This is the first time in years that Arsenal start the season with a new formation. For the past decade, the Gunners have effectively played a variant on 4-3-3, but this year they will line up with three at the back.
Wenger adopted the formation towards the end of last season, with spectacular results: Arsenal won nine out of their last 10 fixtures, including victories over Manchester City,Manchester United and Chelsea. Add in the Community Shield, and it's clear this is a system that can deliver Arsenal results.
In pre-season, Wenger intimated that he would alternate between a back three and a back four. However, the classic back four has only been used sparingly. It seems manager and team are committed to the new approach.
Of course, it's unrealistic to expect Arsenal's new formation to continue delivering results at this remarkable rate. The element of surprise has now been lost—opposition teams will arrive expecting Wenger to field three centre-halves.
However, Arsenal fans don't know how a season will play out with this new-look team. There is curiosity—and plenty of optimism. For years Arsenal have been searching for a solution to make them more secure defensively. In the back three, Wenger may finally have found it.