Tottenham Hotspur have gone all-in on a three-at-the-back system in recent years, first appointing Nuno Espirito Santo only to follow that up with Antonio Conte, one of the most infamous users of such a philosophy.
Whilst this has its benefits, often remaining compact in the middle whilst retaining attacking options out wide in the wing-backs, it is somewhat restrictive, as the Lilywhites have showcased during this struggling season.
To truly achieve success, as Arsenal and Manchester City are outlining, a fine blend of various systems must be struck that seeks to achieve the perfect balance.
Regardless, to appoint a new boss this summer who instead prefers four defenders would essentially be resigning the club to further transitional years whilst the players develop and the squad can be slowly altered.
It would have to be a truly outstanding manager to surrender precious years to this move, but in Ange Postecoglou, it might just be worth it. They have to go all in on one coach eventually.
The Australian remains a fine option for Daniel Levy, who would provide the free-flowing attacking play that has been missing in north London for so long.
However, his appointment could spell danger for Pedro Porro, despite a promising start to life at the club. Given the 4-3-3 system that the 57-year-old employs, the Spaniard would be left floundering given his role would become obsolete.
How does Ange Postecoglou set up?
The all-action philosophy of the tactician is based upon the foundation set by this formation, which has brought unbridled success to Celtic since his move.
Across 108 matches in charge of the Parkhead club, he has enjoyed 81 wins at an impressive points-per-match average of 2.35, claiming three trophies, with another league title on the way.
He has done so in a manner that BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves described as “such good football,” claiming: “They go at everyone. Ange Postecoglou and the way he plays with beautiful attacking football, he goes after everyone.”
By sending his wingers very wide, the hope is that space will open up in the channels between the opposition’s full-back and the centre-back. His full-back or central midfielders can then operate in this area, afforded ample space to provide for the striker.
Although this would align with Porro’s desperation to push forward, given his four goal contributions recorded already since his January move, the 23-year-old is neither a right winger nor a natural right back.
This awkward middle ground could frustrate the incoming boss, who had preferred someone who can mix attack and defence whilst remaining solid, like World Cup star Josip Juranovic.
In his 12 Premier League games since joining the club, the defender has been dribbled past twice per game, via Sofascore. For all his offensive impetus, Postecoglou could not allow such defensive tardiness in his team.
Levy seemingly would have to choose whether his desire to appoint this particular manager outweighs his appreciation for their big January signing.