after Arsene Wenger’s men scored a winner in extra-time against to beat Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley.
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Wenger’s decision to field three defenders at the back in Monday’s match against Middlesbrough, which he hasn’t done for 20 years, saw the Gunners end a run of four away defeats on the trot amid an improved defensive performance.
Koscielny revealed after Sunday’s victory that the Arsenal players have been working on the new formation for 15 days.
"We were motivated and offensive. In the second half we equalised,” Koscielny said.
“I think we also found confidence in this system with three defenders. We are more solid behind. Commitment and motivation also allowed us to win. Over the whole game, we were supportive and combative.
“There was a tactical turnaround, but we've been working on it for 15 days. In that system (3-4-3), there are players who are good. It's good for the collective.
“Before this game, we were in a fairly dark period. We lost our confidence. This victory allows us to regain confidence, and serenity, even if everything has not been perfect.”
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Speculation over the future of Wenger looks set to continue until the Frenchman provides clarity on whether he’ll be at Arsenal next season. Koscielny says that the players share the blame for the below-par performances during this campaign and has urged his team-mates to focus on preparing for the upcoming league run-in.
“The future of Wenger, I don't know if it weighs (on the last results). We'll never know,” he said.
“But, we are professionals. And each week we go to the pitch to give the best of yourself and win the most matches. The bad results are also due to us (and not only the coach).
“We're going to play the final, and we'll have to win it. It will be necessary to prepare for the best to be 100 per cent.”